Financial Advisors Sabotage Their Success Through Getting Ready to Get Ready
I’ve seen it dozens of times. Financial advisors sitting at their desks, looking busy, immersed in their work, shuffling papers, searching the internet, and reading reports. Sometimes it seems to go on for hours, even days, leaving me to wonder what they’re working towards. But one look at their production records tells the tale. There is a strong likelihood they’re working on getting ready to get ready to do what they know must be done but can’t seem to pull the trigger to get it done.
I’ve come across many advisors who consider themselves “perfectionists,” the type of people who feel the need to ensure everything is in order before attempting the task at hand, be it making calls to prospects, dealing with an irate client, or making a critical presentation to a wavering prospect. As we all know, “perfect is the enemy of the good,” which is good enough for most people.
If we wait until everything is ready before starting a task, we’ll probably never get started. Consider the analogy of a person starting their car and waiting in their driveway for all the lights on their route to turn green. They’ll probably never leave their driveway. Maybe that’s the point.
Is it about perfection or fear of failure?
Is the need to be perfect driving the “get ready to get ready” syndrome, or is it the fear of failure? People who fear or don’t like doing certain tasks often find ways to avoid them until their back is against the wall. The result is routine tasks can turn into major undertakings. If your goal is to add five new qualified prospects to your funnel each week, and you spend most of the week getting ready to get ready to make your calls, suddenly, that reasonable goal becomes insurmountable.
For many people, getting ready to get ready is less about getting everything perfect and more about delaying the inevitable or procrastination. We can look busy, even productive, getting ready, but what we are really doing is hiding in the distractions that keep us from doing what we should be doing. Yet, very often, the sheer dread of doing a task is more stressful than performing the task itself. Still, many people are willing to suffer through that.
There’s a certain comfort in hiding, focusing on the easy tasks, and thinking we are working towards the more difficult ones. It offers the security of never failing or being disappointed. But it’s really nothing more than a form of denial and self-sabotage.
To break the cycle, do what successful Advisors do
You have undoubtedly heard it said, “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are unwilling to do.” “Getting ready to get ready” syndrome or procrastination are dream killers. If you are suffering from either, you must take it upon yourself to do what successful advisors do.
- Set clearly defined goals, often breaking them down into smaller, highly achievable goals, and tackle them one at a time.
- Lay out a plan to achieve their goals with timelines and milestones to monitor their progress.
- Hold themselves accountable and commit to completing the tasks necessary to achieve their goals.
- Communicate their goals to others so they can also hold them accountable.
- Develop a keen self-awareness of any propensity they might have to procrastinate and the reasons why so they can overcome it.
It’s natural for financial advisors to feel that if they spend a little more time preparing, they will develop more confidence in their abilities to get done what has to get done. However, confidence doesn’t come from preparation; it comes from doing. You may fail, but that is the only way to learn. Your confidence grows when you learn from your mistakes. In the meantime, you will enjoy some successes along the way until your successes become more common than your failures.
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