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Episode 35: 
You vs. Them or You vs. You
Show Notes:
In this episode of The Ultimate Advisor Podcast, we jump into the importance of creating your own definition of success. We talk about the benefits of focusing on your own goals, records, and all over business versus the negatives of falling into the comparison of others . So, push PLAY and join us as we delve into focusing on being EVEN BETTER than YOURSELF and ultimately grow your business!
"Measure the Gain NOT the Gap" — Dan Sullivan
Dan Sullivan - The Gap and The Gain
Read The Transcript Of The Episode:

Speaker 1: 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 Advisor podcast.

Brittany A.: Hello and welcome back to your Ultimate Advisor podcast. This is Brittany Anderson and I have with me Mr. Bryan Sweet and Mr. Draye Redfern. And we are probably a little too excited to be talking about today's episode. And I know I say we're excited a lot, but it's true. These are all topics that we are so passionate about. So today, we are going to talk about the whole concept of you versus them or you versus you.
 Now, if you tuned in last week, we ended the episode talking about how the act of comparison can completely bob you of joy. It can rob you of the major milestones that you accomplish and that you have worked so hard towards.
 Now I wanted to share the example. I know we referenced Dan Sullivan with strategic coach quite a bit, but I can say that so many of his concepts have impacted our lives in really positive ways. And Dan, he talks about there's a concept called going into the gap. It's where essentially again, if you listened last week, Draye made a comment about focusing on the games versus the pains. Well, that would be focusing on the pain. Going into that space where you just can't help but draw your attention to all the things you suck at. To put it completely bluntly, all the things that you just think you are not doing well enough, that your team isn't doing well enough, the goals that your business hasn't hit yet.
 And a major catalyst to this whole concept is when you start setting your targets and measuring against outside sources, measuring against other businesses that maybe at perception, at face value are similar to yours. So that is where this whole act of comparison can be really dangerous. Now, I want to add this, and I'm doing this for Mr. Sweet because he and I have had so many conversations around this, is that, the whole act of comparison, it doesn't mean that you can't have a competitive spirit still. A lot of advisors, you are in this role. You're in some form a salesperson. You're in some form and you may not be, when I say sales person, I'm not talking about you're going door to door trying to shove vacuums down people's throat. You genuinely want to help people, but you're in sales of some sort. That's how you grow your business. That's how you pay your employees more. You are after that proverbial chase and it's exciting. So it's okay to have a competitive spirit.
 But what's not okay is when you start putting yourself into a negative mindset because you are too focused on what other people are doing, when in reality you should just be looking at, "Okay, this is where I ended at last year, last quarter, last month, last week. I just want to be even better than that. I want to figure out a way how to do business the way that I want." That's why a huge, I guess, well let's just call it a tagline, a mantra, I don't know what else to call it, but a huge proponent that we talk about in our ultimate advisor mastermind is how we believe that every advisor has the right to create their own definition of success. It's not what Bill or Susie or Tom's definition of success is and how you can measure against that. It's what yours is. So that's why this topic today is so important. I recommend you listen to this, not have been done yet, and you need to listen to it a few times because it's just going to be that good.
 Draye, I want to throw it over to you because I think that you have an interesting tie in of how you can use this whole act of not comparing to others in marketing and how it can actually help you grow your business.
Draye: So I started out in business trying to compare myself to everybody, which was a awful idea. Just absolutely, I could've bought back so many, probably years if I didn't do it that way. But I came from this idea of only comparing against yourself. So I was in the cycling world, trying to make the Olympic development team for many years. And at that point in time, you're always trying to better yourself by 1% or a 10th of 1% and just really trying to make yourself better or compete against the clock and your own PR, so your personal records.
 And I was so used to competing against myself, but there's something that happens in the world of business where you immediately see the numbers that other people are putting up on the scoreboard or that someone else who's talking about how this amazing strategy made them XYZ millions of dollars at some seminar or something that you went to.
 And the problem is, is that we as humans want to just naturally compare ourselves to that person. We want to measure the gap and not the gain. And as a result of that, it creates oftentimes more stagnation than anything. And so I'll give you a couple of examples on both sides of this that I've experienced in our business.
 So we worked with an Instagram, I hate to even use the word influencer, but that's how this person referred themselves as. And they had 3.1 million followers on Instagram. Now, we helped them build out some marketing and some automation and all of these sorts of things. However, when it came down to the end of it, they could only get 3000 people to click to visit this page. Just think about that. That is like one 10th of 1% of people who actually took any sort of action to even go look at anything.
 So on paper, if you were to look at the very much millennial statistic of the followers on Instagram, well it doesn't really mean anything because people don't actually follow and take the next step with that person. They have very little assets or very little inspiring content that they compel someone to take the next step. But it looks like a giant billboard that everybody wants to have because you're comparing you to them. When At the end of the day, I could probably send an email and get exponentially more impact to our audience or audiences, than this person could with 3 million followers. So that's comparing you versus someone else when you don't always know the backstory.
 But let me give you an other side of that. I've doing marketing and automation and all of these things for awhile now. And literally just last month, I helped create what I thought was my piece de resistance, like the best webinar that I had ever created in my entire life bar none. This thing was going to make so much money for us as we do a Rev share on it, but our client, it was going to be amazing. And it bombed worse than anything that I had ever done, ever. It was the complete opposite. It was like the antithesis of what I had expected or what I had hoped for. But I'm so glad that it happened because I'm comparing myself to myself here. So I know the things that we could create and what are some of the results they could do. So I was comparing myself to my previous results.
 Now, there's other things that I probably wanted to fix and that could have been even better. However, there's this quote from Dan Sullivan to reference him again, is that, "80% gets results and 100% is still thinking about it." The reality is, is that even though I thought it was the best thing ever, I knew it could still be tweaked. However we've put it out there. I'm so glad that I did because I'm so glad it's out there and it bombed because I immediately knew what we then needed to change. Whereas someone else who may be consistently tried to tweak it a little bit more, maybe let's add this or let's do that and maybe a little bit, some other tweaks. They're still going to be thinking about that stuff. I already know it's going to be fixed. I already know what's going out again next week or week after next. I already know it will do significantly better than it did last time. Will it be the piece de resistance that I wanted it to be the first time around? I don't know. Only time will tell. But it's a good example of, you know what? I'm comparing myself to myself and I know what I'm capable of, but I'm also not getting emotionally tied to the outcome because Dan also says that, "Perfectionism is cowardice and the enemy to growth."
 And as a result of that, you want to compete against yourself. So me going back to my old cycling days, I want to compete to get a lower time on that clock. I want to compete to go more in a time trial than I could the time before as far as distance is concerned. And when you take it through that sort of lens and you realize that a painting is never finished, it just pauses in interesting places, I wish I could attribute that quote, I can't remember who said that. It really gives a very different perspective as far as what you can do to compete against yourself and improve on certain things and put things out there and make changes and start making decisions in your business to compete against yourself.
 And I recognize, and then I'll wrap up my section here is that, these things can be scary, is that we are told in school that when you color outside the lines, you get penalized because that's not okay. And in the compliance world, you got to abide by all of the... You've got to fit all the things in the little boxes and that's okay. But putting something out there, whether it's a marketing, obviously abide by all the compliance and the regulatory thing. So I'm not saying you break any laws or regulations, what I'm saying is, start putting things out there. Start competing against your own stuff, whether it's an ad, whether you're trying to improve your live seminars or whether you're trying to increase your leads, whatever it is, start changing it and your mindset to compete against yourself and not necessarily look at everybody else. And just do it. 80% is better than 100% and that may take some courage.
 And there's an interesting stat from Darren Hardy, which I know Brittany and Bryan both loved Darren Hardy. "You only have to be courageous 99.9305556% of a day and that is only 20 seconds." In most instances, you only have to be courageous. You only have to make a decision. It's 20 seconds and then this over with. So whether that's getting up and getting out of bed, whether that's saying yes to some campaign or some new lead strategy or hiring a team, whatever it is, if you can get over those first 20 seconds, you can make that decision, it makes it a lot easier to compete against yourself. Change your frame of reference and your frame of sort of decision making there and then really take the whole thing to the next level. So that being said, Bryan, I want to hand it off to you on how sometimes this idea or the philosophy of this could actually be a challenge when it comes to to being competitive in business, I suppose.

Bryan: Draye that was exceptional and I couldn't agree more with everything you said. I think alluding to what Brittany started out the podcast with, I think the concept of gap was probably written about me. And I've been exceptionally guilty of that over the years. And if you don't believe me, just ask Brittany. And to be a hundred percent honest, it is really a terrible thing. It is hard on yourself and it doesn't do you any good.
 But we are naturally competitive and we do want to do good against others. But I will tell you, we've been spending an awful lot of time and Brittany's been very helpful to help me recognize that that's not a healthy thing, and we've been making some amazing improvements. One of the things that I will tell you is we do compare to others and we love to learn new ideas and learn great things from other people. But when it comes to success and what success means to you, you really have to use your own definition. And if you're not, you're always living somebody else's life. And you're really meant to build your own dream life, not somebody else's.
 And so I will tell you, we're not perfect yet, but the more I can focus on how are we doing relative to us and what we want to accomplish at Sweet Financial or Ultimate Advisor coaching, I'm having one heck of a lot more fun when I focus on that because all I'm doing is competing against the best me and not anybody else.
 The end of the year just used to be horrifying for me and I would worry and fret, "How are we going to do better? And look at what we didn't do compared to Johnny Jones. Gee, he beat us here." Now I can't say it doesn't matter, but it matters a whole lot less and I'm having a whole lot more fun.
 So take that really seriously because it can really ruin you as a person, as an advisor. And I will tell you, if I could change one thing, I would have liked to have gotten better at not falling in the gap years ago. And to the credit of Brittany who was on me all the time on this, I am getting better slowly but surely. So with that Brittany, I'll turn it back over to you and be prepared to hear your comments.

Brittany A.: So I had to mute myself because I kept chuckling. I think it's just a Testament that can teach an old dog new tricks. I think there's something interesting here. You both really alluded to this, is that, there are advisors out there. There are a lot of advisors out there who are incredibly successful, but if you don't peel back the curtain and actually exist in their life, what's the old saying? Like walk a mile in their shoes, you actually don't know what they're having to do to generate that success and if they're really happy doing it. You think about, there are advisors out there who they want to work 18 crazy 20 hours a day. They don't want to sleep. They just want to go, go, go a hundred miles an hour. And that's just how they live life. And that's okay because they enjoy it that way.
 Then there are others who I think maybe more can relate to. You look at Brian, he's a great testament to this. He has figured out a way to build multiple successful businesses and take 16 weeks off every year. That is pretty nice. When you look at from a business owner perspective, that's a testament to all that he has done to put the right people, the right systems in place, to allow that freedom. But for some, they don't want to do that. They don't like travel, they don't whatever. So again, you just have to decide what you want and then that's what you measure against.
 There's a piece of advice that I recently heard that was given to a friend of mine. It was one of those kind knock the breath out of you, knock the wind out of you kind of moments. And it was talking about how when you have a bad time, when you're maybe in the gap because you're not hitting a specific target. Humans are rough in your business and you just feel like, you know what, maybe what I should do is just close up shop and go sit on a beach somewhere because I just can't take it anymore.
 In those moments, the comment was made from this person's business coach. The lady said, "Hold the vision, not the circumstance." Think about that. Hold the vision, not the circumstance.
 We have talked in multiple previous episodes about the importance of creating a vision that is so powerful, that is so meaningful to you that none of the noise outside of it actually matters. That type of statement and living by that is what is going to keep you out of the gap that we just talked about. That's what's going to help you not fall victim to the act of comparison because you're holding onto your vision. There's going to be bumpy roads. There's going to be moments in time where you're like, "I can't handle one more negative ounce of information or my brain's going to explode." But if you hold onto that vision, not that individual circumstance, that is what is going to get you through.
 So before I round this out with a few key action items, Bryan, Draye, any last shares that you would like to provide our wonderful listeners?

Draye: I would say that it takes time. These sorts of things don't happen immediately in making that change. But as long as you sort of, again, to say the quote again, measure the gain, not the gap, it's a wonderful way that you can really reframe the way that you measure yourself, your own success and the way in which you compare yourself to others, which is not always a great thing as some of the examples that I shared.
 So it took me a couple of years and a couple of my mentors beating an enemy. But I will say that it has made me a much happier person and it really changes a lot of perspective as far as how I plan on growing my own business and operating even in my own family life. So I can't recommend it enough.

Bryan: And Brittany, you had mentioned creating your own vision, which is interesting because that's going to be the topic of our next podcast. But I would tell you that once you create the vision, it's much, much easier not to compare yourself to others. So that is a critical part and we'll talk about that in the next podcast.

Brittany A.: So, so good. Such good stuff. So three key things that you could implement as a listener immediately is number one, like Draye said, start putting stuff out there. Don't fall into the trap of the hundred percent rule. You don't need to get something to 100%, just get it 80% of the way there because you know what? Your audience, your clients, your team, whatever it is, they don't know what 100% looks like. They don't know what your full intention was. So your 80% could be their 120%. They might look at that and be like, "Wow, this person has it figured out." So just start putting things out there.
 Draye mentioned in the last couple episodes about taking just a singular action. What that means is just committing to one key thing that can help you move the needle forward in your business and putting that into play. So do that. Put stuff out there and don't be afraid of taking that action.
 The second takeaway, it ties back if you are one of those that have struggled like all of us have at some point in time with that act of comparison, put simple tools or simple things in place in your business that can help you avoid that. Maybe that is something of creating that vision and measuring everything against it. Having some sort of a tool that will help you make decisions faster because all that you're comparing against is to where you were again last year, last quarter, last month, whatever the case is, whatever timeframe is. Putting those key things in place to help you avoid it, it goes back to changing environment just like we talked about in the last episode. If you're one that typically does fall into that comparison trap, then do things or put things in your environment that are going to help you avoid it.
 And finally, going back, I pulled who actually said this to give them credit, I think it's powerful. It was Mary Morrissey. She said, "Hold the vision, not the circumstance." So, so important. And as Bryan mentioned, that actually leads us into next week's podcast episode where we are going to go a little bit deeper on that whole topic.
 That rounds out this episode of the ultimate advisor podcast. We will see you back here once again next week.

 Hey Brittany here. We hope you got a lot of value out of today's episode. To access the key takeaways, the show notes, and any deliverables go to And while you're there, check out the ultimate advisor mastermind if you want to learn ways to maximize your income, your impact and your legacy through an automated practice, a self managing team, and a killer culture the clients can't stay away from.
 We look forward to seeing you back here in next week's episode.
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About The Ultimate Advisor Podcast:
The Ultimate Advisor podcast is a business podcast for financial advisors who are looking to grow their advising practices with greater ease and effectiveness. Ultimate Advisor was developed to help financial advisors master their marketing, sell their services with greater authority, generate repeat clients, and additional revenue in their business.
Each week, your hosts Draye Redfern, Bryan Sweet, and Brittany Anderson will share some of the closest guarded secrets from successful financial advising practices across the U.S.  

Draye Redfern

Draye is also the founder of which helps Attorneys go from “Surviving” to “Thriving” in their business.  In addition, Draye helps to provide insurance solutions to more than 8,600 law firms across the United States annually.

Bryan Sweet

Founder of Sweet Financial, CEO, Wealth Advisor, RJFS
Creator of The Dream Architect™
Co-founder of Dare to Dream Enterprises
Creator of Elite Wealth Advisor Symposium
Author of 3 books – Dare to Dream: Design the Retirement You Can’t Wait to Wake Up To, Imagine. Act. Inspire. A Daily Journal and Give & Grow: Proven Strategies for Starting an Running and Effective Study Group

Brittany Anderson

Director of Operations at Sweet Financial, Office Manager, RJFS
Co-founder of Dare to Dream Enterprises
Author of 2 books – Imagine. Act. Inspire. A Daily Journal & Dare to Dream: Design the Retirement You Can’t Wait to Wake Up To
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