When a lion sees a zebra, it can’t help but hunt it. It’s in their DNA. And you can’t get rid of your DNA.

Our coaching members are driven and hunt success – it’s in their DNA. That’s part of what’s helped them grow. 

But what’s happening now is we’ve gone through a pandemic that caused us to be more reflective. Over the last 18 months, many advisors realized that maybe they don’t want to chase growth anymore – or maybe not as relentlessly as they had before. 

Who wins in this battle: your DNA or your life’s alignment? It’s a confusing and difficult question to figure out. This is where your coach comes in. They help you reexamine what’s most important to you and determine the direction to take. 

Out of Alignment

One advisor I coach is 57 years old and has more money than he needs to comfortably stop chasing every zebra. Two years ago, his vision was to achieve a billion dollars or more in assets. But recently, he said to me: “Greg, I figure I have 20 to 25 good years left in me. Why am I working so hard?”

He realized he wants to spend more time with his family. He’s a lion who recently came to the conclusion that he would rather sleep in and read the paper, go fishing, travel and spend time with his wife and their grandkids, than hunt zebras and chase his billion dollar goal. 

He then said, “At some level, my life got out of alignment. I was so busy growing the business that I thought I had balance, but maybe I never really did.”

Another advisor I work with is a large producer whose business was getting pretty big. He told me he was thinking of selling up to 49% of his business. He wanted to scale back, buy a house on the ocean and not work so hard.

These two advisors aren’t the only ones who are thinking of scaling back their instinct to grow. Advisors contemplating how to chase fewer zebras are putting their DNA in a wrestling match. It’s their business versus everything else they value in life. And I wouldn’t have guessed life would win over DNA in so many instances.

How to Get Back into Alignment

It might be awkward to acknowledge your life is out of balance or that you need to make a change. It’s a difficult conversation to have with yourself, and an even more difficult task to realign your life.

You may need help from somebody you trust to accomplish this. As coaches, we know our members and what they value. We know what questions to ask and when to push them. And we help bring their self-awareness to the forefront. 

You need to understand your DNA and what drives you, but you also need to know what you value most and determine how those things intermingle with your business – or if they are more important than your business.

Are you a coachable advisor? Find out what traits make for a coachable financial advisor. 

Blueprinting Guides the Way

We should all have a north star. This could be beliefs, faith or what we find purposeful in our life that guides how we live. While the destination of our north star doesn’t change, how we find our way to it and the path we take might change over the course of our lives. 

The blueprinting process is our way to help advisors determine their north star and to identify the goals needed to reach it.

Blueprinting has been a great tool in the Carson Coaching program for the past 20 years. It gets to the core of your meaningful purpose, vision, goals and what you want to accomplish.

It sounds easy, but blueprinting is actually a difficult process, and some folks can’t navigate it on their own. This is where a coach will step in and help. 

We guide you through these tough conversations you need to have with yourself and help you address the questions that come up in the process.

Fellow coach J.J. Peller notes that blueprinting is critical for three reasons.

  • If you don’t know what life you want to build, you don’t know the steps you should take, and in what order you should be taking them. 
  • When you go through the process, it will excite and energize you so you can work through any challenges that come up. 
  • It will inspire your team and the people around you. For example, if your blueprint dictates that you should give your team more responsibility so you can pursue something more meaningful to you, it may inspire your team to continue the vision you’ve laid out for your business.

Download our Blueprinting Guide to learn more. Or take our Blueprinting course to get a taste of the process. 

Regular Check-Ins on a Full Tank

The last time I checked, we are dynamic beings who change frequently. As such, examining your goals and vision on a regular basis is a good idea. In fact, Carson CEO and founder Ron Carson developed the blueprinting process and does it every year.  

It’s also worth revisiting the process after meaningful life events, like divorce or the death of a spouse. It’s important, though, to give yourself ample time to heal that wound before you go through the process. Most medical professionals say not to make a life decision after a meaningful life event for six months. 

You need a full tank to go through the blueprinting process. You shouldn’t try in-depth self-analysis and reflection on an empty tank. The last 18 months have left many of us with an empty tank and feeling a sense of loss almost like losing a loved one – which some of you may have. 

No one should make snap decisions like selling your business to join the Peace Corps. But I encourage everyone to allocate time to complete the formal blueprinting process, or at least take time to reflect on their meaningful purpose, vision and how their business fits into that vision. My hope is you will have a coach, trusted colleague, friend or someone to discuss your thinking and feelings with. 

Are You at a Crossroads?

This last year made us all reflect more. I’ve never had so many conversations that were so intense and so personal than I did during these past 18 months. But these conversations were rewarding for both me and the advisors I coach. If you find yourself at a crossroads in determining whether you want to continue to chase zebras, let a coach help you figure out what direction to take.

AUTHOR

Greg Opitz

Executive Business Coach
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