Expecting Success Has a Cost


While success is never guaranteed, you can earn the right to expect it if you do the work required.

  • Know the details you always need to take care of as thoroughly as you can, no matter how small they may seem.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for a meeting, leaving room for unexpected issues or delays, so you are always as prepared as you can possibly be.
  • Accept that even though you may have done everything right, you won’t experience success 100% of the time. Keep going, making excellence a regular habit, and you’ll reach your goals far sooner than you might expect.

Related: Currently Leading the Olympic-Medal Count: Distractions


This right isn’t guaranteed to everyone; you have to earn it.

I’m talking about the right to expect success—knowing that you have done everything possible within your power to earn the right to expect success from the performance you’re about to give. It brings with it a huge degree of confidence. . .

We’re right in the midst of the Olympic Games, and we are seeing athletes who have trained for years and years to get into a final to then pursue an Olympic medal. They have deliberately practiced in such a way that they have pursued excellence at every opportunity. They have earned the right to expect success. Now, whether or not it happens is not guaranteed. That is up for grabs; there’s nothing they can do to impact—to literally reach across the lane line in my sport—and influence their fellow competitors. However, they want to know when they go into that final, they have done everything within their power to earn the right to expect success. That feeling alone brings an added degree of confidence, where they know they are ready to perform, and there’s nothing they could have done better.

You, as an advisor, need to have that approach—to have that background and history when you’re meeting with people you want to have on board with you as clients. You need to know that you have done everything within your power to expect success. We know success isn’t guaranteed, but I can promise you dismal performances are practically guaranteed if you have not done everything fastidiously.

If you haven’t taken a disciplined approach to get ready for that meeting, you have no right to expect success. I’ve met advisors who have had the color printer jam on the morning of their meeting (an issue that should have been taken care of at least 24 hours prior to the meeting), or advisors who have discovered the meeting room is double-booked with another group, and they have no hope of meeting with their prospect in that room. They haven’t buttoned down all the details.

As I’ve already mentioned, there are no guarantees that success will happen—that decision is in someone else’s court. But I can promise you the chances of actually reaching that are practically nil if you haven’t taken care of all the details you can. When you see Olympic medalists on that podium, you know you’re looking at people who have taken care of everything possible.

So, when it comes to being a great financial advisor, to make sure you take care of all the details you can to give yourself the greatest opportunity for success:

  1. Know the details. Know the small points you must get buttoned down and taken care of professionally and fastidiously at every single opportunity.

  2. Anticipate what needs to be done. Don’t just leave the details until the day of your meeting. Anticipate them (sometimes days) in advance, so you know you will take care of every one of them as professionally and as thoroughly as possible.

  3. Accept that you can’t win them all. Unfortunately, sometimes you are going to be the best advisor for that prospect—the very person they need most—and, yet, they’re going to decide to go with someone else. You may never know the reason why. It can be incredibly frustrating. However, that doesn’t stop you from getting back up, dusting yourself off, learning what you can from that experience, and then looking forward to the next opportunity where you will get to perform excellently once again in such a way that you earn the right to expect success.

Eventually, you’re going to make a habit of approaching every meeting excellently prepared, and you’re going find your ideal number of clients far sooner than you ever believed you could.

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