Actions Beat Intentions Every Time


You won’t profit from good ideas simply by hearing them or even thinking about them. You have to take intentional action to implement them. To set yourself up for great success this new year,

  • Pick a specific area you want to improve in your business.
  • Start now and make your plan for taking the action steps needed to implement this idea.
  • Build momentum and keep going. Schedule time on your calendar to continue to focus on taking the necessary actions to see this idea to fruition.

Related: Take Control of Your Morning


Do you think you could swim faster by just watching a video of someone else swimming?

Of course you couldn’t. It’s not a trick question. You’re going to have to actually get in the water and take care of the main points you’ve seen you want to improve and put those aspects into practice.

As an athlete, this is what I did at the UC Berkeley program, the swimming program I was involved in. . .

We would watch our strokes on video and, then, instead of thinking, “These are the next five things we’ve got to improve on,” and going into the next workout and just thinking about what we wanted to improve, we would instead spend the next 30-45 minutes on one particular aspect of our individual stroke. I would have my own lane, and I would swim single lap, by single lap, by single lap, just honing in on that one point to groove and ingrain it into my stroke. Then after 30 minutes or so, my coach would move me into the main part of the program. I would then continue with the workout, but as soon as I fell back into that original bad habit, he’d pull me aside. He would again send me down the far end of the pool, where it was 20 more minutes of single lap after single lap, ingraining that particular movement in my stroke. Yes, it is so important to see the areas where you need to improve, but the vital next step is to take the first step toward ingraining those new activities into your process.

And for you, as the advisor, it’s imperative you take exactly the same approach. We don’t suffer from a lack of information; we suffer from information overload. We see many great ideas in the course of an hour, and we can even imagine how they’d be effective, if we implemented them into our business. But because we seen so many good ideas, we fail to take action on even one of them.

Now having finished 2021, I see people posting shots of how many business books they read last year, whether it might be the 12 top business books of 2021, or even 24 great business books. But how many ideas did they draw from those and actually implement into their businesses? I think it could be even more effective reading just one book and going deep, mining it for all the ideas and helpful content you can get out of it, and then beginning to intentionally implement those ideas into your business.

So, to do this most effectively,

  1. Pick one idea. It might be to create an operations manual. It might be to learn referral language. It might be to segment your book of business.

  2. Start it now. What is the first step you need to take to begin this process, that will help you build momentum and ultimately lead you to see the process through to fruition?

  3. Keep it going. Don’t stop. Begin immediately, with the first simple step that might come to the top of your mind right now, having watched this video, but then, most importantly, you’re going to have to allocate time to continue this process to see it through to the end. So begin it now, but also set aside 20 or 30 minutes tomorrow, and maybe 20 or 30 minutes the following day, and so on, where you stay focused on this single idea. You’re going to create momentum, and you’re going to complete it far sooner when you continue to plan to make time to take action.

So if its referral language—for instance, “If you have friends or family who have questions or concerns about cash flow during retirement, about Social Security income, about a work-optional lifestyle, have them, give me a call. I’m more than happy to spend 5 or 10 minutes answering any questions they might have. I don’t promise I’ll bring them on as a client, because it’s got to be a great fit, but I’m more than happy to allay any fears that they have,”— you can begin learning this language by simply rewinding this video, listening to the wording, writing it down, and then allocating 20 minutes after you’ve done that to just read it through as many times as you need to begin memorizing it in that 20-minute span. And then, allocate another 30 minutes tomorrow to focus on it again, learning the language, saying it out loud, picturing yourself saying it at the end of a client meeting. Eventually, it will feel natural and you’ll simply let this kind of language roll off your tongue.

Set yourself up for great success: pick an idea, set down what you need to do, and then allocate the time required to continue doing it until you’ve fully mastered it.

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