50 Shades of Green: Better 2021 Planning for Financial Advisors


You’ll only see what doesn’t belong when you keep your picture clearly in focus.

Recently I’ve been sharing with you how our family does a jigsaw puzzle through the holiday season. We had one with National Park badges, and as you can see from the picture, it has a load of green in it.

Now, when we tipped out all the puzzle pieces, we’d looked at the picture, but then we’d gone back to the pieces. We started separating out all the green pieces. (And there was a load of them!) Upon starting to place them down, it became insurmountable to figure out where they all fit because on the one hand they look so similar, but on the other hand, they were markedly different. So we went back to the picture on the box as the reference point. The more we stayed focused on that picture, the more focused our eyes became to the actual subtleties and shading. Some were green with little blue dots, some were a deeper green with orange spots… But by focusing on the picture, it was far easier to see what fit where and what was green but needed to go in later.

That’s what you need to do as advisors building your business with New Year’s planning. You set down a plan, but you don’t then just put it in a drawer. You stay focused on it and looking at it regularly. This will enable you to spot distractions far more easily. You’ll recognize when things come along that you shouldn’t be spending your time with.

So to do this most effectively,

  1. Make next year’s goal vivid. Make that picture vivid in your mind regarding what you want to achieve. Imagine what you want it looking like by December 31 next year.
  2. Be specific about each increment. Get specific about how you’re actually going to achieve this objective. How many financial plans do you actually want to write? Do you want to increase your financial planning fee from $1500 to $2500? Be specific. How many new “A” clients do you want to bring onboard? How many new Centers of Influence do you want to get in front of and potentially begin working with? Get very, very specific.
  3. Most importantly, keep looking at the plan. Get enthused about it! Get excited about it! There will be those days that seem a little bit mundane—potentially a little boring. But when you look back at that picture, not only are you going to see the actions that you need to take to create that picture by year-end, you’re going to get excited about getting there even faster. You’ll spot the distractions, and you’ll succeed even sooner.

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

Related: How Advisors Can Set a Clear Picture of What Success Looks Like in 2021