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Lead a life of significance by finding inspiration
Lead a life of significance by finding inspiration

Mar 01 2024 / Round the Table Magazine

Lead a life of significance by finding inspiration

Reframe how you think of prospecting by finding inspiration and purpose.

Topics Covered

By Joseph W. Jordan

This business has so much negativity and rejection that self-driven motivation is not enough. You need inspiration because that’s what will drive you.

To get inspired, believe that you can be the most important person in someone’s life. As a result of your actions, a family can continue, a small business stays intact or a legacy is born.

Your beliefs drive your behavior

If your desires or goals don’t sync with your beliefs, you will always manifest those beliefs. If your only goal is to make money, then you can be subject to something I know no one talks about in financial services: low self-esteem.

All chronic production issues are a result of your behavior. To overcome this, create a culture and mindset that celebrate the impact you have on your clients and community. One way to do that is by attending MDRT meetings. When you have a purpose that creates value first, the money follows. Firms driven by profit seldom are the most profitable.

The challenge of living a significant life is that there is not much instant gratification.
— Joseph W. Jordan

Reframing prospecting

Most of us want to avoid prospecting and rejection. So, here’s a suggestion: Set up a daily contact commitment. That means five days a week, commit to asking X number of people to see you. If you are new in the business, it can’t be less than 10. If you’re more established, the number could be less. No one can truly control the result, but with this approach, you’re managing the effort. Gandhi said that true satisfaction doesn’t come in the accomplishment but in the effort. Total effort is total victory.

Author and speaker Nick Murray said it best when he described the only three variables in this profession:

  • The quality of your work
  • The number of people you try to show your work to
  • The reaction or nonreaction of the people you show your work to

You only control the first two. By focusing on the first two, the rest will come. Furthermore, Murray says there are only three kinds of people in this world:

  • People who listen to your advice
  • People who don’t listen to your advice
  • People who never heard your advice

Your job is to keep the people who listen, get rid of the people who don’t, and talk to the people who have never heard your advice and turn them into people who do listen to your advice.

The problem is not the problem; clients don’t even know how to think about the problem. They want a process, not a product, to help them see the future on their terms. People don’t really care how our stuff works; they simply want to be heard. The goal is not to sell, but to be understood.

A life of significance is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. The challenge of living a significant life is that there is not much instant gratification. Significant people must focus on what’s important, not just on what is popular. Doing this can be difficult at times.

In life, it is not the pain of the journey, but the rapture of the revelation. That which I thought was a tragedy can be a triumph. You all have your very own personal journeys, but there are very few professions where you can make a very good living and also fulfill your obligations to others. Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.

Joseph W. Jordan is the author of “Living a Life of Significance.” This was excerpted from his 2017 MDRT Annual Meeting presentation “Adapt or die: A survival guide for a changing world” at mdrt.org/survival-guide-for-changing-world.

Financial planning beliefs that could hold advisors back

By Chee Hong Gan, ChFC, CLU

If you’re not growing as fast as you would like, examine your convictions. A lack of clarity, both for yourself and to others, may be holding you back. It’s important to know what you stand for because, as the saying goes, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. What you stand for is at the root of your actions.

In my firm, we’ll go through a discovery process with advisors to help them clarify their convictions. This is important because if you’re not convinced about something, you may lack motivation in some areas of financial planning. In our review, the advisors who want more progress and look to break through limitations about what they believe will achieve higher success.

Advisors’ limiting beliefs

One example of a limiting common belief is that permanent life insurance is expensive, and that term insurance is sufficient to provide the necessary coverage. We asked advisors if they would be willing to pay premiums for term coverage to age 75 or 85, especially if they retired at 68 years old. This scenario usually was met with resistance because they would no longer be earning an active income. Then we asked if they would be frustrated about being unable to renew their term insurance beyond age 70 because doctors discovered a new medical condition. These hypothetical projections helped them question their beliefs and make a stand based on these considerations.

Our library of questions is categorized into six broad categories we remember by the first few letters of the alphabet:

  • Assuring one’s income
  • Building one’s wealth
  • Controlling one’s expenses (including mortgage, tax and other liabilities)
  • Distributing one’s wealth
  • Life event planning (buying car/house, travel/wedding plans, childbirth, starting a business and so forth)
  • Cash-flow planning (active/passive income, recurring/one-off expenses)

Without clarity of conviction, advisors can fall into a situation where they’re not able to move a client forward with financial planning because they lack enthusiasm for the course of action they’re suggesting and may become more motivated by a client’s negative beliefs. With lack of enthusiasm for financial planning, how can you motivate clients?

Agree to disagree

There are times when a client’s own convictions differ from the advisor’s, and it’s fine to agree to disagree. You don’t always have to align in terms of convictions. Clients may have different circumstances that led to their own convictions, and it’s important as a professional advisor to respect those differences. We can still share with them why we believe and what we believe, but we don’t necessarily have to get clients to agree with us.

This skill is important for advisors because sometimes people don’t like people who disagree with them. As much as we are professionals who give advice, we must respect the space the client is in. You don’t want to argue with clients because doing so won’t change their minds. They’ll just disagree more. It’s a balance of being enthusiastic about what we can offer clients, while also understanding that not everyone will have the same views as you.

Chee Hong Gan, of Singapore, is a 14-year MDRT member. Hear more from him in his video “Align with clients quicker: Understand how they react in difficult times” at mdrt.org/align-quicker-with-clients. Contact him at vincentgan@thevinceproject.com.

Members and experts from around the world share how they step up their productivity, find inspiration, and balance life and work in the MDRT Blog. Get their insights sent to your email two to three times a week by  subscribing at mdrtblog.org/subscribe.