What You Need to Know
- One idea is to have a goal other than just making money.
- A second idea is to know things.
- A third idea is to recognize the power of what you can do.
A new year has started, and the question every agent and advisor must ask themselves is, “What will this year look like for my business?”
In 2019 our life and annuity wholesale business grew by 33%, and I had confident expectations that 2020 would bring similar, if not even better, results. As it turned out, we did grow our business, but it felt like I worked twice as hard. 2020 was exhausting.
I often go down YouTube rabbit holes to find videos I want to share with my partners or my young adult children for encouragement. I typically look to self-made entrepreneurs that demonstrate a balanced approach to business and life but are also transparent about the real struggles of being successful. Although Kevin O’Leary often plays the arrogant villain on Shark Tank, I find his unproduced material demonstrates humility and transparency about the real-life struggle of building a business.
Mr. O’Leary published a video on YouTube on June 8, 2020, titled, “How I Made My First Million Dollars, Part 1.”
Two Key Philosophical Takeaways
Every financial professional should have these lessons, drawn from Kevin O’Leary, as core principles in their business.
1. Do not go into business to make money.
Let me explain. I went into business for financial and personal freedom, and what that first meant was that I needed to make the bare minimum required to replace my corporate income so that I would never have a job ever again.
I have found that the pursuit of money, in itself, is meaningless. Money must do something positive to have value. Personal freedom is liberation from chains that can hold you down and inspire all those around you who want freedom. Financial freedom can transcend money by exceeding your basic living requirements and giving back to those who do not have the same opportunity for freedom.
Money is a tool of stewardship. If money were a hammer, you could encrust it in gold and hang it around your neck for all to see, or you could use it to drive that nail into something far more valuable than gold, something that is bigger than yourself. Not all that glitters is gold. Have fun along the journey, enjoy the process, not the monetary destination, and make that journey bigger than yourself.
2. Become successful by finding problems and providing solutions.
If you are a business owner, you need to run your business with dollars and cents in mind. You can go out of business faster than going into business. However, you cannot build a successful financial planning business purely based on your ability to monitor your bottom line.
To be truly successful in this business, you must be an expert at finding problems, be passionate about removing those problems, and get others to believe in those problems and the solution you present. If you do that, the business’s money side tends to take care of itself by overwhelming your expenses with revenues.