Still Holding Out on Surge™? 2023 Could Be Your Year

Micah Shilanski, CFP®, busts myths and misconceptions surrounding Surge meetings and shows how powerful this concept can be for any financial advisor.

8.5 min read

Micah Shilanski
Micah Shilanski
Financial Planner, CFP®

Advisors who listen to the podcast flood our inboxes with messages about how revolutionary implementing Surge™ has been in their practices. They’ve delivered more value to their clients and spent more time (and money) doing the things they love with those they cherish most. These advisors are rocking it!

Surge is working for thousands of advisors who have intentionally set up their practices to support a fantastic lifestyle balance while providing a premium experience to their clients.

What’s not to like about Surge?

Apparently, quite a lot—at least from those who haven’t tried it yet. There are still Surge holdouts in the industry, and they aren’t exactly quiet about their dislike of the concept.

Let’s break down the top five reasons advisors have told us they can’t do Surge in 2023.

Micah, Surge is really cute, but it won’t work in my office and doesn’t help my clients.

I was recently at a roundtable with other rock stars in the industry when the advisor next to me told me Surge wouldn’t work for him. I’m not going to lie; it did raise my hackles a bit. I asked the advisor to explain which aspects of Surge wouldn’t work for him.

Do you know what his answer was?

He didn’t want to do Surge because he didn’t want to sit through as many weekly meetings as I did. This advisor had missed the entire point of Surge.

Professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate. – Cal Newport

Setting up a Surge Schedule for your office is the most powerful step you can take to increase your effectiveness while being 100% intentional in Delivering Massive ValueTM.

Surge is not replicating my calendar or anyone else’s. Surge is being hyper-intentional about the type of life you want to create.

Everyone who implements Surge solves different problems. Still, the over-arching premise is this: maximizing the effectiveness of your time and the value you deliver to your clients.

It’s easy to fall into the victim mindset of thinking you can’t do something. When you focus on the “cannots,” that’s all you see in life. And building your Perfect RIA is no exception.

Part of our job at The Perfect RIA is to help you break through those self-limiting barriers you see. We want you to recognize that you’re seeing the world a certain way, then empower you to rip those faulty glasses off, stomp on them, and see the world with fewer barriers and more possibilities.

You just want to do Surge so you can stick it to your clients and be out of the office more.

Not going to lie; this one stings a little, even though it couldn’t be farther from the truth. A lot of what I do is about being hyper-intentional with my time to add massive value to my clients. If I’m not being actively productive in deep-focused work, I don’t want to be in the office.

Let’s refocus the above statement and instead ask: Am I adding more value than the average advisor? Am I adding more value than I did last year?

These are more constructive concepts that have measurable benchmarks. Surge allows me to be hyper-proactive when preparing meetings, sending value-adds, and meeting with clients. And I’ve been able to streamline my entire client base, so I know exactly where each client is in their financial planning process.

If I can be proactive in helping my clients reach their financial planning goals, I’m not doing them any disservice by spending less time in the office. I don’t think I need to be tied to my office chair for 40 hours a week when I can deliver more value in less time.

I deliver more value to my clients because I meet with my clients more than you.

That’s fantastic! However, after probing a little more, I find advisors in this camp are meeting their clients more than I do simply because their meetings are longer.

Unfortunately, there’s a diminished return on client meetings, and I’ve found from experience that any meetings over sixty minutes overload clients. Their eyes glaze over. They lose interest and stop taking in information. Extra long conferences aren’t valuable—they are just a drain on client time and attention

I don’t have time to implement value adds. I love the concept, but I’m too busy.

Some advisors push back on Surge because their own practices are weak. These advisors equate time spent in the office to value delivered. Unfortunately, spending substantially more time in the office doesn’t mean you’re delivering more value than I am. On the contrary, these advisors are probably stressed beyond belief, miserable, and reactive.

I know because I used to be one of these advisors.

Here’s an exercise for you:

There are 2080 working hours in a year. If you’re meeting with 100 clients twice a year, for an hour each, that’s two hours. Now, tack on an extra hour of meeting prep, and now you’re spending four hours per year on each client, totaling 400 client-facing hours.

What are you doing with your remaining 1,680 hours?

Say you spend five hours or even ten hours per client; you still have a substantial amount of time spent in the office that you probably can’t account for.

Surge helps you break the “playing office” cycle to be more intentional about your time and deliver massive value. You’ll find more time to develop your value adds when you break the cycle.
I can’t do Surge because clients have things that come up.
Unexpected, life-altering life events happen from time to time—but they can’t happen constantly, or you’d run out of clients.

I offer unwavering support for my clients, and I’ve made that abundantly clear in my client communications. When emergencies strike, my clients know they can see me between Surge cycles. My clients can also shoot an email or call my team with any minor questions they may have between meetings.

However, my office has healthy boundaries, as you’d see at the doctor’s office. My clients can’t reach me directly or just drop in and expect to see me. And they are okay with that because they know they’ll be taken care of—I have the track record to prove it.

Action Items

1. Surge is a fantastic tool that can transform your office when implemented intentionally. And the beautiful thing about it is you can refine it with each cycle to suit your needs.

2. If you’re still holding out on Surge, I think 2023 can be your year! You can help get surge going in your office by creating a pre-appointment checklist that includes all the documents, reports, and homework sheets you need for each client.

3. Train your team to help you pull all of this data together, and if they notice anything missing, like a tax return, they can reach out to the client.

Like what you just read?
Don’t keep this to yourself, share this article and improve a friend’s life!

Popular Topics


Value Adds

If you are routinely providing clients with value adds in a consistent, efficient, and deliverable


Secrets To Surging – What Other FA’s Don’t Tell You About Surging

Surge meetings happen with the Financial Advisors systematically holding client meetings in


Let’s Take a Look At Your ADV

Before giving someone else advice about their practice, make sure you’re not the one speaking out


3 Tips For Your Next Surge 

Some advisors can deliver 4x more value in a single day than others deliver in a week. Here are


Like Coke from a Coffee Mug: Run Your Best Client Meeting

Client meetings can be a dreaded part of a routine or you and your clients’ favorite part of your

What You Should

5 Mistakes Advisors Make When Creating value adds

Matthew Jarvis, CFP®, discusses the five biggest mistakes advisors make when creating value adds for their

Was Your Surge Successful? Here’s How You Can Tell

Matthew Jarvis walks you through evaluating the success or failure of your next Surge cycle.

4 Overlooked Ways To Cultivate A Quality Client Experience

Matthew Jarvis, CFP®, shares four ways to improve your client experience, from setting the stage to asking the right questions and serving as your client’s financial

Start the change today!

Get our 3 most popular power sessions FREE. You and your team will learn about: Time Blocking, the One Page Financial Plan, and the “Buckets of Money” approach.

    Contact Us