None of us are exempt from looking around and finding the nearest scapegoat from time to time. It’s easy, it preserves our ego, and it gives us a reason for why we can’t implement the process we know we should. But in this episode, Matthew and Micah will be discussing the importance of taking ownership of your practice so you can finally implement the necessary processes that will help to provide massive value to your clients.
Listen in as they explain how to articulate a suggestion to your team to ensure they understand how this new thing will improve their workflow. You will learn how to make sure your team is on the same page, why you must understand your end goal, and why it is okay to hire help to implement new practices into your team.
Any good practice is constantly looking for ways to serve its clients better, and that means regularly improving your systems and processes. As the principal in your business, you pick up new ideas from your peers, masterclasses, and other learning opportunities, so it makes sense that you’ll want to try them out with your own staff.
However, sometimes convincing employees it’s time to make a change doesn’t go as smoothly as you might like. Here’s a guide to getting your team onboard with the office changes and improvements you want to make so you can keep everyone pulling in the same direction.
For Matthew Jarvis, cohost of The Perfect RIA podcast, the answer was simple. All the successful advisors he talked to were sending a calendar link to their clients to book appointments, and he just knew it would work for his office. There was just one problem: he couldn’t get his office manager onboard with the plan.
Matthew was bewildered. He couldn’t understand why she wanted to schedule appointments in such an old-fashioned way: she’d call someone on the phone, everyone would get their calendars out, and together they would find a mutually available time. Couldn’t she see how much easier it would be if clients could simply look at our calendar themselves and book their own appointments?
What Matthew eventually realized is that this was exactly the problem—she couldn’t see the benefit because he wasn’t showing it to her. In fact, he knew this wasn’t the first time he’d come home from a conference buzzing with new ideas. No wonder she was leery about “another new idea”; she wanted to see the proof.
That’s when Matthew thought, “OK. My office manager wants what’s best for the company. If she’s not onboard with my idea, there must be a disconnect between what I’m saying and the real benefit.”
When you’re a leader, there’s a line to walk between being the authority figure and cultivating a strong team. Sure, you could play the dictator; you’re writing their paychecks, after all. But you hired skilled, talented, resourceful team members for a reason. You want their feedback and opinions. Who wants to contribute their best efforts to a dictator?
Matthew knew he couldn’t just tell his office manager what to do with her book system. He had to get her to see the solution for herself.
If you’re having trouble getting your team onboard with your brilliant ideas, it can be easy to blame them for just not seeing the big picture. But what’s the real reason for their pushback?
They could be worried that their job will be phased out. They could be worried the solution won’t add the value you think it will, or that it’s too difficult to implement, or any number of other fears you’ll never know about unless you ask. Instead of assuming they just don’t understand what you’re trying to say, get at the real issue so you can address it together.
Change is always a lot of work, time, and emotional energy. If you’re asking someone to invest their time and energy in your idea, you have to be crystal clear on the benefit—not just to you but to the entire team.
When Matthew was able to introduce his office manager to the office managers at other great financial advisor practices, those office managers were able to tell her how great their experience has been with their updated booking system and how much their clients love the convenience. She was sold. Knowing that the solution was working for other offices with no loss in customer service was the proof she needed to finally believe this wasn’t just another big idea—this was truly a solution worth implementing.
It’s no use telling someone their fears are unfounded. When you implement surge, increase your fees, do value adds, or make any big shift, starting with fear setting gives your team a safe place to articulate their concerns and you an opportunity to address them. Don’t diminish their fears and say they don’t exist—meet them where they are and work through their concerns together. What’s their worst-case scenario?
Take Matthew’s office manager’s resistance to the calendar link. She wasn’t just concerned that they would lose their connection to their clients; she simply didn’t trust that learning a new system would ultimately be worth her time. He asked her how much time she thought it would take to implement, and together they found time on her calendar and came up with a plan. Suddenly, those fears seemed a little more surmountable, and they both enjoy a more efficient office today because of it.
Any big change can make your team feel like they’re being thrust up against the front lines and left to fend for themselves. In these situations, they want to hear exactly one thing from you: “If you need me, I’ll be there to support you.”
Make sure your team knows that if something ever happens with a client that they aren’t comfortable facing on their own, they can get ahold of you so you can step in and put out any fires from anywhere in the world. Commit to being on the next plane home if you’re ever truly needed. If your team knows you always have their back, they’ll have no problem getting onboard with your ideas, and they’ll trust you to help them succeed as they help you grow your practice.
If it was easy, everyone would do it. That’s why it’s called work. – @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet
You shouldn’t be subject to the whims of your team. – @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet
Know your limitations. – @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet
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 back to The Perfect RIA Podcast. I am your co-host Matthew Jarvis, and with me, as always, the man, the myth, the legend, Micah Shilanski. Micah, how are you, my friend?
Micah Shilanski: Bud, I am doing absolutely excellent here, excited today crush another great episode, talking about adding value. And you know what, this is something that we’ve just run across time and time again. And it’s so easy to, and I don’t want to downplay it so much, but to play victim, to not being able to implement our stuff, because we’re blaming other people and not taking ownership.
Now, before you tune off from this podcast entirely, there should be some nuggets, and like I say, I am the number one guilty person of this, by the way. So I’m not one to point blame at other people, but so often we come up with a great idea and I come up with an excuse, a reason why I can’t implement it. And nine times out of 10 it’s because of someone else’s fault, not because of my own.
Matthew Jarvis: At least that’s what I tell myself, right? That’s the number I give.
Micah Shilanski: Fair enough.
Matthew Jarvis: And I think, Micah, we have to start by acknowledging how difficult it is to be successful in this industry combined by how difficult it is to be successful as an entrepreneurial, period. So when you’re looking and say, “Hey, I want to make this change in my practice, and it’s really hard and specific to this episode, I’m getting pushback from my team,” that’s a time to high-five yourself and say, “I’m probably headed in the right direction.” If my team said, “Wow, that’s really great. We should do that,” and it was easy to implement, you’re probably going the wrong way. That’s really the indication. If it’s hard to do, odds are you’re heading the right way.
Micah Shilanski: Amen. Right? If it was easy, everybody would do it. That’s why it’s called work, right? I mean, that’s what we’re doing in here for, but there’s a lot of things that we have learned along the way, and I really want to hear from you, our listeners, because I know there’s other great team leaders out there that run larger teams than Jarvis and I, and I’d really love to hear what works in your office. What we want to do is of course not talk about theory. We want to talk about reality of what actually works in our practices when we’re coming up with things, because as you might notice, one of the things is Jarvis and I come up with a million new ideas all of the time, and it’s constant barraging with our team. And we’re very blessed to have good team members now that can really handle those things.
But what do you do when you come up with a great idea, you go to a conference, you hear a tip, you hear something, and now the team feels you’re making a 180-degree change, right? They put in all this work, all this energy, all this effort into something, and now you’re saying, “Great, but there’s a new widget, so abandon that strategy because all the work you put in this way is crap, and we’re going to go 180 degrees the other direction.” Jarvis, what do you do with that?
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, well, I do that all the time, actually. It’s a real struggle. And this episode was inspired by some of our backstage pass, some of our Invictus members, but I want to tell a personal story on this one, which is for years I had tried to work with Colleen, my office manager, to get a calendar link, right? So we would do the old-fashioned call someone on the phone, “Hey, what works on your calendar? What works in ours?” Blah, blah, blah, blah. And for years I had said, “Hey, Colleen, there’s this thing called Calendly. We should really just do this calendar link.” And she pushed back and she said, “No, I won’t do that. We’re going to lose our client service.”
Micah Shilanski: Not going to add value.
Matthew Jarvis: And I couldn’t ever make any practice, and so I relegated that to this corner of my mind of, “Well, Colleen just doesn’t get it,” right? Victim mentality, blame mentality.
Micah Shilanski: Yep.
Matthew Jarvis: And then at some point I was able to pivot to some extreme ownership and I thought, “Wait a second, Colleen wants what’s best for the company, right? All of your employees do, or they should get off the bus. She wants what’s best for the company. So there’s some kind of disconnect between how I’m articulating and how she’s hearing it.” So I was able to introduce her to the office managers at a couple of other great financial advisor practices. And those office managers said, “My goodness, Colleen, how do you not have this? It’s so great. It makes my job so much easier.” The next day, Colleen comes to me, she says, “Matthew, Matthew, guess what? I heard this great thing. We need to get a calendar link.” And I said, “It’s a great idea. That’s perfect.” And I don’t mean this at all to belittle Colleen, because she’s an amazing member of our team, but it changed from, “Hey, Matt’s got another idea,” Micah, to your point, to, “Wait a second. This works in other places?”
Micah Shilanski: And I like to say all the time, a prophet is not recognized in his own village, right? Now, as egotistical as that may sound, I actually say that to remind myself about the importance of authority and credibility by other people. Think about this too, about clients and prospects, right? That’s a whole conversation we can have, but that also is a direct conversation with you, your family and your team members, or when they work with you all the time, they may not see that these things are great ideas, but that’s the importance of masterminds. And that’s the importance of, it’s the reason we had Invictus call with Colleen as well as Victoria in our office, of going through with other office managers on how we run things, because now it’s not you the advisor saying how to do it. You’re hearing it again from other successful offices that actually do it because the team members’ pushback could be Matt and… Matt, jump in here, correct me if I’m wrong here, right?
Matthew Jarvis: It is.
Micah Shilanski: But Colleen could say, “Look, Matt, you don’t get it. You’re not booking these calls. You’re not calling these clients. You’re not scheduling. You don’t know how much value it’s going to be,” which is an accurate statement. We are not booking those calls versus you have another successful office that says, “You know what? I do those same phone calls and this is how I add the calendar link. And oh my gosh, my clients love it.” It’s authority, it’s a different play.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Well, and I want to keep going back to that extreme ownership, right? Which is if my team member, or Micah, as you referenced, my client, my prospect is not doing what I think they need to be doing, that is on me. I have not articulated it clearly. Or by chance I’m just wrong, like maybe I don’t understand the issue. I don’t understand their concern, right? They said, “Hey, I don’t want to retire next year,” Micah, an example you gave me offline. Okay, well, what’s really going on there? If for them, it’s not the numbers, me beating them over the head with the numbers isn’t going to help.
Micah Shilanski: So that’s the point of this one is what is the real issue, right? If you have the new idea, if you have a new strategy, and this is one of the things I have to remind myself all the time, because you could play the dictator role that says, “Hey, I’m writing the frigging paychecks. Do what I say I’m going to do.” And that works to a certain point, but you’re really going to limit your growth because you should have hired people with a brain, right? You hired really good team members that are rock stars. You want their feedback and opinion, so leading by dictator may not be the best long-term approach.
So if you articulate something and it’s not going through, what’s the real reason, right? How do you dive into this? Are they worried that their job’s going to go away? They’re worried it’s not going to add value? They don’t understand the process, right? What is the real thing that you’re getting the know in? And sometimes that takes a little bit to go through. And, Jarvis, one of the things we talked about before, we love to do our team meetings, actually, before we’re recording this, we actually have one coming up this week, and we’re going to do a fear-setting exercise.
And this is something we talk about all the time, got from Tim Ferris and a lot from you as well, but it’s really talking about saying, “Great, if this doesn’t work, what’s the worst case scenario,” right? So if we started with this Calendly link, and we sent it out to our clients, or we implemented surge, or we want to do a fee increase, or we want to do these value adds, or you name whatever change you’re going to do, start with fear setting when you’re unveiling it to your team, because this allows them to, in a safe place, articulate the concerns that are going to be there and start addressing the fears. Don’t diminish the fears and say they don’t actually exist, they’re not real things, but solve them.
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, a fear that I discover a lot of times when I work with the team, and I love that fear-setting exercise, is this logistical issue of “When will I have time to implement,” right? So team members are often running at what they perceive to be capacity. And whether we would agree with that objective or not is not the issue. In their mind, “Hey, I’m running at capacity. Implementing this new system is going to take an incredible amount of time, right? And where will I find time to do it?”
And that goes back, Micah, to the fear setting that you said. Great, if we tested this out, let’s use the Calendly, if we just try this one quarter, send it out, how much time do you think you would need to implement it? “Well, I think it would take me eight hours to get Calendly set up.” “Okay, I think it will take 12 minutes, but great, let’s carve out eight hours. Let’s go. Okay, when will we find those eight hours?” And we can kind of map that through and that goes to that fear setting.
Same with buckets, right? “Well, I think the market’s going to go down.” “Great, how long do you think it’ll go down for?” “I think it’s going to go down for four years.” “Perfect. If we had four years in a bucket to protect us, would that be okay?” “Well, I don’t know. Maybe it needs to be five.” “Perfect. Then it’s five.” So how do we get to that core issue? And then how do we address it? Micah, you’re right. We can pull the dictator card. You can only play that a couple of times. And in a way, it’s lazy.
Micah Shilanski: Totally.
Matthew Jarvis: In a way, you’re saying, “You just have to do it this way,” which really means I haven’t thought it through all the way, but by golly, we’re going to do it.
Micah Shilanski: Nope. I love that part. It’s just being lazy. Pulling that card is just being lazy. I hope my team’s not listening. We’ll find out.
Matthew Jarvis: No kidding. I’m not saying never pull that card, but…
Micah Shilanski: “Micah, you’re just being lazy.” Really? All right, so one of the things is you got to be intentional, right, about this. And one of the things with being intentional and being in fear setting, the other thing, Jarvis, I like to do to directly correlate that, does the change affect our 10-year goal? Does it help us get to our 10-year vision? Where do we want to be in the next one year, five years, 10 years that are going to be out there? Now, again, as you probably heard, Jarvis and I don’t like five-year goals, they’re too far out. Five-year goals should be three-year goals. So one, three, 10 is what we’re looking at. So in the next three years, is this going to help us achieve our goal? Yes or no?
And if we’ve got all the team members on the right bus, we’re all going the same direction, that means we all want to hit these same three-year goals. If this strategy helps us, then again, that’s another reason that we can show on our team, why we’re implementing this change. It’s not because I found a new widget and I want to change everything over. I think this is actually going to help us push the bar. And if they have a good reason that says, “Hey, this is not going to hit the three-year mark, and here’s why,” well, then great, let’s discover that before it goes out. So have a time set where we can go through this and say, “Does it actually reach these mile marks or not?”
Matthew Jarvis: That’s a great point, Micah. I think part of that why that you need to address as well is how is it going to make their job easier, right? So what’s the why for them? Now, again, we can play the dictator card and say, “By golly, you get a paycheck, therefore you do what I say.” And again, there’s a place for that, but not often, right? I want to communicate to my team, “Why does this change make their life easier?” Now, sometimes admittedly, it’s a stretch. For example, when I took my six month trip to The Bahamas, it was a pretty hard sell to convince them why this was in their best interest, right? But we still did that fear setting. All right, great, if I’m in The Bahamas and a client calls and says, “Hey, the market’s down and I heard Matt’s in The Bahamas with his family, this sounds ridiculous.”
All right, what’s going to happen? Now, with the team, I can’t say that will never happen because in their mind it’s a possibility, so let’s address it. “Okay, here’s what’s going to happen. Here’s my satellite phone number. I’m going to call the client the same day, and I’ll take care of it,” right? I will always take the brunt of whatever thing that’s going on.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah, you don’t allow the team to step up and do that, right? The reason we get paid the big bucks, reason we do what we do is we put out those fires. We take care of those things. Jarvis, I want to get back to a point you had said about giving it a place to live, right? And kind of giving it a time. One of the things that we do in our office is we have, and we have this written out because I’ll be the first one to violate this, “When can we make changes,” and the opposite, “When can we not make changes?” For example, we can not onboard new software change CRMs or do things in the middle of a surge. And yes, I’m raising my hand saying, “I had our team do this before,” right?
Matthew Jarvis: I was going to say, that is the voice of experience right there.
Micah Shilanski: Yes, and it was one of the things I pulled a dictator card and it wasn’t the best thing for the team. Now, did everything blow up? No, I could go back and argue and says, “This made you so much more effective,” but that wasn’t the real thing. That wasn’t the time to do it. Again, another beautiful part of a surge calendar is we have a surge meeting. That means great, we’re going to get all of our clients in this time, but it also creates a buffer zone to do other things, that is great, if we want to look at new technologies, if we want to implement new things, if we want to do those things, great, here’s the window to do it.
For example, we’re not going to change the way we book client appointments a couple of weeks leading up to a surge. Absolutely not. Why? Because we already have half or we have three quarters of our clients booked by that time. So we don’t need to change it for the other quarter of our clients. It needs to be consistent. The next surge we can make a change.
Matthew Jarvis: I do want to make sure, Micah, that we’re not giving the illusion or creating the view that, “Hey, the team gets to call all the shots,” right? So we’re talking about fear setting. We’re talking about making sure it’s in their best interests. We’re talking about dealing with their concerns. However, at the end of the day, I still get to make the call. For example, and the reason this comes up, we’re in the middle of a fee increase right now, and we’ve had some pretty substantial pushback from the team on this fee increase. They’re saying, “Hey, is this fair? Is this right? Why are we doing this?” And so we’ve done fear setting, we’ve done all of these steps again and again. And it came up again yesterday, just before we sent out their fee increase letters.
And so I finally said, “Great, we’ve gone through all of these. This is just the step that we’re going to take. If you have another concern, I’d be glad to address this, but we’re going to use a calendar link. We’re going to do this fee increase.” There are things that we’re going to do, but be careful with that card, because as we mentioned that card gets played at a price, but there is a time to say, “Hey, we are going to… and listen, I am going to do surge meetings. I am going to go, Micah, on your hunting trip, whatever those are, these are going to happen. I’ll do everything I can reasonably to make it as easy as possible for you. And to have backstops in place. I’m not going to back down on this though.”
Micah Shilanski: And again, on your team aspect of it, yeah, you’re not subject to the whims of your team, right? But think of it like a client relationship. And this is something that, again, I struggle with and I do think back in my mind, this needs to be the same communication, like a client relationship. If you jump to the end in conclusion too fast with your team, they weren’t along with you in the experience. It doesn’t work. For example, if a client comes in and says, “I want to retire,” great, I grab their assets. I split out say, “This is how you’re going to divide it. Here’s your ACAT paperwork. Let’s move on. Boom, I got this,” right? Don’t think they’re going to sign that. “Well, I have questions.” “I don’t care. I’ve done this before. I know what I’m doing. You don’t. Sign the paperwork.”
That’s probably not going to end in success, right? We got to have a journey. We got to have a guided discovery. We need the same guided discovery with your team. This is that guided discovery to go through to make sure it’s all on the same page, to get the team buy-in, because, Jarvis, to your point, while I’m out hunting for a month, while you’re in The Bahamas, when we travel to Europe, when we’re gone in the RV, right, whatever experience, we’re not in the office, we need them to take ownership and to run this thing.
Matthew Jarvis: I like that. It’s a good reminder on that guided discovery it. It reminds me when I’m on my A game and I want to implement something new in the office, I’ll start seeding it with the team. I’ll say, “What if we had this? What if we did a fee increase next year?” Or I’ll say, “Hey, I noticed in another great advisor’s office, they were doing this thing. I wonder what it would be like,” right? Just, “I wonder if it’d be like if we did this,” so there’s ways to seed that gently versus coming down and saying, “Hey, guess what we’re doing next week, we’re doing this.” There’s a process. Micah, and to your point with a prospect, some of that process, you just have to know, right, or you have written down and it’s kind of an offline, it’s a discreet thing. But if you take away the magic behind the prospect process or behind managing a team, it’s going to backfire.
Micah Shilanski: I’m also going to put out another aspect of it to masterminds with inside of your operations team or your RMs. What are offices that you mastermind with? And can you connect the teams? So Jarvis and I, now we also harass each other about this religiously, but one of the times I recently, I’ll go first, in my office Charnell had brought up that she was chatting with Colleen and this is what they were doing. I was like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, when were you chatting with Colleen? And why are you saying that we’re not the best here?” Right? I mean, so instantly that head trash—
Matthew Jarvis: I have the same thing. “You told Micah’s office that I scheduled a meeting on a Tuesday?”
Micah Shilanski: It’s the end of the world. Now he knows I’m human, right? But it’s one of those great things that now Charnell, who’s the head of our operations, Colleen, who’s the head of yours, they can chit chat about things. Now, they’re not calling and saying how to do an ACAT, but they know there’s another great team that operates 99% the same way that we do. And if they need to bounce an idea off, they have that resource to do.
Now, again, this is key because Jarvis and I are going in the same place, right? And it’s not just because the perfect RA, we’re both growing, just our financial planning practices independently are going that same direction. We’re both growing. We’re bringing on advisors, we’re bringing on clients. We want to be efficient. So because we have that same one, three, 10-year mindset, our teams can collaborate on those things so we all grow.
Matthew Jarvis: Boy, we could do a whole podcast on that mindset. You want to make sure that whoever your team is affiliating, they have that mindset. Whatever your mindset is, you need to make sure. So just because they can find a team member to talk to, if that’s a team member at a dying practice or some practice that’s philosophically completely different than yours, that’s not where you want exposure.
Want to take a little step back on this plan, though, for making changes, you need to make sure in your mind that you’re clear on the benefit of it, right? If you’re taking a change to your team, even if it’s a team of just you, that’s going to be work. Change is always a lot of work. It’s time, it’s emotional energy. You need to make sure and say, “Hey, I’m implementing surge. What’s going to come from this? And what’s my carrot here that I’m committed to that’s going to get me through the slumps when implementing the surge is hard and when clients push back and team members push back? What am I ultimately solving for that’s worth this effort?”
Micah Shilanski: And also know your limitations on this, right? So this is my limitations, and I think, Jarvis, this is probably an area that you excel better than I do is the aspect that when we have these team meetings and go through, I can lose patience pretty quickly. “It’s not that complicated. If I can figure it out, why can’t you? This is what I…” Again, I pull that dictator card, like, why am I being here, right? Because in a client relationship, again, and when I keep that mindset, I pull on … patience, and sometimes that team relationship, I don’t know what it is, I lose a little bit of that patience. So I have to step back and really keep that in mind when I’m going into these team meetings about what’s my end goal.
I also need to bring in someone else who’s going to lead that meeting because they’re going to have more energy than I. And in our office, that’s Jamie. And she does a phenomenal job taking care of the team meetings. I can come in and dance around as the visionary, “This is the concept that we need to do.” I can step back. She can lead the team meeting. I am still there, but she is the one that’s fully engaged and I can bounce in and out. But for the team training-wise, she can do that so much better than I. Understand your limitations. Maybe you need to bring somebody else in.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, I was going to say, Jamie is phenomenal on that. I don’t know that she’s available to hire for other offices to use, other than indirectly through the Invictus program, I suppose.
Micah Shilanski: I was going to say Invictus, yeah.
Matthew Jarvis: So if you don’t have… I don’t have that person on my team. Micah, I run into the same issue. So I’ll find coaches that I like to bring in. In fact, we’re scheduling a Jarvis Financial team retreat in a month or so, and we’ve got different coaches coming in to facilitate it through the day the things that I want to get accomplished. But the coach can facilitate, or they’re the ones that can say like, “Colleen, tell me what you think about this. Or Nathaniel, tell me what your concern,” they can do that, where I, Micah, to your point, I get very impatient, like, “Listen, it’s really easy. It’s one, two, three. I can get it done right. And in fact, in seven minutes I can have this done.”
Micah Shilanski: Right.
Matthew Jarvis: Which isn’t productive.
Micah Shilanski: I was going to say that doesn’t help, right? Yes, because we need the team in order to embrace these things. And again, we are not putting our team down. I would go hands down, I have the best team. And you would say the same thing. You have the best team, right? We have phenomenal teams in place, but we all communicate things differently. So that’s one other point you want to do. How does your team communicate? Whether that’s Kolbe or DISC, one of these evaluations, you probably need to go out and do team-wide and have them put that team wheel together so you can see how everybody communicates. I am blown away. We just did it for the TPR team. Everybody loves it. They love reading assessments about themselves. For me, if someone sends it to me, I have my assistant take the test, which I think is hilarious. Everybody comes back confused at the results.
Matthew Jarvis: By the way, that’s not a good plan just for the record.
Micah Shilanski: It’s not a good plan.
Matthew Jarvis: It’s not a good plan. It’s really funny. It’s really funny, but it’s not.
Micah Shilanski: At least to me. So yeah, you need to take the test, see how everybody communicates together. That can be a team retreat, and it’s a great team bonding thing. And it’s something to bring up again and again. You can’t train on these things once. You can’t communicate about them once and then go, “Wait.” Jarvis, to your fee example, right? Your fee increases that goes through, one of the things that comes up is you had your fear setting. You got all ready to do it right before it goes out, those fears are still there. They haven’t gone away. Your team brings them up again. So just because you addressed this thing one time does not mean it’s done. You’re going to have to address it again and again and again until it’s successful.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Important to remember as well, a lot of us as advisors, I think the vast majority in my experience are very high, what Kolbe would call Quick Start, we’re what doctors would call ADD, we have short attention spans. We want to cut to the chase. ADD’s a super power, by the way.
Micah Shilanski: Amen.
Matthew Jarvis: We have short attention spans, and so the team needs more details a lot of time than we have patience to give, and so you’ve got to have a way to facilitate that. Micah, you said either bring in Jamie, bring in a third party or just say, “Hey, listen, I’m going to schedule five 30-minute blocks in my calendar because 30 minutes is the the cap of my intention span, and we’ll just break this into pieces.” That way, when I start getting frustrated and annoyed, I can step out, but the team still knows they have an outlet for getting those questions answered.
Micah Shilanski: Jarvis, I even implement this a little bit in my personal life. So as you guys probably know from the Tips from the Trenches, we’re building a house because I didn’t have enough other stuff to do. And so when we’re meeting with the contractors, I got tired of the contractors running meetings because they can’t run meetings worth crap. So I stepped up and said, “Great, this is our meeting schedule. This is how we’re going to do it. I’m having Victoria organize the agendas, and we have 30 minutes to get this stuff done.” And they were like, “It’s going to take longer that.” I’m like, “No, it’s not. This is the only attention span I’m going to have to devote to this project. If you can’t articulate in this time, great, we’ll talk about it again in two weeks, but you need to be able to get these things done.”
Again, my limitation right there, and not having this six-hour meeting, I’m going to apply a successful strategy that works in our team, smaller bits, more frequent meetings, potentially if needed, I’m going to apply that same strategy to other areas of my life because I know it works.
Matthew Jarvis: I love it. I love it. Well, speaking of what works, we probably need to jump into some action items. Action item number one on my list is this episode is airing on Monday, September the 20th, which means on Tuesday, September the 21st, you can go over to kitces.com and tune in for my second appearance on the Michael Kitces Advisor Success Podcast.
Hopefully, I did a good job. I recorded like six weeks ago, so I’m a little nervous, but actually it’s a lot of great contents. How’s that for a great plug? Lot of great content on fee increases, we talked extensively about fee increases and how to charge a premium fee for offering a premium value.
Micah Shilanski: Yeah. And I think that’s really good because talking about premium fees, talking about your service, talking about how you’re unique in your marketplace is so good. And fee compression is a myth, right?
Matthew Jarvis: 100%.
Micah Shilanski: One of the things we talked about time and time again, this is just another great example. All right, after you get done doing that, what’s your 10-year vision? Now, I don’t want you to spend 10 years creating a 10-year vision, right? I don’t want you to spend 10 hours doing this. This should be a 10-minute exercise. It’s not an action plan. It’s a vision. Where do you want to be in the next 10 years? Add a decade to your life, what does that look like? Where do you want to be? Then, great, start backing that down, go do a three-year and get to a one-year vision. And this needs to be something you’re communicating with your team, and your team’s on that same boat of where you need to go. We can do a whole separate pod. If the team is not going that direction, that means it’s the wrong team member.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. I would add briefly that we’ll have to do an entire pod. Make sure that that 10-year vision has what the team is interested in. So a lot of us are saying, “Yeah, I want to grow from 250 million assets to a billion dollars in assets,” and the team hears that and hears five times as much work. My goodness, that doesn’t sound like a great goal to pull for. So make sure it’s articulated in a way that makes sense to them, which in fact was actually, I remember too with anything, whether it’s your 10-year vision or just even implementing surge or Calendly or anything else, get clear for your team what’s in their best interest. How is this going to make their job easier? How is this going to make their life more fulfilling? Not just because we say, “Hey, it’s going to pick up 13 minutes of productivity a day,” that doesn’t articulate in their language.
Micah Shilanski: Absolutely. Awesome. Jarvis, this was amazing. Always great hanging out and having fun. Take action on this podcast. Go listen to that Kitces episode, you know you want to, so it can make sure it grows. Visit theperfectria.com because we want to hear your feedback. We want to hear your suggestions. How are you leading these team meetings? What is successful? Because this is a journey we were all on together, and we also learn from you guys. So thank you very much. Until next time. Happy planning.
Matthew Jarvis: Happy planning.
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