Because of a drawn-out medical struggle, I was recently reminded of the value of some basic -- and important -- rules for running a wealth management practice.

My health ordeal started in 2006 when I was mountain biking near my home in Scottsdale, Ariz., and hit a rough patch of terrain. I flew over the handlebars of my bike and directly into the arms of a cactus. Hundreds of barbs shot into my leg, causing immense pain and ultimately a horrible infection. As the years went on, the pain became harder to ignore. I traveled thousands of miles to speak with experts in search of relief.

Finally, I found doctor at the University of Iowa who proposed experimental surgery in the summer of 2014. After the surgery, I was told, I would have to be on my back with my leg elevated for three weeks. No walking. No exercising. No physical activity for nearly a month. 

Shortly before the surgery, I realized that I should turn this potentially bleak experience into something good for my professional life.

PICK UP THE PHONE

In the end, the operation was a success and the time I spent with my feet up was one of the most productive periods I’ve had in years. I worked on a number of long-term endeavors for Peak Advisor Alliance, and I also did something meaningful for Carson Wealth: I personally contacted clients and prospects. 

I put in calls to clients we had missed in the past, followed up with prospects who had thought about doing business with us but hadn’t yet pulled the trigger, and simply reached out to congratulate others on a recent birthday or anniversary with the firm. This direct interaction had powerful results, to the point that some of these people actually came to visit me.

The net result was amazing. By practicing some fundamental principles that all of us are reminded to do regularly, I ended up generating more than $50 million in new advisory assets, and as a firm in 2014 we brought in a total of $206 million in new assets.

And there may be more to come. In recent days, I received a call from other prospects who had gone cold. They now live in South Florida, their net worth is over $40 million and, because I had the time to reach out to them during that three-week stretch, I am scheduling a trip to see them in a few weeks.

POWER OF SIMPLICITY

This entire experience is a vivid reminder of the power of simplicity in our profession. A simple action like picking up the phone and having a conversation with someone can still make a real impact on the bottom line. Potential and current clients are hungry for this sort of meaningful touch.

Those three weeks I spent in bed could have gone in the opposite direction. I could just as easily have sat around browsing the Internet for hours, binge watching the last season of Breaking Bad or just doing nothing. But I changed my perspective and saw a positive opportunity in a relatively dreary scenario.

The next time you have something that’s potentially negative arise in your personal or professional life, think about how to turn your lemons into lemonade. Make your positive perspective a habit. Your attitude will improve, your family will notice, and your business will benefit.

Ron Carson is founder and CEO of Carson Wealth Management Group and founder of Peak Advisor Alliance.

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