By: Daniel C. Finley

What’s in Your Whitespace?

In my book 101 Advisor Solutions: A Financial Advisor’s Guide to Strategies that Educate, Motivate and Inspire, I suggest to advisors that they read each of the challenges listed and ask themselves this question-“Is this a challenge that I have gone through, are currently going through or one that I could see myself possibly going through?” I then tell them to grab a red pen and circle the solutions that follow then go back and re-read those solutions making notes in the margins as to how they could incorporate those into their own best practices.

What is the importance of making those brief notes?  Many times the best way to learn about, retain and apply new concepts is to initially read or hear about them. Jotting down your quick thoughts afterwards provides you with some guidance as we all know we think we will remember our “takeaways” but typically don’t. An example of this is a financial advisor client who once said, “I read all the books I can on how to improve my business. Then, I put them on the shelf and nothing happens.” When I asked him if he understood why, he said, “It is because I don’t actually apply any of the information.”

So, what’s in your whitespace? In other words, what are your “takeaways” from your favorite books, practice management seminars, industry workshops, or from your own or your peer’s experiences in financial services?  Are you making the most of those “takeaways” or are you simply putting them back on the proverbial shelf where they collect dust?

Often times, financial advisors go through the day-to-day operations of working “IN” their business that they don’t stop and really take time to work “ON” their business. As a result, they continue to run into the same challenges, follow the same course of action and end up with the same results. How many times have you stopped to ask yourself the tough questions such as, “What is not working with my business and why? What do I need to do in order to reach the next level? And, who do I need to talk to who can help me do that?”

Once you start asking yourself these types of questions and are genuinely interested in finding the answers, you start to open up yourself up to a paradigm shift of possibilities. So fill up the whitespaces in your books and seminar binders and take a moment to write down some of the methods or techniques that you have watched others become successful with or those you desire to utilize to assist you in building a better advisory business.

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