Success Is About the Quantity, Not the Volume


Success isn’t about doing more of what you do. It’s about being more effective in what you do.

  • Focus on one or two aspects of your business you want to improve.
  • Break these improvement projects into small, actionable steps.
  • Commit time to mastering these steps and practice them excellently at every opportunity.

Related: How Advisors Can Succeed Sooner


Success isn’t about doing more of what you do. It’s about being more effective in what you do.

We’ve all heard that practice makes perfect, but practice really only makes for repetition if it’s not done excellently. We can ingrain bad habits and do them over and over and over again, and again, it just moves us further away from an excellent performance. . .

Daniel Chambliss, in his research project The Mundanity of Excellence, talks about this in detail. He discusses the need to understand what we want to master and to commit focused time toward that—not necessarily focusing more hours to one particular project, but making our quality time, our quality focus, very, very specific in the pursuit of excellence.

I saw this firsthand. One of the examples Chambliss mentions in his paper is Greg Louganis, of course Olympic gold medalist in diving. I had the privilege of training in the same facility that Greg dove in, at the same time as he practiced. He would only practice for a few hours a day, but it was amazing when he dove! He had the entire diving well cleared just for him and his coach, Ron O’Brien, and we were busy swimming, doing workouts at the other end of the pool. But when Greg trained, and we had the chance to watch him, I will always remember seeing excellence right in front of us, at every single opportunity! He knew what he had to master, and instead of adding quantity to his training day, he came down to quality—to really master what mattered most.

We saw the same thing with a group of bank channel advisors we’ve been working with in one of our programs at Ash Brokerage called Business Building Blocks. It’s been interesting seeing these advisors take on language that, initially, they admitted, would have them out of their comfort zone. We applied a four-week timeline for them to practice this language until they were going to come back for another webinar when they were going to be held accountable. They were to report their results after really focusing on changing some language and delivering it.

They said upon delivering this new wording the 1st, 2nd and even 3rd time some of them, some of them were still working on getting confident saying it. But then they saw the results, and it made them practice even more— just focusing on short verbiage clusters that they soon started delivering excellently. Immediately, the number of appointments they were making grew. They knew that four weeks later they were going to be held to account to report on what they were finding. They were hugely encouraged by the results and were looking forward to making as many phone calls as they could because it works!

Success is not so much about the quantity, about the volume. It’s about the excellence that you apply. So, when you’re looking to build your business, as you all are doing right now,

  1. Focus on a couple of aspects. Focus on a couple of aspects of your business that you want to make inroads in, that you want to make improvements on, knowing that if you do so your business is going to flourish.

  2. Break these “improvement projects” down into smaller steps. Know what you want each step to look like. Just because you’re looking at the minute steps, don’t think that it doesn’t matter. Remember, it’s the quality of effort that you’re now going to apply to mastering these small steps that make them significant.

  3. Practice and deliver these steps. Whether it’s learning language when you are talking with a prospect, learning more effective language when talking with a client, building out a client-segmentation model for your business—whatever it might be—consider the steps, commit the time to master them, and focus on those steps (and those alone) at every opportunity.

You’ll master the task far sooner than otherwise, you’ll grow in confidence, and most important, when clients or prospects are talking with you, they’ll know they’re talking to an advisor who knows their business and can truly help them.

I look forward to bringing you another Distraction-Proof Advisor Idea next week.