Bigger Picture

Tunnel Vision

Ah, yes another New Year’s Resolution Mindset post (a few days later than I had planned)…I know people like to make fun of these lists, but that’s ok–you can skip today if that’s you.  Like my last post, I’m channeling my inner Barry Ritholtz and writing for an audience of one, but I’m sharing for accountability and in case there are readers, who like me, get inspired by what others are doing. 

Plus, if I put write these down and share them publicly, I’ve got to make them happen; it’s a lot easier to bail on a new focus when it’s just in my mind. I’m not trying to come back at the end of the year and having to explain why I didn’t reach my goals.

I’ll be looking forward to revisiting this post in 11 months and checking off each of these.

“Grow Or Die”

As I shared in my 2018 reflections post I’ve had a change in vision for RLS Wealth Management and in 2019 I’ll be taking the first steps in building RLSWM into a company capable of helping more people with their financial planning. The first step is putting it out there in this post for everyone to know. I won’t go so far as to say I believe in The Secret (you remember that book, right?), but I do believe sharing goals, no matter how big they may be, is a great first step in realizing them. Peer pressure can be a positive if used correctly.

“Grow or Die” isn’t my phrase; an advisor I highly respect said this to me–his take was you either grow, get acquired, or go away. I have no plans of going away and at the moment, I don’t see RLSWM being acquired, which leaves me with GROWING.

While I believe it is possible to succeed and remain a smaller firm, I’ve realized something I did not know prior to the last year–I want to help other advisors reach their potential as well. I don’t have any desire to start a coaching or consulting business, but after talking with over 50 advisors in 2018, I discovered I really enjoy helping other advisors determine their “why” and how to move forward to align their business with that “why”. Since I don’t see myself starting a second business, if I can build RLS Wealth Management into a firm where like-minded advisors want to join, I can achieve my goals of helping more clients and advisors–it’s the best of both worlds.

The blueprint is out there…it’s up to me to execute upon it.

So, the focus for 2019 is getting RLS Wealth Management to the point where it is one of the most respected firms in Fishers, Indiana and then Indianapolis…setting the stage for a further reach in 2020. This means improving upon the systems and workflows of the business, being more efficient, elevating the awareness of RLSWM, and continuing to build a culture that attracts the right clients and advisors. It’s going to be a big task, but I’m excited for the challenge!

Quality Over Quantity

I used to have the goal of being a content creating machine; joining those I look up to who give us great blogs almost daily. But, that’s just not me and I’m ok with that. As much as I’d love to turn out content like it was my job, it’s not my job–it’s just a part of my job.  

When it comes to RLS Wealth Management, my first priority is, and will always be, my clients. Creating, monitoring, and adapting their financial plans is why I get up each day and head into my office; it’s why my clients have chosen to work with me. After the planning comes portfolio management.  Luckily, technology has made portfolio management a manageable and efficient part of the business. Next comes the administrative tasks and my Director of Operations (shoutout to Darlene Kite) has been a godsend; she has relieved me of many of the important, yet tedious administrative responsibilities and this allows me the time to create content. Despite having more free time, thanks to Darlene, I still don’t have the time to put out quality pieces of content as much as I would like.

Rather than try to keep up with others and create mediocre content, my focus for 2019 is quality over quantity.

At this stage, it’s more important and valuable to put out fewer high-quality pieces of content than try to keep up by putting out content that’s just alright. Don’t worry there will still be plenty of podcasts (I already have a ridiculous lineup for the beginning of the year), videos, blogs and flash briefings–it’s just that some of these may not occur as often, but when they do I hope they are a can’t-miss read, watch, or listen.

Say No

I’ve always thought it was lame when people talked about needing to learn to say no, but now, I get it. I have always had a hard time saying no, and it has led me to waste not only mine but too many other people’s time. In 2019, there are some things, like meetings with wholesalers, checking out new technology, and other requests that are not impactful to my goal of growth that I will have to say no to.

However, there will also are some requests that I won’t receive a no, like talking or meeting with other advisors to answer questions, talk shop, etc. As I mentioned above, I discovered I really enjoy talking with other advisors–hearing what their visions, sharing mine, learning their stories, and whenever possible helping to match their business with their values. I think I get more out of these conversations than the advisors reaching out to me. I don’t want to won’t give up these valuable interactions.

Typically, I try to schedule calls with advisors ASAP, which often leads me to overcommit myself and create a chaotic schedule. In 2019, I won’t be saying no IF any advisors reach out (I’m not assuming the requests will continue), but if they do and it is necessary, I will be asking to set up the call or meeting a little further out to avoid over-committing myself.

I’d love to always say yes and drop everything but in order to find the time to do what’s most important for my goals I’ve got to be a little more selfish with my time.

Become Robotic

I’ve had the luxury of having a flexible schedule. I’ve avoided having a strict schedule, but in 2019 I’ll be blocking out my calendar, making client meetings available at the same time each day (with exceptions if needed), and trying to make my day robotic–following the same structure. Mark Wahlberg gets made fun of for his daily routine, which the hours and some of the stuff on it are deserving, but I see the value of having a schedule.

Workouts, client meetings, lunch, administrative tasks, content creation and more will all be scheduled to ensure everything gets done and has the dedicated time to be done and done correctly. I’ll still have the ability to keep flexibility in my schedule, but there will be more structure to my days.

Hopefully, these four main areas of focus will help 2019 to be even better than 2018. They all complement each other, which I hope will help me keep them all in focus–if I fail one, it will impact the others and jeopardize the big picture.

A few less intense goals:

  • Read less finance and more history and startup books
  • More fitness/workout meetings
  • Start journaling
  • Every Friday send a handwritten appreciation note to a client, friend, or acquaintance
  • I’ll keep the personal ones personal

What are your main areas of focus this year? Hit me up on Twitter and let me know!

Warning: Explicit Lyrics (Unfortunately, there isn’t a clean version available)

Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining to your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.