Could cognitive biases be the reason that you are stuck or stagnating? In this episode, Matthew and Micah share insight on how to step back and understand what is helping, what is hurting, and how to move past a sticky area that is holding you back. This is your chance to re-evaluate that head trash and finally take it out to the dump where it belongs.
Listen in to hear why you need to re-evaluate your intentionality, your personal development goals, your premiums, and your beliefs. The guys walk you through various situations where advisors often get held back by limiting beliefs and how you can avoid or break away from that. They also share tips on how to align delivering massive value with your own personal and professional goals.
If the value you offer doesn’t support the fee you want to charge, try Matthew and Micah’s top 3 tips for moving the anchors and reframing the game.
We all set cognitive anchors that dictate how we think and spend our time, and financial advisors are no exception—but to continually grow your practice and deliver the highest value possible to your clients, you must adjust those anchors along the way so they reflect the new reality. In this article, you’ll learn Matthew and Micah’s top tips for shifting your practice’s goals to reach new and greater levels of success.
It’s easy for financial advisors to fall into the trap that a 1% fee is somehow “correct” and no other rate is feasible. You may have once believed that any financial report worth the paper it’s printed on has to be at least fifty pages long. Some feel the only way to provide real value is to be on call and immediately available for any client at any time. But whether we realize we’re imposing them or not, these and other anchors we set for ourselves have very real consequences on our ability to grow.
As your business grows and you bring on more and greater accounts, the goals you’ve set for your business also need to change and grow. If they don’t, your business will remain stagnant, and you’ll be blind to key opportunities to provide more value and charge higher fees. To help you take that next big step, Matthew and Micah offer their top three tips for setting new goals and reaching new heights.
Sometimes, it feels like there are so many things we can’t do that we’ll never be able to grow our business in meaningful ways. This makes sense: when we let our fears swirl around in our minds unchecked, they have a tendency to balloon into insurmountable obstacles we don’t stand a chance against.
That’s why the most successful advisors write down their fears. When you list all the things you think you can’t do—physically, on paper—you’re forced to face them head-on. This changes the way your brain thinks about issues like raising your fees, adopting new value-add practices, and investing in a business coach. Suddenly, what was once finite barriers between you and success become problems to be solved, no more and no less, and you can prioritize each goal and delegate each task as needed to get the job done.
If you’ve never gone to a conference event or mastermind group, it’s time to start. On October 8, 2022, join Matthew and Micah in Denver, Colorado, on October 8 for a pre-conference for the XYPNLive event of the year. Before the event kicks off, Matthew and Micah will be hosting one pre-conference day that becomes an interactive workshop. You’ll get to listen to the panel of success, as well as ask questions from financial advisors at the top of their game about how they achieve success and what pitfalls you should avoid on your journey.
And if in-person events are outside your comfort zone, for now, there are other ways to learn. In one of Matthew and Micah’s favorite books, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, author Chris Voss distills the skills he’s learned as an international hostage negotiator—where “meeting in the middle” is never a viable option—into practical and effective tips for other forms of high-stakes negotiation. In just a single chapter, you’ll learn everything you need to know about standing by your premium fees or justifying your next fee increase.
When you come back from your coaching session or mastermind group, it’s only natural that you’ll be buzzing with ideas and excited to share what you’ve learned with your team. But even the most rockstar team can get defensive if you surprise them by trying to implement some wild idea designed to help them do better for the clients they already care for deeply, often on a personal level.
That’s why it’s so important to set expectations over time. As Micah explains, “If you’ve always set those anchors that you are always going to be looking for what’s best for the clients and best for the team, that allows you to refer back to that when big things happen and say, ‘Hey, we need to make this change because guess what? It’s better for the clients, and it’s better for the team. I know it’s a lot of work right now, but this is really [part of] the bigger system.’” If you’ve built the right team, benefiting the client will always be your mutual goal. To help your team reset their own anchors, connect your why to that mutual goal. It’s not that they as individuals are failing their clients; it’s that you as an organization have incredible potential for delivering even more value, and tapping into that potential together in ways that benefit the client can only benefit everyone.
We get hung up on these cognitive biases—these anchors—and they can really skew our thinking. - Matthew Jarvis Click To Tweet
Anchor into something that improves your life, not holds it back. – Matthew Jarvis Click To Tweet
Be intentional and then OWN that. – Micah Shilanski 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, and welcome to another episode of The Perfect RIA Podcast. I am your co-host and co-founder, Matthew Jarvis. And with me as usual, Micah Shilanski from a van down by the river. Micah, how are you today?
Micah Shilanski: That’s right. Well, it’s the ocean in front of me, not just the river. So, van down by the ocean. I am doing fantastic Jarvis. Spend a lot of time with the family in the RV as usual.
Even though we’re building a house at this time, we’re bouncing back and forth trying to spend some good family time, and the RV really allows it. So yeah, just having a fantastic time. And you made a big change recently, didn’t you?
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, I’m actually, I’m recording this from our casita, at our new home in Las Vegas. We recently moved the family down here to Las Vegas to have a home here. We have a home in Seattle and so yeah, a lot of fun. It’s nice to see the sunshine again.
Micah Shilanski: Who knew? It wasn’t just rain.
Matthew Jarvis: Now, Micah, both of these examples; you recording from the RV, me recording here, down in Las Vegas, it is a good opportunity, it segues nicely into our podcast, which is try to see where your cognitive biases are, where you are anchored.
It’d be easy to be anchored and say, “I can only work when I’m in the office” or “I can only have a free day” versus a work day, they can’t blend. Like Micah, you’re working, and this morning as we’re recording this episode, the rest of the day, you’re spending with your family.
So, we get hung up on these cognitive anchors, these biases, and they can really skew our thinking. And what we want to look at today is are these in fact valid anchors, or should we reset those anchors?
Micah Shilanski: That’s such a good thought right there on the anchor concept, because a lot comes into this and we really got to think about this. There’s so many anchors that we have conscious or subconscious.
Now, also, sometimes Jarvis, I’m going to say, we’re going to anchor to things that also in another way, aren’t true. For example, someone that says, “Well, you know what? I can multitask,” or “I can check my email while having a conversation. And I’m not addicted to my email, I just check it 700 times a day.” But really, that’s my productivity.
You have an anchor in this and that’s another way of looking at it that is not a correct way. So, we really got to step back and say, alright, all these things that we’re committed to mentally, how do we step back and say, “Is this really helping or is it hurting?” Because there’s nothing neutral. There’s nothing in this camp that’s neutral. It helps or hurts and that’s it.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Micah, that’s a great point. I think other anchors that it’s easy to fall into in this industry is that 1% is somehow the average or the median or the correct fee, so we anchor on 1%, we anchor on what’s considered financial planning or not, we anchor on there needs to be a 50-page report or a one-page report.
There’s so many places that we get anchored and we think, well, based on that, this seems really outside the norm. But what we want to do is reset that anchor and anchor to something that supports us. Like you said, something that improves our life, not holds us back.
Micah Shilanski: Absolutely. So, let’s take that … that 1% is so funny because people always say, “Micah, you’re always trying to make people raise their fees” and it’s like, nah, that’s not the point of this. The point of this isn’t to get people to raise their fees, but to really ask the question Why? Why are you charging 1%?
A lot of times, there’s no good answer, whatsoever. Vanguard does it virtually for free or 30 bibs depending on how you’re going to slice this. Schwab’s doing the same thing, so if you’re saying it’s an industry standard at 1%, okay. Well, there’s an argument it could be a lot less.
There’s also a great argument it could be a lot more. We’ve pulled a ton of ADBs we talked about, and before, charge well in excess of 2% and 3%. Got 2 and 20 with hedge funds, they don’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
So, why are you fixated on this 1%? And that’s kind of the essence of this podcast right here; you’re anchored on that, but why? Let’s step back and say, “Alright, is this a good business decision? Does it add value to my clients? And does it add value to my family life?” And if it doesn’t, maybe it’s the wrong answer.
Matthew Jarvis: Even those groups that do it at a very low cost, let’s use a different industry. Let’s look at Walmart as an example. Walmart’s entire business model, Vanguard’s entire business model is delivering, I would say, the lowest amount of value for the lowest possible price. Like that’s what they’re solving for, and that’s a valid business model for that group.
And if that’s the model you’re intentionally going for … I wouldn’t recommend it. I don’t think it’s a recipe for success. I mean, it works well for Vanguard and Walmart, so maybe it is.
But if you say great, my anchor is what’s the maximum value I can provide? And actually, Micah, I’m going to push back on myself on that. Not even the maximum. I mean, I’m not going to clients in their house. There’s other things I could do, I suppose, to deliver value. But let’s be intentional about our price value.
Micah Shilanski: I’m going to push back on that one. Sorry, Jarvis. I don’t know if you going to client house is with delivered value. I’m sorry about that. It’s clean enough, move on.
Matthew Jarvis: We just want to look at where we’re anchored and again, everything we do with The Perfect RIA is about being intentional. What lifestyle, what service model do you want to have? And then what’s an appropriate fee schedule around that?
Micah Shilanski: I love it. So, again, the intentionality, I have a really good buddy, Jim, and he is also a financial advisor, we talked about a little bit before, and he runs a low-cost model. He has an ala carte service. Now, he’s very diligent in this and says, “Here’s my ala carte service, I will only do this. If you do anything more, you got to do this.”
Now, he doesn’t have what I would consider our lifestyle practice, our TPR rockstar practice from what we’re solving for. But he’s hyper-intentional that he wants to be the low-price option and allow all of these things. And that’s the world that he lives in. And I applaud him from that aspect of he’s being hyper intentional about these decisions. He didn’t haphazardly fall into it.
So, whichever camp you want to do, Jarvis, to your point again, be intentional about this, and then own that.
Matthew Jarvis: You know, Micah, on the opposite end of that spectrum, we just aired an episode a few weeks ago with our good friend, Benjamin Brandt, who will be joining us at the XYPN Conference, our panel of success on October 8th. He just did an episode with me about raising his fees. And he joked, he said, “I didn’t raise my fees so I could add a second floor to my yacht.”
Now, Ben lives in North Dakota, he does not have a yacht, but you get the idea. He said, “I needed to raise my fees so that I had more capital to reinvest in my practice so I could deliver more value.” And then he outlined that out.
And we’ve been accused of this — Micah. It’s not about, “Hey, how do I extort the maximum fee from clients?” That’s not what we’re solving for, we’re solving for, what’s a hyper-intentional practice? Yes, it needs to be highly profitable, so there’s safety margins, and yes, I need to be rewarded for my expertise. But again, what are we solving for here?
Micah Shilanski: You know, Jarvis, honestly, it’s a little bit of our failure. We haven’t probably articulated enough, what do you do when you raise the fee? Yes, you have that extra money that’s coming to the bottom line, but what do you do with it?
So, let’s take the Brandt example here. Alright, he wants to put more money capital into his business, because he has some exciting things that he wants to do. We won’t spill the beans on that, but he has some cool things that he’s wanting to do.
Okay, great. So, what are your options? I could go get a loan. Okay, that’s an option. I could sell part of my practice to somebody else. Let’s pick a dynasty or someone else that all they’re going to do is buy revenue. I don’t want to say they’re not going to add any other value, but that’s all they’re going to do, is really buy portion of your equity and then that’s about it. Or you could raise fees.
Okay. Out of those three options, which one do you really think is going to be the best business decision for you? Now, in Ben’s case, as he talked about on the podcast, it was phenomenal, he raised his fees, his clients were happy to pay because his clients already knew that he was delivering so much value.
Now, he’s able to get that revenue into his practice. He’s able to do new things, which are going to deliver more value to clients.
So, again, this isn’t the second floor in the yacht thing. This is how do I get this, so I can increase my PD budget? Guess what? When I increase my personal development or professional development budget, I become a better advisor, a better father, a better husband.
And now, I am more value to the people in my life. That’s worth it. I am now providing more value for that higher fee I’m charging.
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, interesting that you mentioned personal development. We often talk to advisors who say, “Hey, I would love to join Invictus, I would love to attend this conference, I would love to join your mastermind, but the cost is prohibitive for me.” And there’s certainly a case where you need to manage your finances prudently.
But again, if you said, “Boy, I’m going to instead offer a premium value so that it warrants a premium fee. And therefore, I have capital for personal development that I otherwise couldn’t afford.”
Again, another example that this is about being intentional, why am I doing this? Or conversely, why am I not? Again, with this fee thing, if you say I’m charging whatever you’re charging, why are you charging that amount?
I was recently in a debate with some advisors and they said, “Well, anything over 1% is excessive.” Cool, so how about 1.0001? Is that still excessive? And why is 1% excessive? Why don’t you charge 0.9 or 0.3 or 0 or Schwab will pay you to move your assets over with them.
So, always look back at your own questions, your own beliefs, intentions. Why is it so? Is it just a cognitive bias?
Micah Shilanski: I love it. So, another one that’s going to be here; we kind of open the podcast off of this, is “I deliver the best level of client service.”
Well, I really push back on that because one, everybody says that. Okay, great. And we all believe, I do think in our hearts that we deliver a phenomenal client service. That’s something that we have to have integrity with.
So, I’m not pushing on the fact that you do, but what are you doing to up that game? What are you doing to increase that? Is that being next to your phone 24/7, 365? For me, I don’t think that adds value personally, but what are you doing to continually improve that best level of client service that you want to provide?
Are you just anchored in this fact that says, “Well, I do this so well, I don’t need to improve it.” Now, all of a sudden, you got a sea anchor out there which you’re trying to go forward and it’s yanking you backwards, you’re not making the progress, how do you fix that? And we need to fix it first by identifying it saying, “What could I do better about this? What are other people doing better? And how do I improve my practice?”
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, a couple angles to tackle. One, I’m just going to take for me personally, I would say objectively, we deliver a lot of value to clients. Now, by the way, saying that you deliver value is not the same as delivering value, and no prospect cares that you say that you’re a great financial advisor, because no advisor is saying they’re bad one.
But I would say there’s probably a case we made that you and I have high value practices. Just last week, I was doing a presentation with Michael Kitces on delivering massive value. There’s all these things that we could sort of say, but in my heart of hearts, Micah, I think I’m just scratching the surface on value I could deliver to clients.
So, while I may humbly or not say that I’m above average on value, I think I’m only scratching the surface. I think there’s an immense amount of value and I’m constantly hungry for this. This is part of the cognitive anchoring. I want to anchor somewhere that’s always stretching me further, there’s always more value I could provide.
Micah Shilanski: You know, Jarvis, I think a lot of this is going to come into the fact that one of the things I love saying that I provide massive value, I deliver massive value to my clients, is that it always is pushing me to deliver massive value.
I’m not going to say I’d provide okay value or I’m a good bargain for my price. Now, all of a sudden, I’m settling and this is in my own head trash. So, maybe it’s not our listeners, but in my own head trash, now, I’m settling for things.
But when I put it out there that I provide massive value to our clients, that we do a lot of great things that we dramatically improve, and we’re worth the fee in which we charge, now, all of a sudden, that motivates me, that pushes me to say, “Alright, now, I need to up my game. How do I deliver more value? How do I push in things?”
And I’m not going to gauge things based on the value that I wish I would’ve could have, should have provided, I’m going to gauge it based on the value in which I am providing and my pursuit of new value. That’s my head trash for success.
Because if I looked at this and said to your point, Jarvis, man, there’s so many things I could do. There’s so many new values ads we’re constantly thinking about them, but we don’t roll them all out to our clients.
Well, I don’t think sending a client a value ad every two weeks is … I don’t think that actually adds value. They’re going to start just throwing it right in the trash, that’s not value.
So, I can’t measure it on the volume of my value ads, I got to measure it on the impact, the consistency in making sure my clients are moving forward. So again, what are you measuring this against to provide massive value?
Voiceover: Hey podcast listeners, how many times have you attended conferences where you write down a host of really good ideas that you take home and never do anything with?
We are all guilty of attending really great conferences, hearing a lot of ideas, networking with a lot of people, and failing to implement any of what we learned over the course of the conference.
That’s why here at The Perfect RIA, we’re going to do things a little bit different, and you have a unique opportunity on October 8th, 2022 to join Matthew Jarvis and Micah Shilanski in Denver, Colorado, for a pre-conference to the XYPN event of the year. Before the XYPN event kicks off, we will have one pre-conference day that becomes an interactive workshop.
You’ll get to listen to the panel of success, ask questions from financial advisors who are at the top of their game in the industry about how they achieve the success and what pitfalls you should avoid on your journey, but it doesn’t stop there.
Then we want you up and out of your seat and creating an action-packed plan about how we are going to take out the head trash that’s preventing you from success, double your efficiency, increase your revenue, and ensure you are focused on spending more time outside of the office with the people that you love the most.
Jump online right now to theperfectria.com and register for the pre-conference that everyone has been asking for as an interactive workshop, we only have a limited number of seats that we’re going to allow to be sold.
So, if you think we’re just going to open up another day and pack it full of people, don’t kid yourselves, those are late comers. We want action planners at this event. We want people who put the phone down, put the podcast on pause, go to theperfectria.com, they purchase their ticket, they show up to the event, they put in the work that needs to be done, so they can achieve unparalleled levels of success.
The question is, are you that advisor?
Matthew Jarvis: Well, Micah, this ties into so much head trash, it’s so much imposter syndrome.
One of the reasons that we do quarterly value ads, that we recommend advisors do quarterly value ads, is it creates both a forcing mechanism and something that you can lean back on when those days where you have imposter syndrome, when you have head trash, when we all have those days where we inevitably think, “Am I really a good advisor? Am I really doing anything for my clients?”
And I can look back and I can say every calendar quarter for the last 10 years, we’ve delivered proactive value. And it also keeps me accountable, Micah. In the summer, when I think, you know what, I’d rather do than a value ad? I’d rather go out and just enjoy my pool. Nope, I have a commitment to quarterly value ads. And so, it creates guardrails if you will — little plug there—
Micah Shilanski: That’s so funny. Alright, so we have these, but let’s make sure we’re expanding this out a little bit too, and talking about our teams; where does our teams have anchors? So, here’s an easy one that we see with a lot of advisors in a lot of other offices, is never wanting to change systems.
Now, my team is the same way. I have some phenomenal operations people, and my operations people, they love consistency. That’s a big quality inside of the operations person, because you want them to be very consistent in filling out paperwork. We want them to be diligent in these things. That also means, they get kind of rooted in sometimes and they don’t want to change in systems.
So, we were always talking about in our office, Shilanski & Associates that, hey, we’re always looking for the best systems and best approach. And as long as what we’re doing is the best system, we’re going to keep at it.
If there’s a better way, we’re going to look at it. I’m always planting the seed, Jarvis, with my team about changing systems. Because the more I talk about it, the more I can say that says, hey, as long as this is the best — now, they’re starting to look at it with the lens, what’s the best for the client? What’s the best for the office? And now, they could see for the why to make the change.
You and I could get excited about something. Maybe advisors listening to the podcast, they get super excited about surge meetings, they come back to their team, this is “Great news, we’re going to do surge meetings.” And the operations person’s like, “Oh my gosh, do you have any idea how much work that is? I’m going to pull my hair out.”
And so, now, all of a sudden, it can be this big burden or I’m going to do a fee increase, or I’m going to do a 1099 letter, or I’m going to do a beneficiary report, any one of these scenarios. Now, all of a sudden, your team is just like pulling their hair, holy crap: “My advisor needs to quit going to conferences because he comes back with all this work for me.”
But what if you consistently plan seeds with your team, that you’re only going to deliver the best value to the clients and you only want to take the best approaches, et cetera, and you’re constantly looking for them. And you encourage your team to go out and constantly look for the best approaches to do things.
Now, all of a sudden, what are they anchored on? Are they anchored on that way of, “Hey, this is the way I’ve always done it, therefore it’s way is always going to do it.?” Or they constantly resetting their anchor for the best systems, the best approach. And now, they’re helping to pull you up just one way to look at it.
Matthew Jarvis: I love that. In that book, Never Split the Difference, was that Bill Vos, Greg Vos — Bill Vos, I think? He talks about-
Micah Shilanski: It was Vos, yeah, I think it was Bill Vos.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, Vos. A must read by the way, a must read, a must listen to. I would recommend the audio book because he reads it. He talks about setting the anchors. And Micah, to your point with the team, if I’m going to propose the change to my team — I was coaching an advisor, an Invictus member last week on this; let’s help them set the anchor.
So, Micah, you said let’s set the anchor on always having the best systems, perfect anchor. Also, want to add the anchors, and I know you do this of, how could we improve the client experience? How could we make our lives easier?
So, when advisors come back from an Invictus mastermind and say, “Great news, I’m going to implement surge.” The team says, “Oh, this sounds like a nightmare.” But if they lead with, “Hey, I heard about this idea from some other great advisors,” it sounds like it’s making their client’s life better and it’s making their team’s life easier. I think it’s something we should give a try to.
Now, I’ve set the anchors on best systems, better client experience, better team experience versus the anchor, Micah, that you mentioned of, I have to change and it’s going to be a headache.
Micah Shilanski: And now, it’s a battle of wills. I want it to happen, you don’t want it to happen, now, we have personality conflicts, are we on the same team, et cetera. But if we step back — and I love that approach; what’s best for the clients, what’s best for the team and the practice? Okay, perfect let’s work towards that because those should be mutual goals.
By the way, this is self-identifying. If those are not mutual goals between the advisor and the team members, one of you needs to change. I.e., it’s not you, it’s the team members got to go.
They got to make sure they’re always wanting to deliver more value and massive value to clients. They got to make sure they’re always in the interest of the practice and of the team and always pushing that forward. And if they’re not, they’re not a right fit.
Matthew Jarvis: And Micah and all the hundreds of advisors that you and I have worked with, I can only think of a handful of times, a small handful of times where that was the issue. And there was a few and we’ll talk about those another day.
Most of the time, most team members are very committed to clients almost to a personal level. And they’re very committed to you and your practice because you’re a small business. It’s like clients of a small business, they love that small business. Otherwise, they would work with XYZ firm down the road.
So, your team, usually, loves your clients and they love you on a professional level. And so, helping them see that these are connected and not opposing is critical.
Micah Shilanski: I love it. Now, this is also going to be really good when you plant these anchors as well, because it allows you a lot of grace when things go wrong. For example, let’s say all of a sudden, you got to make a BD change or you got to make a clearing form change. You got to do all of these other things that are out there because something that takes place and now, you got to make this big practice change.
Well, guess what? If you’ve always set those anchors that I am going to be looking for the best practices, we want what’s best for the clients, best for the team, et cetera, then that allows you to rely back on that when big things happen, and saying, “Hey, we need to make this change because guess what? It’s better for the clients, and it’s better for the team. And I know it’s a lot of work right now, but this is really the bigger system.”
So, this gives you so much grace with your team to always be pushing that envelope.
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, another place I think that this applies and we mentioned just briefly, is in surge meetings. We’re obviously big advocates of surge meetings and it’s fun to hear surge meetings being talked about all over the industry now.
Micah Shilanski: Everywhere, it’s so fun.
Matthew Jarvis: Everyone’s talking about surge meetings, fall surge. We’re actually now seeing conferences move around surges. It was like, oh, it’s false surge, we got to do conferences during that time.
Micah Shilanski: I can’t wait to sit down at a round table somewhere and someone start telling me about surge meetings like I’ve never heard it before. I think that time is coming because I can hear about it, talked about, and I’m super excited about that. I think it’s going to be great.
That’s when you know it’s like total grassroots and everybody’s taking it over, which is phenomenal. Because again, we’re always now, “Are we stuck on surge meetings?” “No, we’re stuck on delivering massive value to clients.” If there’s a better way to do it, outstanding, then we’re going to want to learn that and adopt that. Until then, it’s surge meetings.
Matthew Jarvis: Well, I didn’t have someone preach it to me, but of course, anybody who listened to last week’s episode with Michael Kitces, you heard him talking about, “Hey, when you’re getting your value ad ready for your fall surge meeting.” And I was like, I couldn’t hardly focus on the podcast. I was so excited like, wow, Michael Kitces is talking about value ads for fall surge.
But on surge, you’re already being intentional on how you’re scheduling your meetings. I would hope that you’re not taking meetings from your shower, I would hope that you’re not taking them at two o’clock on a Sunday morning. You are already being intentional about when you meet … we were just talking about in everything we do, let’s be more intentional.
Let’s be more intentional about your fee, about your value, about your surge meetings, about your team. Let’s be more intentional on everything that you’re doing.
Micah Shilanski: That is what this is about, that doesn’t mean you got to do 12 meetings a day. If again, we’re going about surge meetings — or two meetings a day. This is about being intentional, set those goals. And whenever we do these exercises with our Invictus members, especially Jarvis, and you know this in our masterminds, we go through and we set the goals first.
Now, when we say we set the goals, we don’t set your goals, you set your goals. We have a framework that you go through and then set your goals. And then guess what, every decision we make is now redirected on those goals. And guess what, this is the same way (I’m going to get a little preachy here) you should be running client meetings.
The first thing we do with clients is we help establish what their goals are. Then when a client comes … I had a client come to me just the other day and was like, “Micah, I want to pull out $150,000 to buy a hanger” because he had just got into flying.
Well, outstanding; you want to retire when you’re 52. You got five years, this means you’re going to have to work another two years, your call. Do you want to take the money or not? I’m not making the decision whether he needs to buy the hanger or not. I’m saying your goal was to retire at 52, you got a couple years before then, this could jeopardize that.
So, we’re always basing things back on the goals and that’s the anchor. Now, if we need to reset those goals, we reset them. So, you got to do this with practice the same way we do this with clients, the same way we need to do this with team members.
Matthew Jarvis: Micah, now, sometimes it’s hard to recognize these anchors. That’s why they’re called cognitive biases, they’re hard to recognize these anchors. And I think there’s kind of two places to look.
One is anywhere where you tell yourself it has to be this way. And you say it has to be this way. Now, again, we’re setting aside things that are blatantly illegal or unethical — that’s table stake. But you say it has to be this way, that’s a cognitive bias.
Now, if you can say to this way because … Micah, to your point, if we find it better way, that’s that. But you’ve got to look at anywhere I think … it has to be this way. Fees have to be 1%, you have to be fee-only, you have to be … anytime you have those and you’re so passionate about them, odds are there’s some kind of cognitive bias anchor that you need to start writing out, well, why does it need to be that way?
Micah Shilanski: Jarvis, one of these times, we’re going to come up with a bingo game when we find these and start playing them. But one of the ones that I often hear at conferences: “Well, I can’t do that because I’m a fiduciary.”
I was like, “Whoa, well, what are you talking about? You can’t do surge meetings because you’re a fiduciary? What does that have to do with it? Well, you can’t raise your fee because you’re a fiduciary? What does that have to do with it? You can’t not check your email, but twice a day because you’re a fiduciary? what does that have to do with it?”
So, anytime we throw in that, “because” — “I can’t do this because of X,” that’s an anchor. That’s our cognitive bias coming in and saying, “Hey, we’re shutting this down without even giving it a thought to review and think about.” So, those are things you got to catch yourself for.
And by the way, we’re just as guilty. I got my own that are out there that I’m constantly working on. The only difference is here, is I’m trying to be aware of them, that when I can see them, and then have a great mastermind group, and Jarvis is really good about pushing back on me, and some other solid advisor are as well about pushing back and saying, “Hey, is this your bias with this? Why can’t you do this?” How do we push past those anchors?
Matthew Jarvis: I’m a big fan and, Micah, I know you are as well with our respective kids about what words do you use? So, for example, in our home, we’re never allowed to say “can’t” unless it’s followed by “yet.” “I can’t do this, not yet.”
But same for us as adults. If you’re saying the words “I can’t, I have to, I should,” those are all warnings for cognitive bias. It needs to be replaced to by “I choose.” Not, “I can’t raise my fees, I choose not to raise my fees.” “I can’t do surge — I choose not to do surge.”
So, that used to bother me, Micah, I used to think that was kind of a woo-woo hokey pokey thing. It makes all the difference in the world. And I will stop advisors who say, “Well, I should do surge meetings.” No, no, no, no. Choose to do surge meetings or choose not to, kind of a Yoda thing. Choose or choose not to. It’s not a should thing.
Micah Shilanski: Exactly. Alright. So, this podcast is all about action items. So, one action item again, we have this panel of success coming up with XYPN live. So, make sure you jump in and join us. We’re going to do the pre-event for it, it’s going to be fan-fricking fantastic, we’re going to have some rockstar advisors there and be able to go through this panel of success.
And people, I don’t think advisors … maybe I’ll get preachy on here in this service. Advisors, generally, don’t appreciate panels of success. They show up and they just want a presentation to them. That is not a panel of success.
A panel of success is where these key advisors are going to open up their practices and you get to ask the questions; how did they do this? Where’s the problem? I’m struggling with this, how did you overcome this?
So, if you’re just coming to sit down and listen then, okay, that is an option. But you may not get the most value. But if you come prepared and say, “Look, here’s the three or four panelists. Here’s why each one of them is there. This is an area of my practice that I’m struggling,” man, you get an opportunity with some brilliant minds in the room. All of the advisors, not just the panelists, to help solve that problem. That’s the power of a panel of success.
Matthew Jarvis: And Micah, as of the date that we’re recording this, we’ve already got dozens of people signed up to attend. We will likely hit our cap, we might have even hit it by the time this airs. But you can go to theperfectria.com and look for that event. To sign up, you can also go to XYPN Live, and look on the pre-conferences there.
Micah, next action item, I would make a list of … this goes to my previous comment of things that you feel like you have to do or things you feel like you can’t do. And physically, write out, don’t think about it — physically write out because it changes how your brain looks at it.
Why do you have to do that or why can’t you do that? And then who says that you can’t or have to, and what if you had to do it differently? So, I can’t change my fees. What if you had to? Get it into your head, you have to change your fees; what would you do differently in your practice so that that new fee with still massive value.
Micah Shilanski: Love it. Actually, number three, reset your anchors with your team. This is a great thing to do. I call this planting the seed. I’m going to plant this seed on things. We’re always going to be going out for massive value to clients. We’re always going to be looking to improve the team and the practice. Is this the best thing that we could be doing?
It’s just a great question to keep asking, because you’re constantly resetting those anchors. So, that’s the third action item; reset those anchors with your team?
Matthew Jarvis: It looks like fourth action item, we mentioned earlier in the podcast, Never Split the Difference. And again, it’s either Bill Vos or Greg Vos. He was the FBI hostage negotiator.
Micah Shilanski: That book was great.
Matthew Jarvis: Was probably one of the most influential books I’ve read in the last 10 years. Micah, had changed all of my negotiating and changed a lot of my discussions, and frankly, just blew my mind.
I love his point about, he kind of kicks off the book talking about, imagine there’s two hostages. We can’t split the difference and say, “Go ahead and release one hostage and shoot the other” because that just wasn’t an option for me. I need both the hostages back.
And it’s just right there, Micah, my mind was blown like, “Oh, you know, go ahead and shoot one of them, send us the other one, we’ll call it even, a compromise.”
Micah Shilanski: You want a million dollars? All I can do is 500,000. We’ll just split the difference. I’ll give you 500. You give me one hostage, you keep the other one. Yeah, not a good deal.
Jarvis, the other thing I’m going to say on this Never Split the Difference real fast, I have not only used this with clients and chatting with them, but I’ve actually encouraged them to read the book and I’ve helped them renegotiate things going on in their life.
Are they buying a piece property? Are they buying a business? Are they renegotiating a salary? He talks about all of these things and I don’t take credit for it. I said, “Hey, I got this right out of Bill Vos’s book, Never Split the Difference. This is the chapter you need to go read, go get the book.”
Sometimes we’ll send it to him, “Go read this chapter on negotiating for salaries or whatnot.” And they do it. And guess what? It works.
So, these are great things. And we talk about a value ad to a client, that’s a huge value ad to be able to point them in this direction.
Matthew Jarvis: Quick, crazy story in this, Micah, I will make this really fast because we’re at the end. My wife, Jackie, loved the book as well. And I mentioned, we just bought this house in Las Vegas, and the Las Vegas house … see, Micah, this was before interest rates went up that we bought it back in like March or April.
She did an under offering, she low balled them. This is where every house has 10 over the list price offers. She does that offer below list price, some really funky number, Bill Vos style. And I said, “Don’t do that, you cannot come under list right now. You have to go way over list.”
She says, “Well, this is what I’m doing.” Sends this in. We had to do a little bit of back and forth, they had multiple higher price offers and they took ours.
Micah Shilanski: Wow.
Matthew Jarvis: His book works really well, even in times when it shouldn’t. Micah, one last action item — I know that a lot of our advisors and listeners have given us a five-star review on Apple, and we appreciate that.
If you have switched podcast platforms, if you’re now listening on Amazon, on Spotify, on all these different places, please go and give a five-star rating there. So, we have hundreds of five stars on Apple, we need to get that on Spotify and all the other places where you listen to your podcasts.
Micah Shilanski: And this is the part where you can make a difference. You can take these action items, you can empower them, you can make a massive difference in your practice.
And also, by sharing this with other advisors, we have some ambitious goals. Get this message out to other advisors. We have some big goals on transforming the industry. And the only way we can do that is with your help. Till next time, happy planning.
Matthew Jarvis: Happy planning.
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