By: Daniel C. Finley

Building Healthy Business Habits

Have you ever wondered how successful advisors keep reaching new levels of success? Some might say that it is just luck while others might say it’s about skill.  I believe that it comes down to one simple but powerful process which is all about knowing how to build healthy business habits, habits that provide consistent action towards achieving goals.

Brian Tracy, a popular motivational speaker and author of over eighty self-help books says it best, “Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”

Over the course of coaching hundreds of financial advisors and insurance agents since 2004, I’ve found this to be true. The main difference between those who want to succeed and those who do succeed comes down consistently applying the following steps that create lasting change!

Let’s take a look at a five step process for building healthy professional habits:

Step 1: Realization

I know that it might sound strange to hear but you can’t form a healthy habit unless you realize that you have unhealthy ones. You must understand any challenge before you can apply the solution(s).

Stephen R., a fifteen year veteran financial advisor client of mine who was in a constant state of anxiety when it comes to managing his client-base while also trying to prospect. After our first coaching session he admitted that he had no structure for the day and no way to handle interruptions; he was putting out fires all day and not prospecting.

Step 2: Information

Once you realize your challenge it’s only natural to want to find the solution.

Since Stephen understood that in order for him to master time management he needed to incorporate structure into his day I showed him two tools to do just that, The Bottom Line List which time blocks five hours into forty-five minute time blocks and the Time Matrix To-Do List which is a tool that prioritizes interruptions.

Step 3: Implementation

The next step in the process is to implement the solution(s). Otherwise, you simply know what to do but you don’t put it into practice. That’s why turning these tools into a game, attaching a reward or punishment system and having my clients send me an accountability email at the end of each day for at least thirty days helps solidify these new habits.

Stephen started the process and soon realized that when he applied the tools they actually worked! Unfortunately, short-term success is not a guarantee of long-term success unless you apply the next step.

Step 4: Dedication

This step is the most important step in the process because many people don’t have the dedication to continue doing the activities they need to do and know they should do in order to turn them into habits.

After a month Stephen had tremendous success so he decided that he didn’t need to send the accountability emails anymore. However, after six months he had the same challenge again because he stopped being dedicated to implementing the tools. So, he went back to applying them and sent accountability emails every day for the next three months.

Step 5: Transformation

The final step is simply the by-product of the preceding four steps. Real transformation doesn’t happen overnight and it is rarely an eventful moment. Instead, transformation is the result of consistently applying the activities needed in order get the desired results.

After three months of getting back into sending accountability emails Stephen admitted that he had no anxiety regarding managing his client-base and prospecting.

Why Building Healthy Professional Habits Works

The reason why building healthy professional habits works well is because each step builds on the previous step. Most people do the first two steps they realize the challenge and find the solution.

Some people take the next step to implement the solution(s) and quit as soon as they achieve success. That’s like losing twenty pounds and going back to eating unhealthy only to gain it all back. Those who become dedicated to applying the activities needed each day will experience success and true transformation by building healthy business habits!

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