This is The Ultimate Advisor podcast, the podcast for financial advisors who want to create a thriving, successful and scalable practice. Each week we'll uncover the ways that you can improve your referrals, your team, your marketing, and your business operations, helping you to level up your advising practice, bring in more assets and create the advising practice that you've dreamed of. You'll be joined by your hosts, Bryan Sweet, who has more than half a billion dollars in assets under management, Brittany Anderson, the driving force for advisors looking to hire, improve their operations and company culture and Draye Redfern who can help you systematize and automate your practices marketing to effortlessly attract new clients. So what do you say? Let's jump into another amazing episode of the ultimate adviser podcast.
Brittany A.: Brittany Anderson here with your Ultimate Advisor podcast. We are going into week two of a 12 week series where we're talking about the characteristics of top financial advisors. So if you did not tune into last week's session yet, I highly recommend it as we talked about forward thinking and being big picture focused. That is a great one to kick off this series. If you haven't listened to it yet, definitely go back and check it out. So today's topic, I'm going to use this G word and it has to do with being greedy. Okay. So stay with me here on this one. A characteristic of top financial advisors is that they are long term greedy.
So what I mean here is not necessarily in the sense that you're just chasing that green stuff all the time. What I mean is that you're not in business for the immediate gratification, but for the long term game. You understand, you understand that sometimes when you're building a business, when you're looking to make an impact and do something at great scale, you're willing to sacrifice in the short run because you know what the future looks like, right?
So again, I referenced last week's episode. I highly recommend that you check it out because we talked about how so many top advisers are constantly looking at the bigger picture. They have a target to aim towards and they are hungry for that. They are in another word, greedy for that, right? There after it. So there's a quote that I actually, I really love, I've come to really embrace this, is that when you're building a business and you're a high achiever, there's that saying behind it that goes, you are willing to do what others won't do in order to live like most others will never, right? So you're doing things and you're putting them into place. You're willing to struggle a little bit. Now you're willing to reinvest back into your business because you understand that the longterm game is beautiful. And obviously if you're in business, you know, I mean, let's just cut to the chase, you are in it for some monetary reasons, but you're also in business so that you can make an impact on people's lives, right?
You would not put up with the headaches of building a business if you weren't in it for that long term game, right? You didn't see that big shiny picture at the end. So, Bryan, you have been in business. I like to tease Bryan because he's been in business longer than I've been alive, but we'll just leave that run right out there. So Bryan, I thought you would be a really good one to talk on this because I think sharing the early days of what it was like to run a business, what it meant for you to have big picture focus and how ... you know you didn't always have that immediate monetary reward when you are going through that bill. So I'd love for you to share a little bit of your journey with our audience. Just on the topic of keeping that longterm focus.
Bryan Sweet: Well, as I'm sitting here, I'm chuckling to myself thinking back about those days because although they were definitely a struggle, I can think of them very fondly now. But I do think there's some great lessons that can be learned and applied for especially younger brokers and younger advisors that are still building their practices and haven't gotten to a point where they're self-sufficient yet. And what I mean by that is when you're first starting out, especially if you're under the AUM model, it takes a long time and a lot of assets to get a large recurring revenue stream going. And not only do you have all the business expenses to pay, but if you're married, the wife likes you to make sure the house payment and mortgage get paid and kind of like to keep some groceries in the refrigerator and things like that.
And I think one of the things you just have to really remember is that it's extremely important to always invest back in your business. Literally, no matter where you're at in the growth cycle. And especially when you're starting out I think one of the tendencies is, "Well, I don't have the money so I'm not going to hire that new staff person or I'm not going to invest in that new software." And I would tell you, if you've ever had that thought or you have that thought today, really take this to heart and look at it differently.
Because how I would look at it is, I was always fortunately somebody that thought down the road and where did I want to be and what does it take to get there? And so if I was busy doing stuff that really wasn't my unique ability or it wasn't things that were the highest paid things, I think one of the things you need to do is say, "Well, if I make ... if I add this staff person, what duties would they take off my plate and what amount of time would that free up for me to do other things?" And if it freed up, you know, 30 hours a week for you to go call on new clients and you make two to $300 an hour calling on clients, well it's really easy to pay somebody 20 or $30 an hour to free up your time to do that. That's just financial leverage and that's just a good thing.
So I think if you think too short term, "Well, I can't afford it today." Well when would you be able to afford it? And the longer it takes you to actually make that change or add that staff person or buy that software, it just pushes your success rate further down the road. So, that's a critical thing that I would remember. And the other point with that, and this kind of goes without saying, but I think it's kind of ties in with what we're talking about is, especially when you're first starting out and the desire for the income is there, don't let the green stuff interfere with always doing what's best for the client. And I could give you so many different examples of things that I turned down and didn't do, because it wasn't in the best interest of the client. Could really use the money, had payments, lots of other things that were going on that were real big struggles.
But I was thinking long term, I wanted to be in business a long term, so I did the right thing. Now subsequently the clients may not have bought anything from me or they might've done something to a lesser extent, but they're still clients today and the revenue I get from them is so many times what I would've gotten that day and the number of referrals because I did the right thing, and they understand I did the right thing and I cared about them and not myself. Just amazing the results. So I think a lot of those things tie into this longterm greedy and Draye, maybe you could talk a little bit about in the short term compressing margins helps you build the longterm picture.
Draye Redfern: Yeah, and I think you're spot on Bryan. I think it's important to realize that I don't really know anyone, at least anyone who's had any sort of success that has said like, "Well, you know, I only want to do this one thing for the next two to three years and then I'm checking out for good and I'm going to spend the rest of my life doing something." Like it's just short term sort of visions when it comes to building a business and having a sort of success doesn't really happen for most. It's as a result of that, it takes time. It takes the big picture thinking like we talked about last time. It takes being longterm greedy thinking for the future. But I think it's almost an interesting juxtaposition based off of the sort of culture that we have now. Everything is instant gratification culture. We have Amazon Prime where you can get it the same freaking day, like order something by 10:00 AM and you'll have it by 8:00 PM. There's Uber eats, you want food, is delivered to your doorstep.
We live in this culture where we have instant gratification all the time and when you keep having those messages instilled in your head, it makes it seem as though the struggle of sometimes growing a business and as Bryan said, doing the right thing, like these dominoes should just fall into place and it doesn't necessarily always work that way. And so one of the things that I think is really worth focusing on as a business owner, as you're going through the process or the slog or the journey or whatever it is that you want to call it, is realizing that compressing margins is certainly a part of that. And so that could be ... you want to be profitable in the long run so you make capital investments out front in infrastructure, your team or operations, systems or systems or other sort of system investment.
And it's really important to have that framework and as a story, like when I first started my agency Redfern Media, I pretty much invested or reinvested all of the profits that I had every single year back into either the business or myself. So even when I was in my mid 20s and just going through all sorts of craziness and like lawsuits and the other stories that we've told before and some of the past podcast episodes is that you really learn what it takes to get through it. And had I not like made some of those investments in the business and myself, I don't know where we would be at. And so as an example, I usually spend 25 to $60,000 annually on masterminds. I don't say that to brag. I say that because I recognized that that singular or multi-investment that I do levels me up by a factor of three, five or even 10 on an annual basis.
I surround myself with people who are also thinking long term and not just short term place for today because that expands my mindset to basically want to be and become a bigger person as far as you know, thinking that way. But the other side of this too is that if you're out of this mindset that you're going to have all of this success in the world in a year or two years or even three years. It's not necessarily true. Not necessarily true. So as an example, Eric Schmidt, who was the CEO of Google for just over a decade, had this idea that he was turning the ship and he was making Google so much money and everything was great. But when the idea of a coach was put in front of them, like a CEO coach, Eric Schmidt basically said like, "I don't need this. This is not for me. Like I'm killing it."
Like, they were focusing on short term profits at that point in time, but he had the question that was basically posed to him and that was how many coaches does Andre Agassi or Tiger Woods have? And the answer is a lot. They've got swing coaches and workout coaches and mindset coaches. And some of them have like 10 or 12 coaches each professional athlete. So why wouldn't you even have just have a singular coach as someone who's really trying to grow this massive company that is turning into? So they hired Bill Campbell and Bill Campbell is now known as the trillion dollar coach because he helped literally countless Silicon Valley companies make a net over $1 trillion across these companies as a result of his coaching and his guidance through the CEOs. But the interesting thing was there was obviously big investments to do that and there's an investment psychologically, there was also a monetary investment to do it.
And I think a lot of that comes down to the fact that it's like we want to take those profits off the table, we want the boat or we want the house or we want the new Tesla, or whatever the scenario is whereas if you basically just put some of that stuff on the back burner and realize that going in the long run, really taking some of those investments, compressing the margins could really, really take you a long, long way. And just as a personal example, there's a book that was written about Bill Campbell called the Trillion Dollar Coach. It's a great book. I highly recommend it, but in a sense I read that, even heard about it several months ago. I've always had a variety of coaches in my life. I've had a business coach, marketing coaches, mindset coaches. Like I have three coaches that I pay every single month to help me always level up my game.
And so that's I think just a part of constantly expanding whether you pay for it or whether the margins increase or decrease or not, it's just always so, so, so important to have your eye on that prize, whatever that finish line is down the road so you can focus on that longterm vision so you can make the right decisions. Like Bryan said, that don't be short term greedy, like do what's in the best interest of the client and whatever that means may look like for your business, but really getting very clear and using other people to maybe help paint that longterm vision for the future. So anyway, there's a lot there to probably unpack Brittany, that I think maybe we could circle back to a few things on, but I think that compressing margins when it comes to actually growing your businesses is really important.
Brittany A.: Yeah, I think, you know, kind of to round this out or tie this all together, I think that what both of you have alluded to in a really great way is that when you're looking at running your company, when you're looking at planning for your future company, when you're being that forward thinker in that big picture focused individual like we talked about last week, really what it boils to is you want to run your company like you see it in the future. So for example, what Bryan was talking about earlier was that when you're looking at assigning duties to people on your team, something is simple and I've seen this actually, I've seen this happen in very successful advisory offices where there's this one last thing that the advisor just can't let go of. They just can't relinquish it for whatever reason.
And one of the things I have seen is setting appointments, is scheduling appointments. And like Bryan said, if you're looking at allocating your time, you're looking at where your time is best spent. When you're focused on the long game, it is 100% not in scheduling your own appointments. You can fill those gaps, right? You can get somebody to do that for you, that may even be more organized, that may even be more effective and efficient with getting people in to see you so that you can focus on the things that you really enjoy doing and that are going to help you get to that long game.
So that's something that I wanted to touch on a little bit more. It was just that really focusing on how can you hire people? How can you set goals or targets in your company? How can you run it like you see it in the future? That's what helps you get exponential leaps and bounds. I believe it was a Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach who has said that growing a company 10x or 10 times is actually easier than growing it 2x or two times. Because you are able to really push yourself. When you're forcing your brain, like Draye has talked about, when your brain, it gets pushed to a certain direction. When you've learned new things, when you've overcome challenges you never thought were possible, you've expanded your knowledge. You never lose that. Your brain can't go backwards.
So when you look at expanding into your business and really going into that future, your brain's going to try to find ways to figure out how to get to that 10x game, that's exciting, that's what's going to help you level up. And that's what's going to help your team get behind you and level up also, as long as you're clear in that long term picture. So before I wrap up with a few really solid takeaways from today's podcast, Draye and Bryan, is there anything else that you wanted to add when it comes to the topic of being longterm greedy per se?
Bryan Sweet: Well, the only thing I would add to that is I think as decisions come up and you need to look at, what's my next step? Not only do you have to look at, is it in the best interest of my client? But I think it's also, you know, is this in the best interest of my firm? And if it's in the best interest of the firm, then you want to put the firm ahead of yourself personally in that decision making because all of those things will lead up to long term success. And just one quick kind of compliment to you, Brittany is not necessarily related to financial advisors, but in a odd way it really is. With some of these other businesses that we're creating, kudos to you because all of the income you're generating from all of these other events, you're actually putting that back in and taking coaching classes, seeking speaking engagements and coaches and literally all of that revenue is going back to make a better you.
And I think all you can look at is, well, a financial advisor can do exactly the same thing and it's just keeping the right perspective. And once again, we use this word a lot, but what's the right mindset to get you to the business that you want to have longterm?
Brittany A.: Well, thank you for those comments, Bryan. And I think that really ties in well with just kind of the top takeaways from today. Is it is so important, and I believe this, and I say this with conviction because I live by it, is that investing back into your business, it's really investing into your future. It's investing into other's futures, right? So from my perspective, and I know Bryan feels the same way, I know Draye feels the same way. I know the top advisors that we work with all would attest to this, that when you are willing to invest in yourself, invest in your business and into future growth, you're able to bring a heck of a lot more to your client base.
So we've talked about this before, but getting your head in the right space of surrounding yourself with other like minded individuals who are also hungry for growth, which we're going to talk more on next week, that's what's going to help you bring back exponential ideas to your client base, to be able to be creative with them, to be able to share things with them that maybe they hadn't been exposed to yet.
So that is out of the takeaways, absolutely look at what you're doing in your business as far as investing back into it. Are you putting money into coaching? Are you putting money into growth, into initiatives, into technology, into marketing, into your team? Oh my goodness. You haven't even talked about that yet, but into your team, how are you helping them to grow? How are you helping them to look at the long game and to really level up themselves by investing into their training and their education and knowledge? That's a whole other topic, but I think important to look at here.
So your top takeaway, look at what you're investing back into your business. What else can you be doing? The second thing I think that's really important that was touched on today is to define what your longterm focus is. So the topic of today was that top advisors are focused on the longterm greed and we defined that by not saying we're not just talking greens here, we're talking about really focusing on the long game versus the short game. Passing up that like Draye said, that awesome boat that you think you need right this second because you know that by taking that money and putting it back into the business, you can actually increase that 10 fold by doing the right thing and by doing good by your clients.
So define what your longterm focus or your longterm game looks like, what that is and make sure it's in direct alignment with what the best interest of your clients are and what the best interest of like Bryan said with what your company is. So I think those are the two big takeaways from today that I would love to see all of our listeners implement. We would love to hear success stories on that of how you have invested back into your business. So shoot me a note, firstname.lastname@example.org just because I like success stories. I love to hear it, so please share with us how you're investing back, how you're defining your longterm game. From there we're going to wrap up because next week we're going to go into growth. We're going to talk about how top advisors are growth focused, they are growth oriented and they embrace that mindset. So we will catch you here next week on The Ultimate Advisor podcast.
Draye Redfern: Hey there, Draye Redfern here and before you go we just wanted to say thank you for listening to this week's episode of The Ultimate Advisor podcast. If you enjoy this episode, then please subscribe to the show on iTunes, Google play, Stitcher or Spotify and be sure to rate us five stars on iTunes because when you do, you'll be entered into a monthly drawing for our Ultimate Advisor Coaching program, which is a $2,000 value. And if you would like to access more of the show notes, additional resources in our free premium content, then please visit ultimateadvisorpodcast.com. We look forward to seeing you in the next episode of The Ultimate Advisor podcast. We'll see you there.