What You'll Learn In Today's Episode:

  • The importance of looking at reviews before deciding on a program.
  • Why you should be picky with who you receive advice from.
  • How to ensure you’re choosing the right coaching program for you.
  • Why the smallest details can make the biggest difference.
  • How to avoid making practice mistakes.
  • How much you should spend on personal development.

Matthew and Micah have spoken in depth about surrounding yourself with and learning from people who are at a point in their career that you want to get to, and signing up for a coaching program can be an essential step in this process. However, with so many coaching programs available, how can you be sure you’re choosing one that is right for your needs? In this episode, the guys will be sharing their best advice for choosing the right training for you.

Listen as they discuss the importance of asking others who have completed a potential program about their experience before signing up for it yourself, as this will help ensure it is going to cover the topics that you’re looking for. You will learn how much you should look at spending on a coaching program, the number one rule for success, and why it is crucial to be intentional with the way you run your business.

Podcast Article:

How to Hire a Business Coach Who Can Help Your Financial Practice Succeed

Investing in a coach is one of the most important things you can do for your practice. Here’s how to hire a business coach that’s right for you.

Most financial advisors understand that hiring a coach is the best way to take their business to the next level, but with so many options, it can be difficult to know which coaching program to choose. In this article, Matthew and Micah of The Perfect RIA podcast explain how to hire a business coach who can help your firm succeed—whatever “success” means to you. 

Action Items in This Article

  • Create your own screening criteria. What matters to someone else may not be what matters to you; to reach your goals, you have to know what you’re solving for.
  • Invest in yourself. If you don’t have a personal development account, start one today so you always have permission to use that money for your own growth.
  • Hire a coach with experience you can replicate to take your business to the next level.

Four Criteria for Hiring a Business Coach

When it comes to hiring a business coach, Matthew and Micah have more experience than the average financial advisor. Between the two of them, they’ve taken more coaching and training programs than you can imagine, from mastermind getaways to one-on-one sessions with industry leaders—and they’ve encountered more than a few coaches who shouldn’t be in the business at all.

They’ve also witnessed firsthand how an effective, dedicated business coach can inspire new ideas, create accountability, and drive growth in ways that would be out of reach to anyone going it alone. Here are Matthew and Micah’s four most important criteria for hiring the right business coach for your financial management practice.

1. Know What You’re Solving For

One financial advisor’s definition of success isn’t necessarily going to match your own. There’s no one-size-fits-all silver bullet out there; to find the right coach for your business, you have to know what you’re trying to achieve and define success on your own terms. If you skip this step, you’re only setting yourself up to fail.

Instead of staking everything on a pipe dream, be intentional about what you’re solving for. What aspects of your practice do you need to improve? What do you expect to be different when you’re finished with the program? Get clear on whatever is preventing you from reaching your full potential so you can find a coach who will address that need.

2. Learn From Experience, Not Theory

Search the internet for “business coach” and you’ll find all sorts of bold claims backed by people more than willing to take your money and promise you success. But how many have actually experienced that success for themselves, much less helped anyone successfully replicate it?

Doing something once isn’t the same as gaining an understanding over time of how an industry really works and what being successful really entails. It is crucial that the coach you hire to help your business grow has achieved and helped others achieve the level of success you aspire to.

3. Commit to the Program

Whenever Matthew Jarvis pays for training, he takes his new learning opportunity very seriously. “I’m going to sit in the front row,” he says. “I’m going to take notes. I’m not going to have any distractions. I’m going to be all in on this. I’m not going to sit in the back and read the paper; I want to be engaged.”

Sometimes, it’s all about tricking your brain to assign an external value to the experience. Matthew recommends only spending your time on programs that cost enough money for you to actually take them seriously: you’re either going to implement what you learn or get rid of the coach. To see real results from any coaching or training program, you’ve got to commit to showing up and following through.

4. Understand How You Learn Best

Maybe you’re one of those people who can read for hours and would almost always rather soak up information through a book or a paper than an in-person lecture. Maybe you’re a more visual learner who prefers videos and infographics. Or maybe you learn best in a classroom setting where you can interact with others just as eager to learn.

Whatever your style of learning, it’s important to understand how each coach you’re considering will deliver their content. If audio distracts you, you probably aren’t going to reach your fullest potential in a program consisting primarily of audio recordings. But with a program that matches your learning style, you’ll have a better chance of achieving the success your coach advertises and your business deserves.

Resources In Today's Episode:

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…

Micah Shilanski: Welcome back to another amazing episode of the perfect RIA podcast. I’m your co-host, Micah Shilanski, our co-founder and with me as usual is the amazing Matthew Jarvis. How’s it going, bud?

Matthew Jarvis:   I wish there was applause, like we had a live studio audience. You and I can bring our kids in since they’re on the payroll and they could be live studio audience.

Micah Shilanski: That’s a great idea. Another legitimate tax deduction. Applauding for us when we need it.

Matthew Jarvis:   Quick side note on that, Micah, and I know it’s not a topic of our episode, but I had posted on LinkedIn, a picture of my kids helping me ship out copies of our book because for our members, for people that buy it on the perfect RIA website, we send them a signed copy and so there was a picture of the kids and there was a lot of people joking about, “Yeah. Now you’ve got the kids on the payroll”. That’s not a joke in our family.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. Nor should they get the money.

Matthew Jarvis:   Nor is it in yours.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. In fact, on our value ads, believe it or not and it’s a total side note. Sorry, we’ll get back to the real podcast in just a minute, but on our value ads, we love getting our kids involved in the value ads, knowing what they are and how they’re delivered and whenever we mail something because I know I poke fun of you for sending stuff in the mail, but so do we. Especially that Christmas gifts and other things. We bring in the kids to take care of all that stuff. Whether it’s organizing it, going through the list, making sure everyone has it. Teaching those basic foundation things, and by the way, now just a legitimate tax deduction.

Matthew Jarvis:   I love it. I do have to tell my kids though, as you always do, that they got off easy because when I was a kid and my dad was getting started in the industry, we would have to put labels on thousands and tens of thousands of mailers. It was a penny for each one that you got on, but it was 50 cents if one went on cricket. You would owe dad 50 cents if you put one on cricket. It’s a multi-generational thing here.

Micah Shilanski: That’s awesome. I love it. I remember doing all that fun stuff as well. All right. Let’s jump into this, Jarvis. We launched the backstage pass in Invictus. We only launch it a couple times a year and we got a ton of new members to sign up, which is absolutely amazing. The nation webinar went beautifully, going through a lot of stuff, but one question really kept coming up when we were talking on the nation webinar. The nation webinar is the webinars that are open to everyone to attend and it was a question of saying, look, Matt and Micah, I know you guys are somewhat biased, but which coaching program should I attend? We thought this might be a great discussion to talk about because Jarvis, you and I have been through a lot of different coaching programs.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, we have. In fact, you and I started listing offline and we won’t list them online cause we don’t want to single out anybody, but basically any big name you’ve heard of in the industry, we’ve probably, one of us have either personally been coached by them, attended one of the programs, seen one of them speak because we’re infinitely curious. Now some of those brought some really valuable things. I think of Coach Joe Lucas, his work that we’ve done with him on head trash, on planning, on being intentional, really great stuff. Other people whose names we won’t name, didn’t ever make it to the conference room, so to speak. Exactly.

Micah Shilanski: Exactly. We want to talk about things when you’re looking at a coaching program about how do we go through and solve what are we looking for when we’re evaluating these different programs and what hat to put it in. We’re going to run through that and then also at the end, we’re going to share who we’re presently working with and what that is going to look like. Now, number one, whenever we’re looking for a coach, you got to be intentional. We have four rules of success and we’re going to talk about those, but number three is be intentional. What does that mean? It’s okay. Know what you’re solving for when you’re hiring a coach. If you are looking for a silver bullet, how perfect, “Once I hire Matt and Micah, or once I hire whomever or during whatever program, all of my problems will go away”.

You’re living in fairytale land and that’s just really not going to happen. Be intentional. What part of your practice do you need to improve on? If you have a practice management problem and you hire a head trash coach or a physical fitness coach, I don’t know if that’s going to help you with your practice management problem. Those are not related. That doesn’t mean this physical therapist, physical coach, you hired or this personal trainer is not phenomenal with their job. That’s not your problem. The first thing is we’ve got to be really intentional. What are you trying to solve?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, I think related to that, Micah or another way to articulate that would be at the end of this coaching engagement, whether it’s a year long program or a conference or a mastermind, what’s going to be different in my life? What do I expect to be different? Have that in your mind. Don’t won’t mention that to the person giving you the sales pitch because if I go up to Joe coach and I say, “Hey, listen. At the end of the year, I want to double my production. Can you do it?” Micah, what’s their answer going to be?

Micah Shilanski: Absolutely. That’s what we specialize in, doubling your production. How did you know? Yes.

Matthew Jarvis:   That’s right. You want to keep your cards closed. You need to be transparent with a coach once you hire them. Incredibly transparent. Before that though, you need say, “Tell me what results you’ve gotten for other people. In fact better yet, who can I talk to who’s gone through your program that has seen results in this area so I can see where they went right and where they went wrong?

Micah Shilanski: Absolutely. Jarvis, you just said this and it just brought up a client conversation that I have with my individual clients. When I’m talking to a client and they need to go find a specialist, whether it’s an estate planning attorney, a CPA, whether it’s some litigation they have to go through and we’re coaching them how we’re going to find this person, dishwasher rule. I want to get credit for the things that we’re doing. We always bring up the same thing. You never lead with, “Do you specialize in estate planning? Do you specialize in these taxes?” When you talk to that attorney, guess what they’re going to say? “Yes I do. I normally do divorce work, but I know how to do a will. It’s not that complicated”, and now you’re going to get the wrong advice. We can take that same concept we use with clients and we need to apply it with ourselves as well.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. That’s an amazing one and if I’m looking for an individual coach, really what I like to do is just, and Micah, you and I did this with a coach we just hired. We like to say, “Listen, can I just pay for an hour of your time?” Same thing we do with centers of influence, by the way.

Micah Shilanski: Yes.

Matthew Jarvis:   “Let me pay for an hour of your time. Deliver massive value to me and if I feel like you’ve delivered massive value to me, then I’ll be glad to hire you for an ongoing engagement”. Now, it doesn’t work the same for group coaching programs because you’re not paying enough of a premium to get one-on-one time, but I think the same rule applies. Are they delivering massive value? Not making you feel good. Not getting you pumped up and you want to tear the doors off the building. Are they delivering massive value, right out of the gates?

Micah Shilanski: One of the things I want to look at with that massive value, Jarvis, is I want to put it in one or two categories. This is especially when I’m going to conferences, before when we had those events that you’d go in person to, and there’d be speaking? I don’t know. Those things, when those used to happen. I always like to put, whenever I’m going to a room, which hat is this going to fit under? Is this going to fit under my theoretical hat of saying, “This is nice academic information. It’s exercising my brain. It’s a fun thought process”. I still enjoy that. Is that a fun thing to do, or is it going to fit under my application hat, my real life hat of saying “No, this is actually from people that know what the heck they’re talking about, and this is going to end up in my conference room”. Whenever I’m under my theoretical hat or my academic hat, none of that stuff is ever going to hit my conference room until it’s tested out in the real life. Same thing when you’re hiring a coach. Which hat is it going to be under? Is this theoretical, where it’s a neat mental exercise or is this practical? Is this real life? Is this actually something that’s going to end up hitting in my conference room with my clients?

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, I got a story on that one. Again, I’m going to omit names to protect the guilty. I was speaking at a conference, obviously before—when we still had conferences and I was on a panel. We were talking about centers of influence, which as you know, is something I’m very passionate about. About one third of my clients come from centers of influence. Some of the audience ask, they say, “Matthew, I’ve got centers of influence to whom I’ve referred a ton of clients. They’ve never referred me a single client”, which is a very common story among financial advisors.

Micah Shilanski: Amen.

Matthew Jarvis:   Before I could answer, the facilitator who did not have a practice said, “You need to call those CPAs. You need to tell them exactly how many people you’ve referred and let them know that if they don’t start referring people to you, that you’re were going to stop referring people to them”. Micah, I about fell out of my chair and maybe this was good or not, but I didn’t have the audacity say, “Wait, have you ever tried that? Have you ever gone to a CPA and used that line and they’ve said, you’re right. I’ve seen the error in my ways”? No. If you go to a CPA and tell them that, they’re going to tell you to pound sand. They’re going to tell you to get lost. In theory, it sounds great. In reality, never works.

Micah Shilanski: They’re going to bad mouth you to every single client, maybe not consciously, but definitely subconsciously. They would never want to do it with you because CPAs, especially with that high C mentality and high compliance mentality, they don’t want to deal with that type of conflict in that area. They want all of your mutual clients somewhere else with that. It’s a horrible idea. Again, that’s a theoretical idea. Where’s it practical? Where’s its application? If it’s application, great. I want to speak to someone that all they do is get business from COIs. That’s all. They have these great relationships. How do those work?

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, I want to dive just a little bit deeper into this theory versus practice because I missed it for so many years. Conviction. Someone’s conviction does not take it from theory to practice. If they’re very passionate, they have a lot of conviction that this process is going to work, but they’re not actually implementing it with real clients in a real world. It’s theory. If they’ve seen it a bunch of times in other people’s practices, let’s say they came to my office, they went to Micah’s office. They said, “You know what, I’ve been to Matt and Micah’s office. I’ve seen everything they do. I can teach you”. That is still theory. Unless you’re the one presenting it to the client, unless you’re the one bringing in the prospects, it’s theory, unless you’re doing it. That is the distinction. Is this person doing it? If not, it’s theory and Micah, to your point, I can still learn from theory, but I have to be very careful because at best it’s 90 percent.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah, it’s going to be 90 percent, and so you want to be careful, but take those people that have gone through and they’ve interviewed a bunch of successful people interviewed and said, “Great, this is how we’re going to do it”. Again, we can still learn from them. We can still get this great thing. Then the next step would be, I would look at that and say, “Man, I really like…” I’m just going to pick on your COI idea. “I really like this COI idea. I want to implement it. Awesome”. What’s my next step – to all the advisor that they said is doing it. Perfect. I want to go spend an hour of their time. I’m going to call up Jarvis’s office. I’m going to say, “Hey, I’d love to buy an hour of your time. Would you walk me through this process”? What you’re going to find is very subtle nuances, which make the world of difference in communication with these clients and COIs that may or may not get picked up in the theoretical.

Let’s also give cadence a little bit of respect that sometimes advisors are really good at what they do, but they’re not very good at explaining how it’s done. I know I’m very guilty of that in several areas, and being part of the perfect RIA has really helped me try and increase my teaching ability to other advisors. Great. You’re highly successful at this. How do you communicate that for somebody else to do it? Sometimes again, that blend between those two of that other coach that says, “Hey, I’ve interviewed all these other advisors. Here’s the outline”, then you go talk to that successful advisor. That’s going to be very, very successful. Again, the key is going to the person that’s actually doing it and getting information.

Matthew Jarvis:   Well, Micah, since you opened that door. I’m going to pick on you a little bit and give a plug for retirement tax services. Micah once told me and we talked about it in this podcast. He says, “Hey, we get this form 8821 for clients and then we get the IRS transcripts. It’s not a big deal. This is on me”. I thought, Micah made it sound really easy. I’ll get all my clients to go sign this form.

Micah Shilanski: That is not what you said. You said, “If Micah can do it, clearly it’s not that complicated”. That’s what you said, but no, please continue.

Matthew Jarvis:   It can’t be that easy. I go get all my clients to sign this. I send it to the IRS and they say, “Well, that’s really cute, but you haven’t gone through these 10 steps. Now again, this was on me because I didn’t sit down and ask Micah, “Tell me how the form works. Tell me what the requirements are. Are there anything to be established”? I took a passing comment and thought, “All right, I understand how this works”. But again, it’s a reminder that you need, Micah, like you said, you need to know what the idea is and you need to make sure you’re getting all the steps to implement it. The plug for retirement tax services is within a few weeks of this airing. They are going to actually open up retirement tax service premier edition, which will allow you to do 8821’s for your clients without you having to go through all the hoops, but that’s a story for another day.

Micah Shilanski: I’m going to get in trouble with my team, because I’m about to announce something that we’ve never talked about before. If you can highlight, and if you were at our last mastermind in Tennessee, you do not qualify for this, but if you have read Jarvis’ book, which is delivering massive value, which you absolutely should, if you can highlight in there what my favorite line in the book is, and here’s a hand. Jarvis mentions me by name. On the other hand it’s not what you think it is. If you can highlight what that line is, the first person that comes to me, I’ll give you two months free of retirement tax services. Out of my pocket, by the way. It’s not being comped. I will pay for this. So I would love you to go and look at that. This book is phenomenal. Talk about delivering massive value. See if you can find that line. If you can email lifestyle@theperfectra.com. Shelby will help and if you are the first winner, then I’ll chat with you and we’ll get you set up.

Matthew Jarvis:   I love it. Micah’s name is mentioned several times and there’s only one quote that really stood out to him so we’ll let you just figure it out from there.

Micah Shilanski: All right. We are off track. Theory or reality. Really, really important understanding, what are you trying to get out of this and which hat does it live in so you don’t make practice mistakes? Again, Jarvis, I have made so many mistakes taking theory and implementing them with my clients and it blows up in my face and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, what went wrong? I did exactly what they did”. I went to them. Jarvis, I don’t know how this didn’t work. I went to them with a list of six names on it or six blank lines and I handed it to the client with a pen and I said, “Would you write down your top three friends that you have with their phone numbers so I can call them”, and it didn’t work. I don’t know why. Somebody told me to do it so I have made these mistakes and that’s the reason we’re chatting about this right now. How do you distinguish between the two?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, Micah, I think this lens applies when we get back to going to conferences and you’re looking at the speakers. Again, is this speaker talking about theory or are they talking about reality? Even if they’re talking about reality, how many times have they implemented it? I was in a group of advisors. We were talking about one page financial plans, which is something I’m very passionate about and I realized that I had done more for one page financial plans than everyone else in that group combined. I say that a little bit to boast, but mostly to say, if you’ve done something once, that doesn’t mean it’s going to work 10 times. If I have a choice, I want to talk to the person who’s done it the very most times who has the level of success that I’m aspiring to, not who talks about the level of success I want.

Micah Shilanski: Absolutely. That’s theory versus reality. If it’s reality, you practice it, then you can implement it in your own practice with your own clients. At least that’s the rule set that we’re using whenever we’re going through information.

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, another question that comes up with coaching that I hear all the time is how much should I spend on a coach and a coaching program? Micah, I know you have a pretty firm personal rule as far as how much you spend on personal development. I would say that for a coach or coaching, it needs to be enough money that you take it seriously. For example, I can’t tell you recently, Micah, how many, $200 or $300 programs I’ve bought and I’m thinking, “Yeah, I’ll definitely do this”. I watch two minutes of it and I’m like, “I’ve only put $300 in this. I’m really not going to stay for the whole thing”. The coach, you and I have right now, that is a lot of money and there is no way I’m going to miss one of those calls and there’s no way I’m not going to implement it because it’s costing me so much money that I’ve got to implement or I need to get rid of him.

Micah Shilanski: It’s close to an FTE, by the way. If you’re just curious what the cost is, it’s close to the cost of a full-time employee. Jarvis is laughing.

Matthew Jarvis:   It is.

Micah Shilanski: It’s expensive, but again, we needed someone that’s going to push us to that level. Another thing Jarvis, on that cost side, are you lying? Correction? Where are you lying to yourself? Are you lying to yourself when you’re thinking about these programs saying, “Hey, if I sign up for this, everything will be better”, and you’re not actually thinking about the work that’s going to be involved to get things done. Are you lying to yourself and saying, “If I spend $50 on this program, I’m going to follow it”. Or, “If I spend $10,000 on this program”. I don’t know. Whatever that is, where are you lying to yourself and where are you going to fall short? Rule number four of success, is will power alone is not enough. You can muscle through a lot, but then you get to a point where you need to have more than just muscle to get to that next stage in your life. Where are you lying to yourself and where do you need to align yourself to set yourself up for success?

Matthew Jarvis:   This is where masterminds extreme accountability come in because Micah, to your point, if you sign up for the most expensive coaching program in the world – you spend every penny you have and you don’t implement. It doesn’t count and I think this is one of the criteria of hiring a coach or a coaching program is, “Do I have enough trust and confidence in them that I’m going to do whatever they tell me to do”. I always call this the pink shirt and purple underwear rule. There was a coaching program I joined. It was a really great financial advisor and I said, “Listen, whatever this guy tells me to do…”, because he had the practice I want, “If he tells me to come to work, wearing a pink tuxedo and a purple underwear, that’s what I’m going to do”. I’m not going to question anything until I get to a certain level of success and then I can start fine tuning it for me.

Micah Shilanski: That’s the reality. If you have something that works and how most of us, at least I’m going to speak for myself. I take something that works successfully somewhere else and then I say, “Well, let me tell you how it’s really going to work”, AKA, I have no experience doing this and I’m going to change it in my practice and it blows up because I didn’t follow the same methodology. As we’re coaching other advisors, that’s one thing that comes up, is we notice that after we tell them to do something and we outline it, they’ll change certain things and it won’t work. When we go back and revisit with them, they changed key things. When they first looked at it, they said, “Well, it’s not that big of a deal”. Jarvis, we were talking about it a little bit before, about a slight difference in how you ask a question to a client at the very beginning of a meeting, really determines a lot on the output. You want to share that with us?

Matthew Jarvis:   It would be a great one. This came up from somebody who is really well known for his theoretical work, and he said, “Hey, whenever you sit down with a client, you should ask, is there anything you want to add to the agenda”? This, by the way, is a great intro question. It starts with what’s on their list. Misses though, and this is where that last little bit makes such a difference is, that’s a binary question. It’s too easy to answer that one with a no. Micah, is there anything you’d like to add to the agenda? No, I’m good.

Micah Shilanski: No, I’m good.

Matthew Jarvis:   If I change just one word or just one or two words in there, if I say, “Micah, what else would you like to add to the agenda”? You at minimum have to say, “Nothing else”, but then what else, it’s open ended. The real pros and I’m not as diligent on this as I would like to. I’m just confessing here, will ask it three times.

Micah Shilanski: Wow.

Matthew Jarvis:   My CPA does this. Micah, what else would you like to add to the agenda? I’d like to add this. Cool. What else? One more thing. That’s great. I’ve got that, too. What else, Micah? She’ll ask it three times because then she knows that she’s getting all the way through. She got your superficial brush off answer. She got your slightly thoughtful answer, and then she got the real one. Whatever’s at the core of the core of the core. She got to that, but that takes real world application, so in theory, “Hey, anything you’d like to add? That sounds great”. In practice, that’s where the pro who’s done it again and again, and again, picks up that nuance.

Micah Shilanski: That’s something I can work on, because I only asked that question twice. I do not go to a third time so that is phenomenal.

Matthew Jarvis:   It takes courage to do it a third time. You’ve really got to want that.

Micah Shilanski: I was just going to say that, because by the time you get to the second one, you feel like you’ve asked the same question twice. If the client really didn’t have anything on the first answer and we’re asking it again, you can kind of feel like the client’s like, “Are you even paying attention to me or are you even listening to what I said? Are you just some kind of robot”? It feels weird sitting in the advisor’s seat asking again, what else do you want to cover when they didn’t have anything the first time?

Matthew Jarvis:   It felt uncomfortable on the receiving end.

Micah Shilanski: Sure.

Matthew Jarvis:   As the person said, “It’s a little bit uncomfortable”. Again, all those reasons you mentioned, but then we got to one of the bigger issues on my mind about my business. It wasn’t a tax question. It was a deeper business question and she was able to provide a lot of insight there.

Micah Shilanski: Perfect. I love it. Understanding those little nuanced details can really make a huge difference.

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, another thing I look for with coaches and coaching programs is knowing what my learning format is. This was a discussion that I had with Alex, our advisor here in our office. I love reading things. I can read endlessly and so I would rather read something than almost attend it in person, except for, I like to talk to people in the hallway. That format works really well for me. If a coach said, “Hey, listen, what I do is I do all audio”, and you listen to all these audio recordings. That’s not really my format. You need to know what format works for you, and back to our extreme accountability, you’ve got to commit. If I’m going to pay for this program, whatever format it is, I’m going to attend every single session. I’m going to sit in the front row. I’m going to take notes. I’m not going to have any distractions. I’m going to be all in on this. I’m not going to sit in the back. This isn’t a broker dealer conference. No disrespect to our broker dealer friends, and read the wall street journal. I’m going to be on the front row and I want to be engaged, and if I’m not that engaged, I’m in the wrong program.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. Jarvis, this is actually really funny. Side note. Sorry about this for our podcast listeners, but kind of funny. I was actually presenting on a federal employer retirement system. I had 35 people-ish in the room. We try to cap it at about 30, 35 because I can really engage with them. Anyways. One guy in the room, I’m sitting there talking about something. He literally, he’s sitting there like in the close to the front room, we have half rounds, about six tables. He opens up a newspaper and he starts reading a newspaper in the middle of me talking. Again, this isn’t a group of 300 people. He is 10 feet in front of me and just opens up this giant newspaper and starts reading and as the presenter, I’m like, “All right, this is so rude and disrespectful”.

But then I got to step back and say, “Okay, where did I clearly lose him in this conversation”? It was kind of fun. I went up to him and I pulled his newspaper down and I just asked him. I said, “I’m sorry, I’m boring you. Can I ask what you’re reading about”? He was really shocked and looked at me and I said, “Look, if you don’t want to be here for your retirement, I get that. You got a paid day off. Maybe you should leave, but if you’re just going to open up the newspaper and read right here, this is not the best place for it. There’s more comfortable chairs out there in the lobby, but if you want to be here, you need to be in engaged in this meeting”. It was great. He put the newspaper down and he then paid attention and we went through it. Where are we going to draw that line, not only with our clients, with ourselves in this communication if we’re completely disengaging yet we paid to be there again? Again, are we just lying to ourselves?

Matthew Jarvis:   Wow. That’s a cool example. I want to draw out one little thing. We’re kind of going all over on this episode. Notice that, we’ll call it confrontation, but that discussion wasn’t an ultimatum. It was really like, “I’m trying to do you a favor. Hey listen, let me just give you permission to leave the room. You’re not stuck here”. Versus, “Hey, pay attention. What the heck”? I’m pounding on this desk. Even that nuanced difference, Micah, it makes all the difference. What could have turned into a shouting match of some sort, was like, “Hey, listen. Let me just help you out. Let me give you permission to leave if you’d like to leave. No problem. Doesn’t hurt my feelings. Maybe a little, go ahead and go”. Small things like that make all the difference.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah, huge.

Matthew Jarvis:   I love it. I want to talk Micah, for a minute about the coach that you and I just hired. As you mentioned, expense and FTE has no experience in financial services, no direct experience in financial services that we know of, though, we did learn that somebody on his team follows the podcast, shout out there. He’d get on his first call. He says, “You guys are celebrities, which stoked our egos”.

When you’re asking for a big check, what a beautiful way to lead with that, by the way. Beautiful. All right. Great sales.

Lessons learned. He did his homework on us. He knew about the podcast. He knew about the book. He knew about a lot of us, so why would we work with someone that doesn’t have experience as a financial advisor? Because he has experience at where we are trying to get to. He has experience running multiple companies. He has experience running large teams. He has experience networking with people that have incredible audiences, and so we said, “Great. This is our next level. Who’s at that level that can teach us from practicality and not theory on how we can get there”?

Micah Shilanski: I want to make this distinction. This reason why we want to bring this up and, and talk about other coaches as well, because we’re not just saying, if they’re not a financial advisor, you can’t work with them. That’s not what we’re saying. We’re not saying we’re the only coaches out there that actually meet with clients and you should only work with us. That’s not directly what we’re saying. Indirectly… No, I’m just kidding. No, we’re not saying that. We’re saying be intentional about your information. This new coach that’s there. I’ll make a shout out to coach Joe Lucas. He’s been my personal coach for years. He is still my personal coach. When Joe and I talk, I don’t get how to run a practice advice for him. He doesn’t talk to me about how to run a client meeting and if he did, I would say, “Dude, you don’t know anything about running a… I love you, Joe. But how many client meetings have you sat in?”

He’s talked to a lot of other advisors, so he could also say, “Hey, Micah, I heard about this other DMV. I heard about these other things. These might be things you want to think about”. I would highly appreciate that information because he does talk to hundreds of other advisors. That’s great, but that’s not what I hired him for. What I hired him for was helping with head trash. The way he frames things, the way he focuses, the way he allows me to step back and focus on the big picture is huge. His business planning is huge. Why? Because it’s business planning. It’s not financial planning. He’s not telling me how to build a financial plan. He’s telling me how to run a business of which he successfully runs. I can look at him and say, “great, he’s a coach for financial advisors. This is the area that he plugs into my life and I’m going to help with. And I’m going to engage with that because I need help constantly with my head trash.

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, I love that. Of course, Joe has been on the podcast several times. We’ve done a lot of stuff with him. He has really great stuff. Coach John Barons, Another great one. Again, hasn’t been a financial advisor. Has great stuff on being intentional about your time, has great stuff on your sales process. His sales process, I call it a prospect process, that he does for his own clients is phenomenal. Something you should definitely engage in. There’s a lot of great coaches out there, but Micah, to your point, Coach Joe, Coach John, they have what it is we want in that area. Just like your physical therapist example. I got a great acupuncturist. She’s not a financial planner. She’s a great acupuncturist. I go to her for acupuncture. If she had financial planning advice from me, I would ignore that. In fact, I’d probably stop using her because if you don’t have the wisdom to only talk about what you know, you probably have a lack of wisdom everywhere,

Micah Shilanski: Right? Absolutely. Jarvis, this podcast is all about action items. Let’s go ahead and transition to that one just a little bit. Again, be intentional. If you’re listening to this podcast, well, I don’t know, maybe just for humor because you like our jokes, then rock on. We check that box hopefully, but you know, maybe this is all about taking action and implementing things. The first thing I’m going to throw in here and you mentioned it subtly, but I want to spend a little more time on it if that’s all right, is your PD account, your personal development account. I’m going to take this right from Coach Joe Lucas. Being successful as a financial advisor is a head space game. Where is your head? This is what he talks about a lot. This is a personal development game. The better personal development you have, which is your mental fitness, your physical fitness, et cetera, the more successful as an advisor, you are going to be.

What are you investing in yourself? Now, I really think that term is a bit cliche, because people say, “I’m going to go Bitcoin and invest in myself”, or they do something stupid like that, which just irritates me. This is really about sitting aside money, every single pay cycle and saying, “You know what? This is just for development in myself. Whether that’s taking a coaching program, whether it’s hiring a personal trainer, whether that’s engaging in conferences. For me, in order for me to get off my, the center, right in order break inertia, I had to create a separate account. This is why Buckets is amazing. I had to create a separate account that’s just there and it’s called personal development.

Every time I’m paid, I take the money from my business account. I put it directly into my PD account and that’s use or lose money. That’s all I get to spend it on, is my personal development. That’s going to conferences, that’s engaging, that’s doing masterminds, that’s hiring coaches. The more successful I am, the larger that account gets and now I’m able to develop more. I did this before I was successful. I wasn’t successful and then I created this PD account. No, I had to do this right away and I had to do it and say, “Crap, I may not be able to go on a vacation because I need to invest in my personal development account”. There were a lot of wife points I had to spend, in order to create this, in order to create this account and spend this money here, but that’s how important it really is.

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, I want to pull out one of those lines there, which you said you did it before you became successful. So often we talked to advisors that say, you know what, when I get to a certain level, then I’ll hire a coach. When I get to a certain level, then I’ll get to a coaching program. I’ve just got to be honest with you. You’ll probably never get to that level. The odds of you getting to a top level success totally on your own are so low that I’ve never seen it. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, I’ve just never seen it. You have to have a community to run that. Action item number two is, create your own screening criteria. Hopefully by now, by having listened to this podcast or our whole series of podcasts, you’re convinced that personal development is essential for ongoing success. You need to have your criteria. Micah, let’s list off a couple of points. The first thing I would say on that criteria for hiring a coach is, does this person have what I want? Are they teaching me from what it is that I want or are they teaching me from theory?

Micah Shilanski: I’m going to add to that and say, do you trust the person enough to implement? This is a very key statement, because you’re hiring a coach, but if you’re hiring them and you’re not going to implement it, I’m going to argue and say, a) that’s because you’re lazy or b) it’s because you don’t trust them, and I’m going to bet it’s the latter. You don’t trust their information enough that you should actually implement it. Again, if you don’t trust them to implement, why am I wasting my time and my money hiring them to begin with?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yep. Okay. Number one, does this person have what I want? Number two, do I trust them enough to implement. Number three would be, have I defined success before I talked to them? Before I looked at their sales pitch and they held up a picture of Micah and they said, “You could be Micah Shilanski”. Is that in fact what I want? Do I want to go out moose hunting for a month every year? Maybe you do. In which case, you should come to the, do you want to be Micah Shilanski program. If you say, “Hey, that’s not what I want. I want something totally different”. Perfect. Make sure you know that before you start reading the sales material.

Micah Shilanski: Absolutely. Number four, I would say, is this person talking from experience or theory? Really, really important here to understand again, which category am I in? What am I solving? Again, this is the whole be intentional part of it. Is it from experience because they know what they’re talking about or is this theory? These are coulda, woulda, shoulda like to have ideas.

Matthew Jarvis:   That’s right. Actually number three, sign up for a coaching program of some sort. One-on-one coaching group, coaching a mastermind for 2022. In fact, if you want to be bold, if you really want to grow, sign up for two, sign up for at least one. Just full disclosure, the perfect RIA is currently closed. We’re not accepting new people, not until February. Micah, we’re doing a nation webinar on, I was just looking, December 15th with Benjamin Brent on forming your own masterminds. Ben is going to announce his mastermind that he’s running for 2022 as well.

Micah Shilanski: Yes. Super exciting. Been chatting with Ben a lot going through this and what he’s doing. We’ve gotten so many comments about how do I create masterminds? It really takes a lot of effort to create your own mastermind and I’m going to, Jarvis, give you tons of kudos, because you’re the one that takes 90 percent of the workload. If I wanted to be honest, I’d say a 100, but I’ll give myself maybe something. At least I write a check—

Matthew Jarvis:   You throw in good ideas. Those constructive criticisms you give really help me out in the game for the next one.

Micah Shilanski: This part of it sucked, right? Do this better. No. It’s for phenomenal to have somebody that pioneers that and you really got to find this group that does it. Masterminds are going to be critical and if you want to know about how to implement those from success, from people that actually know how to do it, this is why Ben’s coming in, because Jarvis and I run a mastermind. He runs different masterminds. We’re going to be able to chat. All three of us are going to go through this. It’s going to be pretty epic.

Matthew Jarvis:   I love it. I love it. If you’re listening to this episode, there’s only just a few weeks left in 2021, but it’s not too late to set the foundation for 2022 to be your best year ever. This is an expression I always use with my kids. Hey, this is going to be our best year ever, our best week ever, our best day ever. It takes real commitment. You’ve got to up your personal development game. You’ve got to make sure that you’re learning from people who do, not from people who talk about people who do.

Micah Shilanski: I love it. Take this information, take action on it. Decide how you’re going to do it. Make 2022 your best year ever and until next time, happy planning.

Matthew Jarvis:   Happy planning.

Hold on before we go. Something that you need to know. This isn’t tax, legal, or investment advice. That isn’t our intent. Information designed to change lives. Financial planning can make you thrive. Start today. Don’t think twice. Be a better husband, father, mother, and wife. The Perfect RIA. The Perfect RIA.

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