What Does a Successful Advisor Look Like? (Hint: It’s not Always Ron Carson)

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Picture a successful entrepreneur. Who comes to mind? Now picture a successful financial advisor. Who comes to mind this time? Finally – ask yourself: Based on what you know about these two people, is that what YOUR picture of success looks like?

What we think of as “success” is often defined by others – think of the “40 Under 40” lists or the cover pictures on magazines. And if we’re not careful, we end up blindly following the path of others in search of “success.” But what if that’s not what you want? Maybe you don’t want to work 80 to 90 hours per week like Elon Musk. Perhaps the high-profile and high-risk-taking lifestyle of Richard Branson isn’t really your thing. And maybe you don’t want to be Ron Carson. It’s actually a phrase we hear at Carson Coaching quite often from advisors who want to make it clear that THEIR version of success looks different than Ron’s version of success. And to that we say, “More power to you!”

The coach team works with hundreds of Advisor-CEOs – and only a handful of those have a personal vision that resembles Ron’s. We want you to build a business and life that makes you excited to get up every day.

What Does Success Look Like to You?

Have you ever stopped to think about what you want your life and business to look like? Do you have a crystal-clear vision that gets you excited, acts as a filter for evaluating opportunities, and brings you back to center when things get tough? When we start working with coaching members, we start with the vision. Your vision. What are you trying to build? And just as importantly – what are you NOT trying to build? Sometimes it’s easier to start by identifying what success DOESN’T look like to you:

  • “I don’t want the responsibility of leading a huge enterprise.”
  • “I don’t want to spend 75 percent of my time traveling.”
  • “I don’t want to work crazy hours and miss my children’s sports games.”
  • “I don’t want to have to wear a suit and tie every day.”

Once you have that list, start thinking about what you DO want your business and life to look like:

  • How big would your ideal advisory firm be? AUM? Clients served? Team size?
  • What impact do you want your firm to have on your clients/community/industry/world?
  • How will clients experience your firm?
  • What will the culture of your firm look like, and how will that play out in your team members’ lives?
  • What does an ideal week look like for you? What does an ideal year look like for you?
  • What kind of goal or picture gets you EXCITED, even if it’s a bit scary because it’s so big?

Start Living Your Version of Success

Knowing what success looks like to you is one thing, but being intentional about moving toward that vision is an entirely different animal. It’s easy to be distracted and pulled back into living someone else’s idea of success. Before you know it, you’re living the life you don’t want. To make sure you’re living your best life, follow three simple steps:

Step 1: “Start with the End in Mind”

It’s one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits for a reason! When we’re coaching an Advisor-CEO, we don’t just give you a 10-step program that prepares you to “be like Ron.” We start with your vision and work backward to develop a strategic plan to get you there.

Step 2: Work the Plan

Now it’s time to get tactical. Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to accomplish each of these strategic objectives?” This is where we can borrow from others to help you achieve your vision. There are likely some great ideas from Carson Wealth or other financial planners in our coaching community that we would suggest – there’s no need to re-invent the wheel!

Step 3: Stay Focused

It’s critical to have a trusted “outsider” you can use as a strategic thinking and accountability partner as you move toward your vision, whether that be a mentor, study group or coach. Run new ideas by this person. Sometimes we need a neutral third-party to say, “Hmm. How does that fit in with your vision?”

Your Success is Bigger than You

As coaches, one of our biggest motivators is knowing how many people we impact by working with passionate, client-centric advisors to bring their vision to reality. It’s what fuels the work we do every day. So please, don’t be like Ron. Be the unique, creative, hard-working entrepreneur you are, moving intentionally toward your image of success. You owe it to your clients, your prospective clients, your family and yourself.

Click here to learn more about Carson Coaching, a unique community of growth-minded advisors that has helped more than 12,000 financial professionals find their own picture of success since 1993.

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