What do successful financial advisors do that unsuccessful or even adequate advisors don’t, won’t, or can’t do? I could list several things here, but it all starts with setting clearly defined goals—and then achieving them. But, while the vast majority of advisors understand the importance of setting goals—actually writing them down—and having a plan to achieve them, fewer manage to achieve them. As a result, they never raise the bar for themselves, gradually slipping into mediocracy.
The failure to achieve goals can be attributed to a number of things—i.e., the goals are unrealistic or too vague; not having or strictly following a plan; not being accountable for your goals, to name just a few. While these are identifiable reasons for not achieving goals, they are more of an expected outcome for advisors who lack the vital qualities to carry them to success. You can have the most incredible work ethic, but if you’re not setting and achieving your goals, it’s like a rudderless motorboat spinning around in a lake.
If it is to be, it is up to Thee.
It’s not too late to adopt or develop the qualities of character necessary to go after your ambitions. In fact, they reside in all of us. You just need to accentuate them and use them deliberately to overcome your obstacles.
Here are the seven qualities anyone can develop to drive their success in achieving even the most challenging goals.
People who dread waking up to the new day are destined for failure. Successful people who have goals and a life ambition accept the new day as another opportunity to move ahead, work harder, and get better. That provides the confidence—the feeling that you deserve to achieve your goals and that you are one step closer to doing so.
Surround yourself with positive, confident people, and start your day reading or listening to something positive and inspirational. Tracking your progress can help you stay motivated.
Persistence is what helps you overcome adversity in the short run—dealing with the immediate, nitty-gritty tasks and naysayers that can annoy and frustrate you. Persistence keeps you from giving in to them. Perseverance is what keeps you focused on the big picture helping you to charge through the short-term hiccups and negativity.
If you believe in your goals and vision, you won’t give up on your dreams. Learn from your mistakes and focus on the small wins along the way to validate how persistent you are.
Impatience is the enemy of endurance, which you need when going after anything important. It’s why some people give up on their goals—because things aren’t happening fast enough. It helps to break your goals down into smaller milestones you can track along the way. The timeframe for a goal could be a year off but, if you have monthly milestones, you can see the progress and stay motivated.
Persisting through small obstacles is one thing. Having the resilience to move past emotional pain and adversity is another. When someone tells you it can’t be done or you run into an emotional roadblock, resilience enables you to use these situations to grow. Some situations can be more difficult than others, so don’t feel like you need to go it alone. It’s an excellent time to turn to a mentor or a colleague who is genuinely interested in your success to help push you through.
As you progress toward your goals, circumstances can change, and new challenges can pop up. Persistence can keep you moving forward but, if the strategy doesn’t seem to be working, you need to adapt. Don’t be afraid to change course. Don’t avoid asking questions. As you track your progress, look for opportunities to assess what’s working and what’s not working. If it’s working, what can you do to improve results? If it’s not working, is it a bad idea, bad execution, or have conditions changed?
Successful advisors know how to tune out distractions and keep their eye on the target. There are so many things that can take you off your game and, if they aren’t contributing to your goal, they are just distracting you. Time management is crucial to achieving your goal, as is prioritization. That’s why you need a plan with detailed action steps, holding yourself accountable for its execution.
As a financial advisor, you are truly fortunate. You have valuable knowledge and skills and the unique opportunity to make a career for yourself while making a difference in other people’s lives. You love what you do, and that should drive your passion. It’s that same passion that can drive you to new heights so you can do what you love even better and continue to make a difference. Passion is what makes it vital that you power forward to do what’s necessary to achieve your goals.