From Advisor to CEO
Includes Q&A - with Duncan
Tuesday, December 13th at 12 pm ET
There is a shift happening right now, where advisors are dusting off old habits and mindsets, and achieving new levels of growth. Join Duncan MacPherson, in this actionable webinar, as he discusses his experiences with advisors transitioning from their traditional role to CEO.
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2022-11-29 17:31:00 • 2 minute read

In business and in life, it’s not about wins and losses but about how you play - and if and when you’ll stop learning and growing. Getting set in our ways is understandable, especially later in life. Coasting is easier, so it’s impressive seeing someone on the back-nine of life still committed to health and wellness, attending yoga sessions and gym classes…

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2022-11-22 21:07:34 • 2 minute read

In the spirit of reaching people who count, rather than counting the people you reach, we strongly urge you to have a laser focus on your primary addressable audience – people who are already convinced. Your existing relationships have a degree of familiarity and trust for you – that train is rolling – so let’s add to that momentum before you expend the effort to get new ones moving.

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2022-11-08 20:03:50 • 2 minute read

The value proposition is not an elevator pitch (How many elevators do you get trapped in?). It’s a brief, concise statement that defines you and leaves someone wanting more. If they’re intrigued, they’ll give you permission to elaborate. If they aren’t, they ask about your tie. Just embrace the exercise of not winging it and avoid the long-winded data dump. Some people want to know what time it is, others want you to build them a clock. Some want to enjoy the bratwurst, others want to know how the sausage is made. Be led by them.

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2022-11-01 19:33:08 • 2 minute read

An excellent example of future pacing is how a fee-for-service financial provider can enable a client to expand their thinking by looking far down the road and re-imagining how the trajectory of the relationship will impact them. Take a typical first generation, self-made affluent client who sets a goal to become financially independent. They follow the advice of their financial professional, stay…

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2022-10-25 13:56:04 • 2 minute read

Ultimately, what a comprehensive branding strategy does is create trust with a prospective client and then maintain it over the long haul once they become a client. Sharpie has accomplished that very well. For a prospective client, your branding strategy activates their critical thinking and ignites their emotions. They see that you could address an unmet need that has developed - or it creates contrast relative to an existing service provider they have grown tired of, and any others they are meeting with to kick their tires…

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2022-10-18 16:26:30 • 2 minute read

How does your value currently stand out? How does it make someone feel initially, and then after the passage of time? You probably know the names Marion Morrison and Norma Jean. Marion Morrison was better known as John Wayne. It’s not to say that he couldn’t have been as popular had his stage name been Marion Morrison - Shakespeare talked about a rose smelling just as sweet. Norma Jean could have been just as…

Click to read more on LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/ps_dmac30

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2022-10-11 16:22:13 • 2 minute read

When we talk to fee-for-service professionals and ask them how their clients would describe them, most say things like, “Well, my clients would say they trust my ability, my integrity and my professionalism.” They rattle off qualities and skills and intentions, all of which are important, and there was a time when that was enough. Today, your qualities and skills and intentions are in fact a minimum requirement....

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2022-10-04 14:48:41 • 2 minute read

Simply put, it’s someone’s interpretation for value being offered that aligns with a want or need that they have – even if occasionally that want or need is subconscious. Branding activates an awareness for and trust in something that often triggers an instant appreciation for how your value can benefit their life…

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2022-09-27 17:18:23 • 20 second read

One of the biggest factors conspiring against change is time. For many of us, there doesn’t seem to be enough time - but is that true? Time is the one thing we all have the same amount of. A key distinction is moving beyond a mindset of time management to time allocation. How do you allocate your investments of effort?

When many people max out and realize that something has to give, often the first action they take is to work longer hours, start prioritizing and or delegating tasks and even reassigning clients. That’s a good start, but often superficial and unsustainable. Ultimately, we don’t want you to work harder...

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2022-09-13 16:01:57 • 2 minute read

Your technical ability is a foundation to build on. It’s promissory on an outcome and the performance of your core deliverables, and you don’t want to be living and dying strictly by that sword. Practice management is promissory on a client experience – it represents what it means to be your client over the lifetime of the relationship…

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2022-09-06 17:47:39 • 2 minute read

It’s important to be deliberate, intentional and unwavering with the clients you choose to surround yourself with. It’s just as important with the members of your team. There is an accretive, collaborative array of benefits that come with the right philosophy.

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2022-08-30 18:52:36 • 2 minute read

Our Philosophy about Legacy In the spirit of building something rather than selling something, one of the many things you are building is a legacy in real time. A legacy is something that people primarily look back on, but being mindful of it as you are developing one creates a special energy. One of the best quotes we’ve ever encountered on legacy is this, “Society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they will never sit.” That speaks to the gathering momentum that is generated by a vision and code-of-conduct that culminates in an admired legacy...

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2022-08-23 17:00:58 • 2 minute read

The highest form of emotional intelligence is how you help someone who just shared news with you that was not so great and caused them grief. You might know someone who is almost angelic in how they cushion and absorb someone else’s pain, not by giving advice or an opinion.

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2022-08-16 15:01:58 • 2 minute read

A successful F4S professional understands that trust is the lifeblood of meaningful long term relationships, but if trust is so important, let’s expand on this and consider for a moment what it is specifically that your clients trust.

When we ask our F4S clients to list specific things that their clients trust, we usually hear things like professionalism, integrity, knowledge, confidentiality, fiduciary responsibility and the like. All of which are important – but those are the qualities, skills and intentions

Click to read more on LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/ps_dmac19

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2022-08-09 17:58:57 • 20 second read

There is a profound difference between doing something because of compliance and obligation and doing something because of deeply seated desire. One of the many examples we’ve seen that personifies the human spirit in terms of self-motivation comes from the world of athletics.

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2022-08-02 14:18:34 • 2 minute read

We’ve come to truly appreciate the spirit of McNamara’s Fallacy, though we may challenge the notion that if you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it, in some cases. In business, we can’t live solely by the metrics, especially as a fee-for-service professional. No matter how thinly you slice it, there are always two sides – in this case we mean the measurable and the meaningful…

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2022-07-26 18:49:36 • 2 minute read

The Blue Square Method was written for the successful fee-for-service professional who has reached or is approaching a fork in the road in their personal and professional life. Life is good today, business is steady and you have every reason to be content while riding your momentum, but perhaps contentment in-and-of-itself was never the goal? You appreciate what you have, but you aspire to something more. We’re not talking about just more money and quantitative success. We’re also referring to qualitative success: Amplifying your sense of gratitude, purpose, balance and fulfillment.

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2022-07-19 14:01:11 • 2 minute read

There is an art and science to working ON yourself and ON your business. We’ve experienced first-hand that you can learn a lot from reading a book. You can learn even more from writing one. The exercise of creating something is powerful. It forces you to dig deep and study a subject in a more meaningful way, and that knowledge can be retained…

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2022-07-12 19:35:39 • 20 second read

Because top performers are busy, some tend to drift into patterns and either put off or forget to work on themselves. When it comes to change, some are reluctant because they feel that disruption is risky. Keep in mind, the best are forever improving but rarely swinging for the fences. World class golfer Justin Rose has a great mindset. He would say…

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2022-07-05 18:58:49 • 20 second read

An Always On approach to conversion and convergence propels you down a path where you can eventually pivot from a strictly organic B-to-C growth model to a scalable B-to-B growth model. It enables you to buy an undervalued business from a retiring competitor or colleague. You can attract protégés who have plateaued because of the friction of the world, who can draft in behind your process and replicate your outcomes without being left to their own devices.

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2022-06-21 15:42:13 • 20 second read

There are many benefits to evolving your business from just having clients “trust you” to having an IP-driven enterprise. Growth is consistent, the client experience is consistent, your team is stable, and hassle factor is reduced, among other things.

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2022-06-14 18:56:01 • 20 second read

Life is full of lessons that come in the form of examples and warnings; examples of things done properly, and warnings where errors in judgment were made.

The most effective people in virtually all fields of endeavor study and assimilate both the lessons of adversity through mistakes (external forces) and adversity engendered by misconduct (internal forces). Learning from that information creates predictable outcomes for themselves in the future...

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2022-06-07 14:45:43 • 20 second read

If you think about a twenty-minute conversation with a great client, you talk about their Family, Occupation, Recreation and Money. The first three relate to why financial independence is important to your clients. The last item speaks to how you get them there…

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2022-05-31 13:21:05 • 20 second read

I just want to point out - and again, it happened this morning - but I noticed a trend that more financial professionals are, among other things, trying to achieve red-line and plateau avoidance. Everyone’s working hard, but they’re trying to unlock another level of professional contrast, productivity, and grow further up market….

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2022-05-24 14:01:08 • 20 second read

Clients should be loyal to a process not just to a person and performance.

Stephen Covey, the legendary author of the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, advised that we should always begin with the end in mind. It is for that reason we suggest that you apply a mindset of building a business with the intention of selling it for maximum value at some point in the future.

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2022-05-17 16:54:24 • 20 second read

Now that you’ve taken the stewardship over salesmanship model on board and are a serious developer of your personal brand, you may be wondering to what degree social networking and the on-line ecosystem can affect your strategy and overall business development efforts...

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2022-05-10 15:52:38 • 20 second read

One of the best ways to put the odds in your favor and fast-track the process is to create content and virtual deliverables that enable a client to subtly plant the seed in a friend’s mind, so that friend can begin to evaluate you on his or her own terms…

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2022-05-03 19:10:06 • 20 second read

Many people in business are transactional in that they sell something to a client but that may be the one and only time they do business together. Think of a car salesman, real estate agent, or the guy who sold you an air conditioner or installed your pool. There is a very good chance you will never do business with them again. Sure you might refer someone their way or you may need servicing down the road, but more than likely it will be "one-and-done"....

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2022-04-26 19:26:22 • 20 second read

The challenge nowadays, and particularly if you deconstruct the educational system and how we’re teaching young people, is that there is so much pressure put on them to be perfect at such an early age that there’s a paralysis of failure embodied within those younger generations.

I see it all the time. I am constantly contacted by parents with kids who they think have elite-level potential…

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2022-04-19 19:40:54 • 20 second read

I’ve seen business leaders, CEOs, high net-worth financial advisors who just, at some point in their career, decide they’re going to turn the dial down. They’re going to throttle back the effort - and I don’t necessarily want to expose it as “complacency” because I don’t think that’s what it is...

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2022-04-12 20:08:57 • 2 minute read

Is your business predictable, sustainable, duplicable and scalable? That is driven by your proprietary process. It’s documented. It’s not in anyone’s head. It is a pure intellectual property that supports all the things that I can only get from your business.

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2022-03-29 19:20:54 • 2 minute read

If you want to improve your productivity, the best place to start is by examining your activities. Look no further than the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. In most cases, about 80 percent of your business stems from about 20 percent of your clients. It makes sense, therefore, that you consistently invest 80 percent of your time – both pro-actively and reactively – on that 20 percent.

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2022-03-22 17:20:55 • 2 minute read

What would happen if you took a month off tomorrow; would your business run like a Swiss watch, or would there be chaos?

One advisor summed up the responses of many professionals quite well: “The only thing scarier than me taking a month off would be if my assistant took a month off. I don’t really even know what she does fully…”

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2022-03-15 19:29:27 • 2 minute read

Professionalizing every aspect of your business - from your agendas to your onboarding process to your office itself - and infusing each element with your brand, governed by replicable process, is the key to moving from the business running you, to you running the business. Documenting your process absolutely builds enterprise value.

If you’re going to tell people you have a process, it helps to actually have one. You can’t just tell them about it, either. You have to show it to them.

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2022-03-08 16:47:42 • 2 minute read

When it comes to market predictions, the media likes to stoke fear. They squeeze a topic for all it’s worth and then zoom off to the next. Why? Fear and uncertainty achieve better ratings than good news and stability.

Historically, we know that the more the media tends to stir the pot about some issues, the less impact those issues actually have on us...

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2022-03-01 18:50:56 • 2 minute read

One of the easiest and most powerful branding strategies you can deploy to exceed the expectations of your high net-worth clients - and make yourself indispensable to them in the process - is to adopt a train-the-trainer mindset. Help them to encourage their children to develop a solid financial philosophy and approach.

Many first-generation financially independent people make the lives of their children incredibly easy. These self-made, affluent people worked hard and sacrificed to achieve their goals, but they often don’t hand down the same work ethic or delayed gratification mindset to the next generation. As a result, many of these kids develop a sense of entitlement and have difficulty overcoming adversity on their own later in life.

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2022-02-23 19:08:07 • 2 minute read

To revisit definitions briefly, let’s look at triple-A. The first A speaks to the alignment of the person’s needs with your value. This isn’t about minimums (or even maximums) – it’s not about a number. It’s about alignment. Write out the demographic reality of where the client is in their life. Write out the socioeconomic reality of the complexity of their needs based on being a business owner, professional or executive.

The second A refers to attitude, which, over the lifetime of your working relationship, is actually more important than assets. What is their attitude toward you? Do they focus on what you cost or what you are worth? What is their attitude about empowerment?

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2022-02-15 19:18:29 • 2 minute read

An important dimension to the right sizing process – and this is where Knock-Out Factors are critical - is to get clarity on your rules of engagement and then to stick with them going forward. Here is a simple checklist to ensure you’re on the right track:

  • Define your ideal client based on assets, attitude and advocacy and determine who fits and who doesn’t. Define your Knock-Out Factors
  • Define how you allocate time. Clearly define times when you return calls. Insure you are not randomly taking calls. Clearly define time frames for meetings. How much time off you will take, etc.

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2022-02-08 16:22:12 • 2 minute read

Have you ever told your current clients, prospective clients and strategic partners who your ideal client is? Don’t keep it a mystery. This is an important step in improving the quality and quantity of referrals you receive, and is knowledge that needs to be folded into your information technology and communicated consistently...

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2022-02-01 19:14:16 • 2 minute read

Let’s create a scenario. You’ve been introduced to a prospective client. You have reached out and had an initial phone call. After the call you sent your introductory kit by two-day courier and now you’re about to meet the prospective client for an initial appointment.

Many of the most successful professional advisors I know have increased their persuasive impact by radically altering their sales process with prospective clients. These advisors (many of whom used to be salespeople) have evolved into professional consultants; they now strive to attract new clients rather than chase them. Instead of using the old school sales process to close business...

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2022-01-25 14:03:53 • 20 sec

You have the clients who deserve a lot of attention and then you have the clients who need your attention. Your most deserving clients are often the least demanding. They’re busy, they’re successful, they’re respectful of your value, and sometimes we take them for granted. However, these are the clients we really want to competitor-proof, maximize and replicate. We want to make sure you’re not spending time with those who need your service at the expense of those who deserve your service. Use technology to help ensure consistency with these clients and in your ongoing service model.

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2022-01-18 19:03:40 • 2 minute read

Every action you perform three or more times, or which has three or more steps in the process, should be documented in your playbook.

That is the Rule of Three Get everything out of your head and the heads of your team members. The benefits of a playbook go beyond just consistency and continuity. The efforts compound over time creating momentum - regardless of who is deploying them. If a business is driven by maverick talent who operate daily out of their heads, the value is lower than a business driven by the procedures contained in a playbook...

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2022-01-11 16:08:05 • 2 min read

I stress worth as the measure you need to be judged by, rather than cost. Let’s delve into how a Service Matrix can help smooth your route through transitions or troubled times and encourage clients to see you as deserving of your compensation while, at the same time, ensuring that you are investing your time on the clients who generate 80 percent of your income. Click to read more on LinkedIn

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2022-01-04 19:38:50 • 20 second read

How deep do you go to understand your client’s goals and aspirations? As you know, many of your competitors only scratch the surface and instead go deep on data dumping and industry jargon. It is essential that you constantly focus on the aspects of your business and relationships that are proprietary to supplement the aspects that are commoditized... Click to read more on LinkedIn

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2021-12-28 21:14:01 • 2 minute read

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had many intense calls with very high-caliber teams about the concept of becoming a multi-family office (MFO). Part of entering the space to becoming an MFO is to approach it as a progression. It doesn’t have to be something you jump all-in, 100%. You can test the waters, and there are many benefits to that. One of them is on the merit of “growing down” to grow up-market.

On that point, with one of the teams I spoke with, we talked about the mindset…

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2021-12-21 20:22:16 • 2 minute read

We’ve all heard the concept that you are only as good as your weakest link. And, when it comes to the knowledge-for-profit practice of Financial Advisors, those servicing your clients have a profound impact on how your clients perceive you and your entire practice. So, if everyone on your team isn’t totally on board and motivated to help you achieve your vision, then you aren’t fully maximizing your team...

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2021-12-14 17:24:06 • 20 second read

Consider demographic forces. How many people in your sector are five years or less from an exit and have no continuity or succession plan? How many businesses are looking for options as unexpected market forces come into play? This week’s article discusses the importance of incorporating succession planning into your process and the benefits it can have on both you and your clients....

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2021-12-07 20:09:09 • 20 second read

There is a substantial amount of noise in the world, so I put a big emphasis on the concept of the signal to noise ratio. You want people to tune out the noise and tune into your signal. Podcasting can help you stand out from the crowd as well as attract new clients. To read more on LinkedIn, Click Here

Want to learn about podcasting from the experts? Talk to the team at www.ProudMouth.com

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2021-11-30 16:29:16 • 20 second read

Market volatility, political uncertainty, competitive forces and various external dependencies are facts of life for a knowledge-for-profit professional. Strategic Planning is an important part of being prepared for whatever comes your way. Click to read more on LinkedIn

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2021-11-23 20:01:36 • 20 second read

You’ve heard that facts tell and stories sell, but do you know how to tell a story that communicates your value to a client? In this interview with Chris Jeppesen, head of Practice Management for First Trust, we discuss how addressing need and using an applicable story can help an advisor stress how much they’re worth rather than how much they cost. Click here to read more on LinkedIn

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