What’s The Greatest Cause of Burnout among Financial Advisors

Here’s a question I received from Ricardo in Portugal. He’s writing about burnout with an interesting question.

What’s the greatest cause of burnout among Financial Advisors in the United States?

I think that actually is very easy to answer. Whether it’s Los Angeles or Lisbon, it doesn’t really matter.

Listen to the audio or read the transcript below to learn what Don thinks the greatest cause of burnout among Financial Advisors is.

There are many ways to burnout in our business, but the one way I seem to see more than any other way is making this business all about the money.

Focusing on money is as dangerous as focusing on what we accomplished in the past.

If we have to make a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time, events must unfold in a totally predictable way. That simply never happens. The old joke is that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

Things go awry so often in our business because we can’t control events. We can only control our reaction to those events. And the steady stream of events beyond our control is relentless. That makes planning very tough.

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It seems the bigger the advisor, the more often he or she rewrites the business plan during the year. I know many advisors who write a new business plan quarterly, merely as a reaction to unfolding events.

They don’t focus on how much they want to earn; they focus on the number of people they plan to talk to during the year, regardless of events.

They don’t think in terms of the next quarter; they don’t necessarily think in terms of the next year. They literally think in terms of having a good career when it’s all over.

The advisors who obsess about hitting their own financial goals day in and day out end up with their plans in a ditch. They worry themselves into inaction. It seems inevitable: the more we worry about making money, the less we make.

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Money is a good example of how setting goals can sometimes work against us. To have working for the money as our major goal strips us of our joy. Our companions become worry and stress. Money becomes a not-so-good dominant force in our lives.

Now I understand, Ricardo, that talk is cheap. It’s easy to say ‘don’t worry about money’, when in fact we worry about money. The less we have, the more we worry. But I remind everyone that clients don’t appear as a result of concentrating on the money. Money appears as a result of concentrating on the acquisition of clients.

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