I’m Done With Surge…Now What? [Episode 113]

When you do a surge schedule, it’s such an intense time and then you have so much time after – what do you do? Matt and Micah share why they choose to schedule trips right after surge and why those trips are key to helping make an important transition and provide structure. From celebrating with your team to heading into project mode, finding inspiration and taking time with family, the guys have a ton of great advice and insight for you.

You will hear about some interesting discoveries that Matt and Micah have made during surge and the transitions they made. They discuss the burnout that happens after surge and how to make the shift from routine tasks to getting back into your creative space. This episode is so important to making sure you are creating an intentional transition that helps you change the game for your personal and business life.

Listen to the Full Episode:

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • The importance of creative space.
  • Why you need to “dangle a carrot” for after surge.
  • The need for a transition from surge to creativity and inspiration again.
  • How a trip allows you to create structure.
  • Why taking time for yourself is changing the game for your business and personal life.
  • Why you HAVE to take the time to celebrate wins with your team.
  • How to tackle your next goals and de-brief the team.

Ideas Worth Sharing:

We came up with amazing ideas because we carved out room for creative space. – @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet If I don’t change my environment, there’s no change for me. – @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet The reason I like a trip right after surge is because it gives a reason to why surge has to end. – @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode:

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Read the Transcript Below:

This is The Perfect RIA, in case you didn’t know. Bringing you all the strategies to help your business grow. Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? Sit back and listen in while you feel the beat. Another myth bites the dust…

Matthew Jarvis: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of The Perfect RIA podcast. I am your co-host and co-founder Matthew Jarvis and with me as always the man, the myth, the legend, Micah Shilanski. Micah, how are you, my friend?

Micah Shilanski: Jarvis, I am doing excellent. I am super excited. And this week, keep in mind, not only excited to talk about what we’re going to be talking about today is now this big question when you do a surge schedule, you have such intense time, but then you have so much time off, what do you do.

Micah Shilanski: We have some awesome things that are happening this week because this week is live. We’re rolling out, a bunch of advisors are coming with us to Arizona. We have a phenomenal program that is outlined. We’re going to unveil some amazing new things for The Perfect RIA nation. So yeah, this is totally exciting week.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. I’m glad you had mentioned that, Micah. I mean, we’ll jump right in here. One of the things I love to have, in fact, you and I just did this, one of the things I love to have at the end of surge is a mastermindness. Because I get to the end of surge and in some ways I’m a little bit burned out. I’ve put a lot of effort in. I’ve been doing a lot of routine tasks, right? So it can be a bit monotonous. And then you and I went right after surge, we went to Nashville for a few days to attend some training, to do a couple of shooting matches, to do a spin class. We’ll talk about how that turned out. It gives me time to get way back in my creative space. We came up with amazing ideas because we carved out some room for creative space.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah, absolutely. That’s really the important part about this. So an advisor was asking me before. If you’re out there and you do not know what surge is, if you’re one of our new listeners, you’re like, “What the heck are these crazy guys talking about?” You have got to go through our time-blocking series that we have on our website that talks about the importance of surge meetings.

Micah Shilanski: You can email [email protected] Say this is episode 113, you’d like the time-blocking information. Our team will shoot that out to you and you can go through it right on our website. Really, really important. For you advisors that already know surge, right? We’re not going to go through the importance of it, but we’re going to talk about that off time. And this is so important and I really like having that carrot that’s going to be there. And not only is it a carrot, which is a trip at the end of surge, right?

Micah Shilanski: Normally it’s a mastermind or maybe it’s a family trip that we’re going to do, et cetera. But it also allows me to transition because one of the issues that I have, Jarvis, and I don’t want to speak for you, but when I’m going through surge, again, it’s intense, I have a lot of meetings. I’m delivering a lot of value. It’s a ton of fun. It’s a bit of an energy burn, but if I just transition and I’m at home and there’s really no difference, especially in Zoom meetings, all this crap that we have all the time now. What’s the difference between Monday and Saturday? What’s the difference between Friday ending surge and the next week? If I don’t change my environment, there’s no change for me. So changing the environment is really a good head thing I have to do.

Matthew Jarvis: I’m glad you brought that up, Micah, because there’s actually a lot of bad habits that can come out of surge. During surge you’re in the office all the time, your team can get access to you between every meeting. Everybody can kind of get in this bad habit of, “Hey, the advisor’s here. I can ask and see them anytime that I want.” And you really need this transition. “Hey, listen, surge has done. I’m leaving for a week for two weeks, for six weeks, for three months, whatever your surge schedule is,” by the way, those were not hyperbolist time periods. I’m leaving, and it kind of resets the team. “Hey, this is my number, you can get ahold of me during weekly meetings. You don’t just come in and interrupt me. You don’t instant message me.” I think that transition is such a solid strategy.

Micah Shilanski: And it does, it enforces Parkinson’s law, right? In Parkinson’s law things take as long as you’re going to allow them to take and we’re a big proponent of that. So this, one, it forces your meetings to be in a finite period of time. And the other reason that I like a trip right after surge it gives a why surge has to end. But why does it have to end? I’m arbitrarily making up a date that I want to see all my clients by. Yes, I feel there’s some logic behind it. We want to see our clients before tax season ramps up, yada, yada, yada. But now that I’m leaving on a trip, it also gives my team a reason why I’m not going to be available. It gives them a reason to wrap things up, because if you want any communication it’ll be great, here’s when I’m available. I’m transitioning to a mastermind. I’m not going to be readily available.

Micah Shilanski: Again, it’s that physical change, which happens, which pushes us to the next cycle of our meeting process.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. And speaking of your team, your team has also been working incredibly hard during surge and they need some time away from you, right? So you as entrepreneur, Micah, this is 100% true for you and I. As entrepreneur, we’re constantly going and we’re very guilty of ignoring success and just going right into the next thing. So your team who has projects, they need to catch up, who needs a break on things. If you go straight from surge to a thousand other things, it’s not going to bode well for your team.

Matthew Jarvis: So again, you stepping physically away from the office, take a day, a week, a month, whatever period of time, mastermind, travel with your family, that is critical time for a high-performing team.

Micah Shilanski: I’m nodding my head this whole time, Jarvis, you are 100% accurate in this. One of the things that I here-

Matthew Jarvis: I’m just going to real quick… I just need to hit the record button, that’s going to be my new ring-phone when you call. Jarvis you’re 100% accurate, thank you.

Micah Shilanski: Is one thing. So with that one of the things that I was taught… I joke with my team about it and I know where we’re getting back into the surge conversation a little bit. One of the things I hear from advisors, and again, we’re at this other mastermind with this other coaching program that didn’t work out, but where this other coaching program that we tried. And one of the things that I heard when we’re talking about taking time out of the office is people were saying, well, I can’t take that much time out of the office because my team will want to take that much time out of the office. I can’t leave and go do these things because my team is going to want to go do the same things. No, that is head trash. That is issues in between your ears. That is not a real thing that we have with our team, because their goals are different than ours.

Micah Shilanski: They work differently than we do. So doing these things, again, making sure you’re in a good head space in order to get out and do this is really important.

Matthew Jarvis: Really is. Where we talk… Excuse me all day about that. How to handle the team on this, what a highlight something that we’ve discovered interesting in this last surge cycle, Micah, which is that our backstage pass, our Perfect RIA team, which we have now a full-time team dedicated to this. They do accountability calls with our backstage pass members, right? That’s one of the benefits. And so we’re talking to Shelby, who’s our amazing relationship manager. And she says, “Matt, Micah, I’m really embarrassed to report, I only talked to nine advisors this week.” And we said, “Well, Shelby, what happened?” She said, “They are all in surge right now.”

Matthew Jarvis: They’re all calling and they say in surge for four weeks, we can’t talk to you. Which on the one hand we’re thinking, well, I don’t know, we got to tell these guys priorities. They got to talk to us, but it’s been amazing, Micah, to see surge spread prior to The Perfect RIA podcast. I can count on one hand, the number of advisors I had met who are actually doing surge. And by one hand, I mean two fingers. And now we run into advisors all the time, everywhere that are doing surge meetings.

Micah Shilanski: It is outstanding, right? There was some previous versionses and I absolutely want to give credit to one Tom Gaal for the free days, focus days and buffer day concepts of things.

Matthew Jarvis: That strategic coach.

Micah Shilanski: Sorry that was a… I’m sorry.

Matthew Jarvis: Strategic coach.

Micah Shilanski: Strategic coach, thank you.

Matthew Jarvis: Dan Sullivan.

Micah Shilanski: Dan Sullivan. I’ll give him full credit on that one. I mean, it’s great stuff. My dad had a version of surge that was doing before, which was kind of there, but this new kind of hybrid taking from what works and improving it has been, that’s the whole essence of The Perfect RIA right there. And as you said, so many people are doing that now, which is just out standing and it’s a game changer for their personal lives and business lives.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. You’re speaking to one of the rules of The Perfect RIA do what works. I learned surge meetings from Tom Gaal and also from a good friend of ours, a mastermind companion of ours, Jamie Dawson, who I met him in the back of a conference room. And I said, “Well, Jamie, what are you doing this summit?” He says, “Well, I’m taking an eight week road trip with my family?”

Matthew Jarvis: And my head just exploded right there, this was years ago. “What do you mean you’re taking eight weeks off, that’s impossible.” He says, “No Jarvis, I just pack up my family in my car and I hit the road and we come back in eight weeks.” And forever changed the course of my life. That one discussion, again, do what works to see a real advisor saying, hey, I can take eight weeks off, I had never seen that before.

Micah Shilanski: Okay. So let’s get into some important things as we get through this. Number one, take time to celebrate when you wrap up surge, right? And take time to debrief with your team. These are really, really important things that you have to do when you wrap up surge. Celebrate the wins. Yeah, go through the losses, go through the things that need to get changed next time. Guess what? We all make mistakes.

Micah Shilanski: Even in our office, we have things that didn’t go as perfectly, it’s just great. How do we pivot this next time? Was it a one-off and, hey, things just happen. Did we break a process? Guess what? Nine times out of 10, we broke a process, right? So how do we improve things for the next time we celebrate with our team? And then we can transition into project mode. And this is so important with surge because we had our client meeting mode. Now we get a transition into project mode.

Matthew Jarvis: Oh, really is, really is so right. And those projects could include, what are you going to be doing for marketing between now and the next surge cycle. The projects, how are you going to deliver a massive value to clients? How are you going to take time for your family? How are you going to train your team? How are you going to do personal development?

Matthew Jarvis: All of these things need to fit in that. I’m going to call it a law but in the period between surge cycles there’s a lot that needs to get done, and it’s easy to let some of that slip away.

Micah Shilanski: And again, if you think about surge, what we’re doing in that concept is we’re putting all of our client meetings together. Instead of doing the free day focus day and buffer day, where every day you’re doing something new, we’re taking the assembly line concept. We’re taking the deep work concept and putting it together saying, “Hey, let’s deliver massive value in this period of time.” So if you think about it, surge is surge for client meetings. Now we’re doing surge for projects, right? So now it’s not the same intensity, which is nice, that’s when we get our reprieve, but we’re able to come in and say, great, now we’re going to focus our time on this project so we can deliver a value to this, creating all the marketing copy. It’s going to go out this next quarter, meeting with your CEO wise, creating new SEO content for the website, recording a bunch of podcasts.

Micah Shilanski: All of those things are now going to be blocked into this. And again, this isn’t an all day thing. This is where advisors get caught up in playing office. This is where you need to set… This is what I do anyways. Right? I’m going to tell every advisors they need to do this. My mental hacks for surge is I have to set a schedule at first especially the first several weeks after I wrap up with surge, I need a light schedule created. So what time am I going to go through XYZ projects? What days am I going to work on A, B and C?

Micah Shilanski: What times and what days am I going to be able to communicate with the team to get and respond to things? I have all of this stuff outlined in my calendar. And this is important because now the team knows where I’m going to be, and what I’m going to be doing and when they can communicate with me, but it also forces me Parkinson’s law. It also focuses me so I can work on something right away. And it forces me to get done with something. So then I can pivot and go spend time with my family, which is the whole reason I did surge to begin with.

Matthew Jarvis: Sport on, it’s also a time where we’re shifting what we measure, right? So we talk about measure what matters or only things you measure improve. So I sat down with Alex, the newer advisor on our team.

Matthew Jarvis: Not that new anymore and said, great, here are our weekly KPIs. And we’re going to measure the number of clients that you make proactive contact with, delivering massive value. The number of centers of influence that you make contact with and the number of networking opportunities we have. So those are the numbers that he’s now going to be tracking. So that again, we focus on what we want to improve. Micah, to your point with the team, we’re saying, here are the projects we’re going to tackle, here are the software changes we’re going to make. Here’s what we’re going to leave our broker dealer, here are the things that we’re going to price out. Again, all these things have firm deadlines on them. Otherwise we get sucked into plain office.

Micah Shilanski: Absolutely. That’s so important. Another little thing that I do. I found out it’s kind of a weird thing for me, at least the first few weeks after surge, I have to set an alarm on my alarm clock.

Micah Shilanski: Even if it’s on the weekend, otherwise I can’t sleep. I wake up multiple times throughout the night. I’m worried I’m oversleeping or doing other things. I don’t know why even if I have my morning free and clear to spend with the family, I still can’t sleep. So I’m like, great, I got to set alarms on my alarm clock.

Micah Shilanski: So what works for you to be the most effective? Also again, we’re talking about projects, but let’s talk about playing, Jarvis. It’s not just about projects. It’s also about spending time with family.

Matthew Jarvis: It really is, right. What trips are you going to take? What things are you looking forward to? Micah when you were mentioning about having your alarm clock set, I noticed it takes me a while after surge to get back into my ideal morning routine because during surge, my morning routine is get up, eat healthily, get dressed, get to the office, meetings, meetings, meetings.

Matthew Jarvis: And when I’m outside of surge, when I’m on a light schedule, as you mentioned it, I really like to get up and then have an hour blocked away to just read. I love to read in the mornings, during surge that doesn’t work for me, but it’s easy for me to skip that. I’ll get up, I get going. Oh, wait, I forgot to read today, now I kind of have this loss at the beginning of the day.

Matthew Jarvis: Really got to spend time, even my workouts, right. During surge I always work out at the very end of the day, take the last CrossFit class. Well, now that I don’t have meetings all day, when does that happen?

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. And for me, I still love that calendar concept because for me, that calendar forces me to get my things done. So you’re measuring what matters. You’re giving it a place to live and you’re not just saying, hey, I got all day. Because we’ve all done that. We’ve all day to do X, Y, and Z. And we don’t get crap done because we never got around to it. Right. So what are things you need to do? Again, I say focus on the family in this aspect of it.

Micah Shilanski: So what are times that you want to spend with your kids? What are things you haven’t done yet that you want to go do with them? Do you want to take them out of school and go spend a day with them and have a special day? I don’t want to hear this crap that I need be in school full-time. We just took a year without school and apparently everybody’s fine. So what are you need to do in that environment? What do you need to do with your spouse? Do you want to have a date night, a date weekend, right? What time do you want to spend to grow those relationships?

Matthew Jarvis: I love it. Micah, I want to pivot back if you don’t mind to a little bit of this team debrief meeting, because it’s something that I’m guilty of skipping past. And I want to highlight a couple of things that came up during our surge cycle. One of which we learned, hey, we can’t be doing big TPR events during surge. We all got together in Alaska, up in Micah’s office to train our team, right? Because we do what works. We wanted them to see what really happens in our office. Then we realized, wait a second, this cannot stack on top of surge. Ended up taking time away from the family, time away from the team, time away from the advisors to recharge. So in our office, we keep rules for things. And so one of our rules for surge is nothing else happens during surge.

Matthew Jarvis: Matthew’s not allowed to take trips during surge, that nothing can be planned the week before surge. And we just have to set those rules if you will so that we don’t make that mistake again.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. Again, learning what works, what doesn’t work, give empowering your team to hold you accountable with these things, right? Now, if the team comes back to us and let’s say, we want to do this fun activity in surge, because we also think we can do amazing things. And we have great ideas during surge. So we’re like, wonderful, we want to implement this right away, because we don’t like waiting. But we need to give our team a way to communicate that with us. For example, if the team came to me and I said, hey, we’re going to bring TPR, we’re going do all these amazing things, blah, blah, blah. And they said, no, we’re not going to do that. Ooh-

Matthew Jarvis: It’s not going to go very well.

Micah Shilanski: Now, you just made me do it.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah.

Micah Shilanski: Right. Yeah, exactly. So how do you use your team to communicate with you? And so one of the things we tell our team, look, this is just my pettiness, I apologize, but you can’t tell me no. Otherwise you’re just telling me you’re double dog daring me to do it and I’m going to do it anyways.

Micah Shilanski: So you got to come and say, Micah, that is an option because it is. However we’ve talked about not wanting to do things in surge because of A, B and C. And what we talked about last time, is it possible to do it at another time? Now, my team came to me with that response, I would be like you know what? You’re right. Yep, it’s still an option. So I could still do it if I want it to. Okay, great, I’ve checked my ego and now I’ve moved on and say, you’re right, that’s not a great option because of things we’ve said before, let’s go ahead and do that.

Micah Shilanski: But you as the advisor, have you had time to talk about your team and how they should communicate with you, especially in areas they need to push back on. And how do you give them permission to push back on you in certain areas?

Matthew Jarvis: Boy, that’s a good point, Micah, on the communication. Again, similar thing, if my team says, hey, that can’t be done, I better get it done in an hour, I better get it done in 10 minutes. So instead we work on, sure, let’s skip to tell me what your concern is about this. So when I said we’re working right now in our office to have a dedicated client telephone number. So we have a client only email account. We’re getting a client only telephone number. And the team initially says, no, that can’t work.

Matthew Jarvis: And Micah to your point I get very defensive. I get very aggressive when someone tells me something can’t work. But I’ve learned and I’m trying to learn. Tell me what your concerns are. What outcome are you worried about having happen? And let’s worry about that. So they said, hey, I’m worried that this or that will happen. Perfect, let’s address that fear. Let’s address that concern. Let’s not argue whether something’s a good idea or not, because by the way, my ideas win. Because I write the checks, right? I take the risk, my ideas win.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. That’s the whole advantage right there of writing the checks is what I say goes, but how do we do this in a team collaborative environment is going to be really, really important as well. Other things when we’re debriefing with it is one of the things we do is we bring the team offsite for our debriefs.

Micah Shilanski: So we want to bring them all together. We want to do it off site. So that way we can collaborate, we can go through things and we can outline the projects. And again, encourage accountability in this. We’re always taking extreme ownership in the things that we are doing. So how do we say great. These were our wins. These were our fails that we did in this encourages other team members to step up with the fails that they had. So we can all work together as a team to improve them next go around.

Matthew Jarvis: Micah, I want to second what you said about doing it offsite. This does not have to be at an exotic location, though that’s certainly fun. We do it at our local bank that we use. They have a conference room that they let us use. And so we do our quarterly offsite there because you have to just escape the environment. Otherwise the phone rings, somebody walks in during your normal studying, getting out lets your brain step out. It’s this transition again.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. We actually it at one of the owner’s homes. So one of the advisors homes, we’ll kind of rotate a little bit and we’ll do it there. And then we do a big pizza and beer party and bring everyone in and then just have the post-it notes up. We were a huge fan of giant post-it notes going through things because we want a slightly more casual environment because it’s a little bit more team building.

Micah Shilanski: Again, what works for us, do what works for you. You can absolutely do it at a bank conference room. You can do it at your home. You could do it at different places, but outside the office, that’s the key.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. And I would say, you mentioned do what works, the gauge for what works is your energy level and your team’s energy level.

Matthew Jarvis: Now, I know that sounds a bit kumbaya but if you’re in that meeting and people are starting to get irritable, that means something’s gone wrong with this meeting, it’s time to wrap it up. You’re now past the point of productivity, right?

Matthew Jarvis: So if a system breakdown becomes, well, hey Micah, you really screwed this up. And that’s an easy trap to fall into by the way, because a lot of times it looks like, hey, this broke, the case prep was done wrong, therefore it was Coleen’s fault.

Matthew Jarvis: Well, me blaming Coleen, there’s no solution there, that’s a victim mindset. If I can go and say, “All right, Coleen, help me understand where our system broke down.” And she says, “Well, I had 1,000 things going on and I got interrupted and I messed up that case rep.” Perfect, let’s look at that system. If I come down and say, you need to try harder.

Matthew Jarvis: If you have an employee who’s not trying hard, that’s easy to solve. They’re gone, they’re graduated. Otherwise it’s a system issue.

Micah Shilanski: I always like to go back to, right? There’s two types of problems in your office. There’s people problems or process problems, right? If you have the right people, then don’t get on the people for the problem, you have a process problem, right? And if it’s people problem, great, there’s nothing you can do with them besides replace them. So that’s it, that’s a great time them to update their resume. They can move on with life and then you can get the right person in that is going to be able to add value to your firm, to follow the processes, et cetera. So if you have good people then it means you have a crappy process and that’s one of the things that I really go back to and you have to reflect on myself because I will be quick.

Micah Shilanski: My instant reaction is why did you screw this up? This was super clear. Granted I did not articulate it, granted I didn’t spell it all the details, but I thought about it in my own head. Why didn’t you think about it? Right. And so I really have to check that internally, be like no, no, no. I have a great team. They do really good job. Therefore I failed to communicate in something or we created, I created a bad process that I need to know now, go in and fix.

Matthew Jarvis: Another thing I’d like to do in that debrief meeting, both with the team and on my own is to reflect back and say, how engaged were clients with the value add, with the agenda that we had for that surge, right? Was this something that they were really excited about, that they took action on, that they thanked us for?

Matthew Jarvis: Or was it something where people’s eyes consistently glazed over or just didn’t work out the way that you’d imagined? This goes back to, again, do what works. I can’t tell you how many experts I’ve talked to and they say, “Hey, Matthew, you should do this in your client meeting.” And I try it out with the first five clients and I get no reaction. They’re just like, “All right, well, thanks for that. ” Because no one’s tried it. And even things that I come up with, by the way, we’re working right now. Alex is reaching out to all of our clients one-on-one to provide some massive value on identity theft, for preventing identity theft. And we’re not sharing that with the nation right now because we haven’t tested to make sure it works. Once it works or doesn’t, we’ll let you know. And of course, make that available to the podcast in the backstage pass.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. Really, really important, again, for rules of success, do what works. Listen to those who have been there before you, follow their example of what works, tweak and modify, sure. But let’s not reinvent this wheel.

Matthew Jarvis: Oh, 100%. Micah, anything else that you’re doing post-surge as you’re making that transition that advisors should be thinking about?

Micah Shilanski: Yeah, I’m going to go back to the family thing. This is where…I know we pivoted off of it. But I want to really go back to that. The three tenants of the perfect RA are designed for a reason, right? Deliver massive value, spend six months out of the office and run a very profitable firm. But why are we spending six months out of the office? To know our family, to get together with them, to enjoy life, to do fun things. So it’s not just about masterminds.

Micah Shilanski: Great. What fun things do you want to do? And in Jarvis, I think this is a big reason some advisors have a problem transitioning into surge and getting out of the office. And we get this question a lot, which by the way I had as well. Well, great, my identity is wrapped up eight to five around being in the office. And now that I’m out of the office, what the heck am I going to do?

Micah Shilanski: Great. Go be a twelve-year-old again. What did you want to do when you were 12 and maybe that’s a hobby that you need to start back up. This will give you greater experience in different things. This allows you to meet more networks and meet more people, which is wonderful. Spend time with your family. What great things are they doing that you can now spend time with, whether it’s vacation or it’s just that. Don’t let things like school, other jobs, et cetera.

Micah Shilanski: Those are all excuses. You need to find time to spend with them. And if not, what are the things do you need to do? I mean, the whole focus of this again, is about being a great husband, a great father, a great mother, great wife. All of those things are things we really need to encourage because all of that helps us grow. The better I am as a person, the more value I can add to my clients.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. That’s really true. Micah. And I was thinking, as you were mentioning that there’s so much validation that comes from being a successful entrepreneur. So it’s really emotionally rewarding to go to the office because everything just works the way and there is your family, there’s real life, right? There’s dirty dishes and there’s things that go on. But just like in the office where I’m always looking for ways to acknowledge that willpower is not enough, same for my family life.

Matthew Jarvis: So I want to set up things that happen, right. Micah, I know that your family goes to the shooting range very often. You have scheduled things every week. Hey, every week we go to the shooting range. I’ve started taking my kids go-kart racing every single week because I need something that I don’t have to think about. Otherwise I play office at home and another day, another week, another month goes by my kids get one year older and where did the time go?

Micah Shilanski: Yeah, I remember I had someone, they were kind of chastising me a little bit because I have scheduled time to spend with my family. And they’re like, really? You put schedule time inside there. They’re not important enough. You just want to do it on your own. I said, great, let’s compare times, that you spent with your family, versus accidentally versus I did deliberately.

Micah Shilanski: Right. So I am not putting the family in my calendar because I’m so busy I would never meet with them. I’m putting them in there because they’re my priority. And I want to make sure I’m spending time with them. And you could ask Victoria, I will get really mad if something is put on my calendar, that is not an emergency that violates my family time. I’m like, this is not okay. This is really a deal breaker. What the heck happened in our process? Granted emergencies can happen. And of course that will-

Matthew Jarvis: Of course.

Micah Shilanski: … Triumph that. Short of that, no, my family time is highly important, which is why it’s booked out on calendar.

Matthew Jarvis: Well, this speaks to a variation of Parkinson’s law, which in my mind is always, if there’s a blank on the calendar, something’s going to fill in that blank.

Matthew Jarvis: If there’s an empty space in my garage floor something is going to fill that up. There’s extra room in my closet something. So there’s money in my bank. All these things, right. That time needs to be filled. So when I look at it, I don’t think, oh yeah, I can do another client meeting. I can call Micah and record a TPR podcast. That needs to be time that’s worked out. Right. Just know how your mind works and work all angles of your life around that.

Micah Shilanski: And the other thing I want to throw in there too, is where’s your personal development time. This also needs to be a huge in surge, right? So not only projects, not only family, but personal development. These are things that I’m going to be doing, whether it’s a personal coach that I’m hiring, whether it’s a business coach, et cetera. What are things that I’m doing to increase my PD, personal development in my life to become a better husband, a better father, a better advisor, better business owner, better friend, right?

Micah Shilanski: Those are all things that I’m continually working on during this time. And again, I want to carve out and make that a priority during non-surge times, which is why we have these big surge times got a lot of fun things I want to do, right. Which is the reason I’m going to take these non-surge times and really focus on.

Matthew Jarvis: Micah, I’m glad you brought up personal development. It’s been very easy this last year and a half with COVID with conferences and events canceled. It’s very easy to let that slack. In fact, most advisors have let that slack off and they’re costing into oblivion, right? The top advisors, right? The perfect RAs are saying great. This is my opportunity to further distance myself from the average advisor. Like I said, Micah and I were down in Nashville just recently trying out a new coaching program, turned out to be a bust, but we had invested tens of thousands of dollars to attend this because we said, well, we’ve got to keep stepping up our game. Even if it means we hit some dead ends, we’re still going to be constantly pursuing personal development.

Micah Shilanski: Amen. All right, Jarvis, of course this podcast is all about action items. So let’s transition to a couple of great action items, things that people need to do. I’m going to say, number one, step out, carve out time on your calendar for family. That’s my first action item. Right. And if you’re not doing it, if you have hesitation in your mind, get the hell over that, get out there, book time to make sure you’re spending it with your spouse, with your partner, with your kids.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Micah if you don’t mind, I would group friends under that as well.

Micah Shilanski: Sure.

Matthew Jarvis: They’re part of your family, right? Even if they’re biologically or not, you’ve got to have time and again, to highlight Micah you and I, we make sure that we carve out time because life just happens.

Matthew Jarvis: Whether that’s meeting my friends for this or that I need to have time carved out for my family. Again, my spouse, my biological friends, those are my number one priorities. I’ve got to have time carved out for my friends. Or again, days, weeks, months, years go by and I lose touch with people and those relationships fades.

Micah Shilanski: Jarvis, you think of it, it’s funny. I will have Victoria reach out to friends and book things for us to go and do, right. And at first they’re like, “What the hell? This is so weird.” She’s like, “Wait, why can’t you just call me?” He’s like, “Because I want it done.” And I know if I’m going to say, well, I’ll get around to it the next time I see Jarvis, we’ll talk about this. The next time I talk to Matt, we’re going to do blah, blah, blah and do these fun things.

Micah Shilanski: I never get around to it, empower my team. Victoria is great on getting things on my calendar. Awesome, I want you to reach out and we’re going to go to AB and C and she makes it happen.

Matthew Jarvis: I would say action item number two. And these are actually different than what Micah and I wrote down before this call. But action item number two is look ahead to your next surge. And when that’s supposed to end and have an adventure plan, if that’s a mastermind with other advisors that you know, if that’s a trip with your family, if that’s a something you’ve always wanted to do on your own, go ahead and book that for the week after your next surge cycle gets done. So that as you’re going through to surge, as you’re getting ready, you have that carrot, if you will, and it will force you to transition, as we said.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. And I was just about to throw on there. If I can add to that one as well, put a force mechanism inside of that as well, extreme accountability, right? If you decide not to go in to do something after surge, what’s the penalty. And I don’t care if there’s a worldwide pandemic, there’s no rip cord for that, right? That’s not an excuse. You have to go and do something. You have to have that reward. You have to have that forcing mechanism in place.

Matthew Jarvis: I would add another action item, which is if you have not yet had your team debrief from your most recent surge cycle, go ahead and do that. If you’re not familiar with doing these team briefs, again, you as the advisor, you’re going to focus on victories and then give the team with immunity opportunity for them to point out where the system is broke down.

Matthew Jarvis: I would not in this first offsite, we can do a whole podcast on this, do not yourself launch into where the system broke down. Let them have the first go around, sit on your hands. This has got to be a productive space for them. If it’s a debrief meeting where you’re just complaining about all the systems that broke, it’s not going to be a good system.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah, real quickly, the way we like to do it, maybe we do a whole pod on the subject. But what we have to do is really go through and say, great, where did I fail? Against stream ownership. I’m going to lead by example. I want to set the tone for the meeting, that means I go first. That means I’m going to step up there and be like, awesome. These are super wins. I’m going to highlight the team where we won. I’m going to highlight how I failed in something, because anything that happens in the office that failed, that was 100% my fault, period, end of the sentence. So where did I fail inside of this? And I’m not going to break down and individualize where other team members failed, because it’s all about my failure on this one. And guess what? That empowers the team to step up and say you know what? I was part of that failure as well. And this is how I’m going to improve it next time.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. It really creates that atmosphere of ownership and not of blame.

Micah Shilanski: I love it.

Matthew Jarvis: Okay, perfect. Last action item on there, have fun. Right? We do surge meetings, we do all that. I took it right out of Micah’s mouth. You guys can’t see the videos we’re going back and forth, but we have a lot of fun here. Have fun. Right? What is your why? We talked to this amazing coach recently, Aaron Walker, we’re going to try and get him on the podcast, do some work together. But he really drilled in on this why, why are you doing surge meetings? Why are you doing these things? What’s your bigger why and fun, enjoy life needs to be one of those whys.

Micah Shilanski: Awesome. And of course, until next time, happy planning.

Matthew Jarvis: Happy planning.

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