By: Daniel C. Finley

The Paradox of “Pain” in Your Practice

We have all heard the phrase, “No pain, no gain” but how often do you actually look forward to adding “pain” into your practice? My guess is probably not very often.

However, your attempts to consciously (or unconsciously) avoid that “pain” might create headaches for you and your business down the road.  This is what I call “The Paradox of Pain in Your Practice” and it is much more common challenge facing advisors than you think.

Identifying the Two Kinds of “Pain”

There are several kinds of pain in life. Many cause suffering but some can propel you forward while others make you take a step back. It has been my own experience while being in production for thirteen years and coaching financial advisors for almost nine years that most advisors choose the “pain” that is seemingly less severe when it comes to how they run their practice. However, it is ironically the wrong choice!

The two kinds of “pain” we are talking about with regards to your business have names: Discipline and Regret.

Understanding the “Pain” of Discipline

“I know what I need to do, I just need to do it” is a common response when a financial advisor learns a better process but are paralyzed to take action in applying it. That is because the “pain” of discipline is firmly engrained. Take cold calling for example. You can learn a proven method for cold calling, master how to handle objections, secure a list and yet not pick up the phone.


Because the thought of getting rejected is probably a memory that you care not to repeat so you would rather avoid taking action all together. But, is that the best choice? You know the answer.

The secret to overcoming the “pain” of discipline is to learn from your past and other’s mistakes. Why re-invent the wheel? You will find that once you implement it (whatever “it” is for you), you slowly become desensitized to the “pain” and the pleasure of success takes it place!

Understanding the “Pain” of Regret

“I wish I was more successful” seems to be the mantra of those who feel the “pain” of regret. Unfortunately, the short-term pleasure of not taking action turns into the long-term regret of the business you have not built. This is by far the more painful of the two because regret never really goes away and can linger for your entire career.

The Real Cost of Pain

The reality is that the “pain” of discipline is fleeting. Soon what seemed like painful activities turn into positive and business building habits. Those cold calls become appointments, appointments become prospects and prospects become new clients. All because you managed your “pain”, picked up the phone and prospected.

You do have a choice, discipline or regret.  Which one would you choose?

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