Yes, there is a silver bullet to success as an advisor…but it may not be what you think.

I come in contact with thousands of financial advisors each year whether it's through our coaching and consulting programs at Peak Advisor Alliance or through industry speaking engagements. One common thing throughout these contacts is advisors have a desire to get the one piece of information, the silver bullet that will change everything.

Particularly at a speaking engagement, I'll have advisors come up to me and ask for the magic idea. And while I can understand an advisor’s desire to hear our single best idea, I also know few advisors will take that idea and do anything with it. What happens is they hear the idea, they run it through their internal filter and then realize it conflicts with a subconscious or conscious thought they already have.

For example, I might give someone an idea that I know—based on real experience—could double their income if they followed it. However, after running it through their filter, the advisor might discount it because a) they’ve heard it before or tried it before and therefore it’s not “new,” b) it requires too much time and effort, c) it requires them to step out of their comfort zone or d) they realize they’re actually comfortable with their current production level. Rather than letting the idea transform them, they build up a wall which blocks them from following through.

One goal of The Prosperous Advisor blog is to help you breakdown the wall so you are in a mental state which allows you to receive ideas, act upon them and ultimately transform you both personally and professionally. I want to help you get to a state of mind or a state of being where you can hear the ideas I discuss and be open, receptive and attentive to them.

This doesn't mean all of a sudden you'll start doing absolutely everything I recommend. Rather, I want to help you reach a point where you have clarity on what you are trying to do with your business so it becomes much easier for you to discern which of my strategies can help you the most. I want you to have such clarity that you'll be compelled to take action because you find meaning in it versus feeling like you have to take action to meet some outside expectation.

When you are in this type of transformed mindset, you are no longer ruled by what society considers success. For example, being a million-dollar producer no longer becomes the goal, rather, it becomes the outcome of you doing what is right, at the right time, for the right people. You no longer have to drive yourself to the point of exhaustion to become a million-dollar producer; you let it happen at its natural pace by doing what is right and doing what delivers value for you and your clients.

It's like planting a garden. You simply plant flowers in good soil, water them, fertilize them and then let mother-nature take care of the rest. You let the garden grow as a natural outcome of you doing the right activities at the right time. You don't have to force anything.

So, what is the silver bullet?

If you want to be super successful in this business, don't force it. Simply plant the seeds in the right areas and DO THE WORK. What I'm talking about is not the power of positive thinking. It's not think and grow rich. Yes, it is important to be positive and have the right attitude, but, at the end of the day, you still have to roll up your sleeves and do the work.

Keep in mind that not all work is created equal. Most advisors say they are “busy” because they always have something to do. But keep in mind, there’s a good busy and a bad busy. Good busy moves the needle while bad busy makes you feel important but leaves you frustrated. If you want to grow your business 20 percent per year, here are the three “good busy things” you should be spending the majority of your time doing.

Taking care of existing clients. This is your most important job and you have to make sure your clients are thrilled to work with you before you start moving onto item two. This includes the basics of financial planning, monitoring the achievement of your clients’ goals, deepening your relationships and delivering extraordinary client service.

Finding new clients. Yes, I know, easier said than done. In my previous posts here, here, and here, I shared several ideas on how to do this. Bottom line, you have to be gonzo about finding new this lady from Amway.

A recent Wall Street Journal article highlighted the lady who is Amway’s #1 distributor. She has 300,000 Amway reps in her chain and she said two things which really struck me. First, she said, “The most powerful weapon is to move somebody emotionally.” This gets to the heart of building deep, genuine relationships with your very best clients so they’ll feel moved to refer new people to you.

Second, she said she found prospects at the casino tables and standing in line to use the bathroom (btw, she said to talk to the people behind you, not in front of you—genius!). I’m not suggesting you prospect in those places; rather, it shows the determination she had to be a winner. Top producers have that spirit and are always finding ways to introduce themselves to new people. 

Refueling Your Burning Desire. Since this business can be so draining, it’s critical you continually add to your burning desire bank account. Generally speaking, million-dollar producers aren’t any smarter or better looking than six-figure producers. But where they differ is in their level of burning desire. Top producers simply want it more and are willing to do the work to get there. If you want to reclaim your burning desire, click here for our free Blueprinting tool.

Folks, there’s your silver bullet—do the work of taking care of existing clients, finding new clients and refueling your burning desire. Now is a great time to make the commitment that in 2012, you’ll plant the seeds and do the work necessary to build a better future for you, your family and your clients.


Steve Sanduski, CFP®, is the Managing Partner of Peak Advisor Alliance, a financial advisor coaching and practice management resources organization. He is also a New York Times bestselling author and co-author of, Tested in the Trenches: A 9 Step Plan for Building and Sustaining a Million-Dollar Financial Services Practice. To learn more, visit, and