What You'll Learn In Today's Episode:

  • Why we should not compare ourselves to others.
  • The benefits of learning from others.
  • How to explain what you do for your clients in a language they understand.
  • Why other advisors have anger or malice when you are doing a good job.
  • How to run effective team meetings.
  • What makes surge meetings beneficial.
  • Why you need to take action now.

When you look at successful people, do you feel malice or anger toward them? Or do you ask yourself what did they do to get themselves to that place? Today Micah and Matthew are discussing jealousy and how to overcome this mental block so that you can achieve the success you deserve.

Listen in as they explain why we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to others, but rather trying to figure out what we can learn from them. You’ll discover how to free up more time by adopting best practices and what you should be doing right now to stop wasting your energy being angry about someone else’s success and start creating success for yourself.

Resources In Today's Episode:

Ep. 78 Transcript

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 The Perfect RIA podcast. I am your cohost Micah Shilanski. And with me is the legendary Matthew Jarvis. What’s going on, Jarvis?

Matthew Jarvis:   Just living the dream, Micah. Got a little bit sunshine over here in Seattle. Just came back from a dirt bike trip. So doing well.

Micah Shilanski:  Excellent. Nice. I’m glad to hear that. You have fun dirt biking?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. I always have a good time. We got a good group of guys and going on a rock climbing trip next week. So trying to stay busy and dodge the quarantine cops and have a good time.

Micah Shilanski:  Oh, very good. Well, we’re back in RV life. So living in the van down by the river.

Matthew Jarvis:   And he died of government cheese.

Micah Shilanski:  That’s right. That’s right. But it’s been good. We’ve been living in the RV for a bit. We’re living on solar and that kind of fun stuff. So background noise is definitely going to be that right now, but it’s been a lot of fun. I was up in Fairbanks. We came up here to go to mass because all the churches in Anchorage are still closed, but in Fairbanks they’re open. Just crazy. Right? So we came up here to go to church and it was like May 10th and it was 91 degrees. It was insane for Alaska. That’s just like stupid hot it’s going to be there. So it’ll be an interesting summer for us.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. Interesting. Well, Micah, on this podcast episode, we want to take a really different angle. While the podcast has hundreds of five star reviews while the backstage passes is overflowing with people, We have advisors just lining up to sing praises of the TPR nation, not everyone is impressed. In fact, just yesterday, I was talking to an advisor friend of mine, heard through the grapevine that he had run into an advisor who said, and I quote, “I hate Matt Jarvis.”

Micah Shilanski:  Now, this wasn’t just me though. Right? It was somebody else. Or was it me?

Matthew Jarvis:   It could have been. He didn’t name names. Apparently this advisor, I had in his mind stolen one of his clients. Now I don’t know who this client was or who this advisor was, but it was sort of… Maybe I should be more humble. It was hilarious to me because all the things the adviser complained about were things that I really pat myself on the back for. The client comes into the advisor and says, “I am going to move to Matt Jarvis.” This advisor says, “Matt Jarvis. Who is this clown?” He says, “Well, look at this one page financial plan he did for me. He’s got the one page financial plan.” The advisor says, “Well, we could do all those things.” The client says, “Well, funny you say that. Matt said you were going to say that, and he told me to ask you why we haven’t done these things already.” This advisor was kind of flabbergasted.

Apparently this client is now a client of mine. Again, I’m not totally sure who it is, but Micah, we want to talk a little bit today about this kind of having an anger or malice or complaining about what other people are doing.

Micah Shilanski:  I wanted to look at it first when we do that, why do we as a society, as a person, why do we always pick on the guy on top? Why do we take someone that is doing something super successful and all of a sudden, we start trying to chip away, start trying to take away from their success, whether we do it verbally or we just do it mentally? But we really kind of get in that negative thing about saying, “Well, that’s crap. It’s because they do XYZ and that’s just not okay.” Or it’s because they do this or it’s because their location, or they’re not doing everything they need for the clients. They’re not really servicing things. All of those things.

Now here’s a classic example. Let’s take million dollar round table, right? Let’s take people that go out and sell a crap load of insurance. I’m not saying that’s wrong because insurance properly used is a really great thing. We all agree with that. You’re going to have people that are there, especially in the fee only world, you’re going to have people that are going to go out there and look at those people that sell a crap ton of insurance and say, “That’s messed up. That’s ridiculous. I can’t believe all of that stuff is happening.” When why don’t we step back and say, “Wow, these people have a phenomenal marketing machine.”? Right? Wow. They’re able to engage with a lot of people and able to help them out. Now, maybe their end product isn’t that great. Maybe they’re doing things that we don’t agree with with product placement and structuring of things. But can I take things that they’re doing really well, applaud them for that, and then use that in my practice so I can help more people?

Matthew Jarvis:   Totally agree. It would be an interesting thing. Maybe when I go back and get a psychology major, we’ll dissect that. I’m sure someone in the PPR Nation knows. I’d be curious, Micah, about yourself. That’s really not ever been something I’ve struggled with. I’ve always just looked at successful people and taught. All right. How did they accomplish that? I remember as a kid one of the first biographies I read was Bill Gates because he’s from the Seattle area and I was just so fascinated by, all right, how did he do that? And what lessons can I take? I definitely made a lot of excuses along the way. I’m like, well, he had this and I don’t have that. Or Micah has this and I don’t have that. I’ve definitely… I fall guilty to that. I don’t want to spend any of my time and energy being angry at someone else’s success. I don’t see the angle in that.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. Same thing. Right? I don’t really get mad at someone else’s success. I would make excuses as to why I’m not doing there because A, B and C. Again, if you’re making excuses, why? Why make excuses? Or maybe you’re relatively new to this industry and says, well, Matt and Micah have 15 to 20 years of experience and I only have five. Well, great. Time is going to fix that, but there’s nothing you can do about it. Move on. Get on with the next stage and what’s going to be there. Let’s applaud people for successes and let’s step back and say, “How do you implement those in our practice to help more people?” Because it’s all about delivering massive value.

Matthew Jarvis:   It really is. Micah, let’s tackle a couple of specific examples. We’ll pick on you first, just because I started talking first. This is one I hear from advisors all the time. They’ll say, “Matthew, so Micah, does he really charge these levels of fees? Is that a real thing?” I say, “Yeah. It’s absolutely a real thing. I promise you it is.” Well, how can he possibly… I think that’s outrageous. I think it’s morally wrong. These are things I’ve heard people say to me. I think it’s morally wrong that Micah charge that much in fees. In today’s podcast, we’re not really going to debunk necessarily why Micah charges what he charges, we can, but Micah, do you hear that from people? You talked about this on the Kitces podcast a little bit.

Micah Shilanski:  I hear that around about in the rumor mill. People do not directly come up to me and ask that. I can see skepticism in their face, but people don’t approach me like that. And oh, by the way if we’re at a conference or something and you have a question like this, you are welcome to come up and talk about it. Guess what? If you come up and you’re a jerk, I’m going to escalate to that level. But if you come up and you’re nice about it and just say, “I don’t understand this.” I am delighted to chat with you. Jarvis, I know you’re the same way. So don’t ever hesitate to be that way. I’m happy to have these conversations. No, I don’t hear that. I hear from other people that other people think that I charge too much, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and we go through. But guess what? My clients don’t think I charge too much.

So who am I solving for? Am I solving to appease all the other advisors out there that I don’t know? Or am I solving to appease my clients that I do know, that I care about, that I want to deliver massive value and I want to keep them along? And they’re happy with it. So that’s my test that’s there. Now, as we talked about in probably… Oh, this may be a little subjective, but probably the best Kitces podcast that was ever done. Right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Easily. Easily the best one.

Micah Shilanski:  Easily, easily, which is Kitces.com/110.

Matthew Jarvis:   I’ve got it tattooed right here on my shoulder. You can’t see it.

Micah Shilanski:  That’s right. That’s right. One of the things that I think is really important when you’re talking about fees is everyone is… And we talked about before with fee compression, such a bunch of crap. Everyone is at a race to reduce it and why? There’s so many other professions out there. We could look at other service professions that there’s different people that charge different rates. We could talk about other things. The Kitces podcast, I use the example of hotels. Is a $500 hotel worth it? Yes or no.

Matthew Jarvis:   Depends on the hotel. If it was a Motel 6, I would not be happy that it was $500.

Micah Shilanski:  That’s right. If it was a Ritz Carlton, you got a screaming deal, right? This is all a different level of service that is going to be there. If this is one of the things you’re caught up on is the other person is successful because they charge more or because they charge less or this and that. Again, this is an excuse for you and where you are in your practice. This isn’t a real thing. Because you have people that even charge more than me, right? There’s people that charge like three and a half percent.

Matthew Jarvis:   Two and 20.

Micah Shilanski:  Two and 20. Yeah. I mean, these are huge numbers that are out there that people charge and they still have clients. Then you have people that give it away a hundred percent for free. The fee excuse is an excuse. It’s not a reason for your success or your failure.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. I would definitely… Again, you can use this as head trash, right? I could spend my time and energy criticizing people whose fees are higher or lower or just different than mine. Vanguard charges too little. Hedgefunds charge too much. Or I can look at them… Personally, I look at them and I say, “Wow, how does Vanguard offer whatever level of service they’re offering for just 30 minutes?” I’m really fascinated by that. I want to learn by that. What economies of scale are they implementing? How is a hedge fund convincing people to pay two and 20 to underperform the market? There’s something there that I can learn versus if I spend my time and energy saying, “Boy, those guys,” on whatever in the spectrum, “are bums,” I get nothing from that. I’m not improving my practice. I’m not delivering massive value. Nothing comes of that.

Micah Shilanski:  We’re going to take this Vanguard comment you made, and let’s pivot that a little bit. So one of the things that I would see is if Vanguard’s doing… My initial thought, and I have to check myself in this. If someone goes, “Well, Vanguard.” And forgive me, I’m just picking on Vanguard to pick on them. If Vanguard is doing financial planning for 30 bips, my initial thought is they’re not doing real financial planning. Boom, hands down. That is my initial thought. I have to check that. I’d have to say, “Well, hold on a second. They have people that are signing up for this. So what are they doing that’s going to be there?” I know, Jarvis, this is one thing people say about you all the time is that you don’t do real financial planning because you have a one page financial plan. Clearly it is written in the code of tablets that came down from people that created the CFP somewhere, we ever know, that you cannot have a one page financial plan. I mean, it’s on the stone tablets, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Well, and I must not be as physically intimidated as you because people have no qualms coming up to me and telling me that. I do real financial planning. I have to confess that my initial reaction is like, go pound sand. What the F is a real financial plan? Again, was that the 11th commanded handed down by God? No. Stepping back from that, I can look and say, “Great, well, what do you do that’s financial planning. Is there an aspect of financial planning that you’re doing that I haven’t thought of? And if so, I want to know about that.” If you have a tax strategy I haven’t heard of, if you have a planning strategy, a way to communicate it with clients that I haven’t heard of, by all means, I want to hear it.

Now I will confess at a conference, I’m going to want to know. I’m going to pull your ADV while we’re talking. If you have a $12 million RIA, I’m just not that interested in your strategies because you just don’t have that practice evolution. And maybe that’s ego, maybe that’s arrogance. You can hate me for that, but I need to screen very diligently where I get information.

Micah Shilanski:  No, I think that’s really important that’s going to be there because we get caught up… Here’s my thought, and I could be totally wrong on this, here’s my thought on the one page financial plan of why people hate it. How much time, energy and money have in money have we put into systems, whether it’s going through the CFP process and all of their stuff, and what do you mean I’m going to trivialize that entire education down to one page? And then we go buy MoneyGuidePro or…

Matthew Jarvis:   NaviPlan or eMoney.

Micah Shilanski:  NaviPlan or whatever. Exactly. Any of those that are going to be out there. They generate hundreds of pages of documents and your compliance says you have to do this. Now we’re going to trivialize all of that work down to one page, but you’re not trivializing it. You’re summarizing it in the correct ways. You’re highlighting, what is the most important thing? Because when a client hires you, Jarvis, they don’t want you to teach them financial planning. That’s not what they signed up for. Right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Right.

Micah Shilanski:  They could go take a college class for that. What they want to know is what directly pertains to them and what are the actionable items they need to do? Is that right?

Matthew Jarvis:   It completely is. As a matter of fact, I talked to one of the advisors, actually an advisor from the Backstage Pass Nation who had won an hour with me on the happy hour quiz. She’s got an academic background and said, “Boy, I’m spending all of this time creating financial plans.” So I was able to articulate to her, “Hey, when you read a research paper, what does every research paper start with? Every single one.” She said they all start with an abstract. Perfect. That’s what my one page financial plan is. It’s an abstract of the planning process. I’m not going to dump the entire research paper on them and tell them I at least know that the abstract has this pointed in the right direction.

Micah Shilanski:  And I like that. This is, again, why Jarvis is so successful. Look at what he just did. He talked with the client, in this case it’s another financial planner, found out what context does she best understand. In this case, it was research paper. He used terminology of a research paper in order to make her understand the benefit of a summary. Because if he kept using the word summary, it wasn’t going to work. You pivoted your language in that conversation to make sure you could communicate. Summary, abstract. I don’t know the difference. It’s the same thing, but in her mind, she just couldn’t connect those. That is why you are so good at what you do is finding out how to connect that with the client.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. That’s actually a good point. I think it ties to this kind of, we’ll call this, haters. That’s a little stronger than I want to use. Sometimes we get hung up on this real minutia, like just how it’s articulated. So if you say, “Boy, a one page financial plan is not real financial planning.” Micah, you and I were talking before on the YouTube page, they’re on two pages. I mean, technically that’s double the length, but it’s barely different. The point is, we’re going to summarize this. We’re going to condense it down as tight as we possibly can to still communicate it effectively with clients.

Micah Shilanski:  I put pretty pictures in mine with check boxes.

Matthew Jarvis:   Every once in a while I think about getting different bullets instead of just the standard Microsoft bullets, but I haven’t.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. To be fair on quote my one page financial plan, which as we’ve already discussed, is not one page. One of the things that I’ll do before a client comes in to talk about estate planning, and we go through this a lot in our Backstage Pass, is if we’re going through my five step financial planning process, which by the way I call it my five step financial planning process. It’s not like I’ve invented this, it’s estate planning, risk management, retirement income investments, and taxes, right? That’s the order we go through it. When a client is about to come in for estate planning in advance of that meeting, we send them a two page letter that talks about what we’re going to talk about in the meeting. What are some basic terms that are in there. We’re giving them some kind of pre cues and set up. That’s going to be in there explaining it. So there’s different ways you can deliver this one page financial plan to summarize, but the biggest thing is don’t give them a stack of a hundred pages.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. It really is. It really is. Again, look for what’s working. What’s really working for the client? If you’re saying, “Hey, I’ve seen this before.” Advisors will say, “I spent all of this time, dozens of hours creating a financial plan and the client didn’t implement it. What’s wrong with them?” And this is classic Jocko, right? Micah, you and I always go back to this. Extreme ownership. The issue is never on the client’s side as far as we’re concerned. The issue is boy, maybe I did not articulate that correctly, or I didn’t screen them effectively. Maybe they weren’t really interested in financial planning, but no power comes from me blaming the client. No power comes from me blaming Micah for having too high of fees or blaming me for having too short of a plan. Nothing comes of that.

Micah Shilanski:  This goes back to like anything else, right? When should you learn the most? When you fail at something, when you missed at something. When you succeed, you should be able to learn some from that. But we really don’t pay attention that much to it. Great, it was a success. But when you failed, in this case when you delivered a financial plan the client didn’t implement, you have to take that assumption it wasn’t the client, it was you. Where did you fail? That means going forward, what do you need to change? What do you need to do differently next time to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. Can I confess? This might be just like a mental deviance of my own, but when I feel so… Especially when a prospect says, “No, I don’t want to work with you.” I’m oddly enough almost elated by that because like, wow, I can really dissect what went wrong here. Something broke down in our system. Same if on the rare occasion, every couple years we have a client who leaves. It’s just, “Hey, we’re just not a good fit. We’re going to leave.” Totally happens. My initial reaction is like, Oh man, they’re going to leave and all of my clients are going to leave. I’m going to be bankrupt by the end of the week.

Once they get over that initial one, I sit down with my team. I say, “Great, let’s dissect every step of this. Where did we go wrong? Where did we drop the ball?” Sometimes it’s, “Hey, we didn’t screen effectively for what this person wanted at the beginning.” Sometimes we can look and say, “Wow, there was a series of mistakes that coincidentally all happened to this person.” But it’s a chance for ownership, the chance to learn.

Micah Shilanski:  It is, and that’s a great time to bring the entire team together because they are so important in those types of events that are going on. Bring in the entire team, they can see what’s happening. They can see what’s going on, right and wrong. Also, when you get hired, celebrate some of the successes.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. Now real quick. We can do a whole thing on this, but when you bring the team together, that absolutely cannot be a blame game.

Micah Shilanski:  Oh, yeah.

Matthew Jarvis:   I cannot sit down and say, “Hey, Coleen, I think this person left because you didn’t send them that email on time.” No, if there was ever mistakes, I always put a we in front of that. So I say, “Hey, I think we could have done a better job with this.” And then I definitely always go like, “Hey, I think I, as a lead advisor, I did not take care of this. I did not take care of that.” Now, I’m not going to cover up other people’s mistakes, but I’m not coming in here to blame either. That’s sort of that dichotomy, right?

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. That’s really, really important. Again, we could spend a whole different time on that, running effective team meetings with that. That’s so important.

All right. Let’s get into some of the other kind of haters that are out there as a concept. Again, that’s such a strong word that’s there. I would say the other thing that I hear that they talk about is calling BS on the time off, right. Or saying there’s no way that you can service your clients, Jarvis.

Matthew Jarvis:   This is again where your physical presence must be so intimidating. Because I hear these firsthand all the time. Maybe I’m more open and vulnerable.

Micah Shilanski:  Exactly. You’re a lot more friendlier than I am. So there we go. But it’s such BS. There’s no way you can take this much time out of the office and service your clients. What’s your response to that?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. It probably depends on the mood I’m in at the time, how kind of snarky I’m feeling. But what I would like to then look at is I try to really take a higher road on that because me getting worked up on it is not going to help. I like to look and say, “Well, let’s just look at how much time we’re spending actually engaged with clients.” I say, “How many times are you meeting with your client each year? How many times?” Or I’ll just it up and I’ll say it, but for me, so they don’t feel like I’m on the offensive. I’ll say, “I have a meeting with all of my clients at least twice a year. Every calendar quarter, we’re delivering massive value on some form of the financial planning process. They have access to my team at any time. If they ever need me for something urgent, they can get ahold of me right away.

I would love to hear what your providing clients that I didn’t just explain it because I would add that to my list. If they say, “Whoa, actually we’re doing all those same things.” Perfect. When I’m in the office, that’s all I do. I leave the office and I’m not doing those things.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. Would you say, I just do it faster than you? I just do it more effective than you or I just have time blocked or what do you go from there?

Matthew Jarvis:   I used to think that, and I used to think that of other advisors that were better. I was like, “Wow, they’re so fast. They’re so efficient.” And then I realized, and the more advisors I talked to, it’s just about time blocking. Right? We talk about surge meetings all the time. That is hands down the biggest thing. Just one week a month I’m not doing client meetings, that’s it. They’re just once a month. Anybody can do that.

Micah Shilanski:  Everybody. Everybody can do this. I’m in total agreement. One of the things I also like to do i if we’re talking about that, and I’ve got this question from the platform, a couple of times speaking at FPA, is they’re like, “How do you do this and set up?” Again, I like to pivot things and look outside the industry. Same thing with fees. Can anyone do this outside of financial planning? For example, if you have a doctor, if you have an attorney, if you have any other professional that you do or my mechanic, my AMP mechanic, that’s there. Do I care if they’re in the shop 24/7, or do I care when I call them, I can schedule a time to get my issue fixed? And most of the time I don’t end up talking to that professional. Like a dentist, I’m not calling my dentist to come in for a cleaning. I’m calling his office to make sure it’s available to come in for a checkup.

They don’t have to be there 24/7. I have to know I can get on their calendar and then I’m fine. How’s this any different for us? You don’t have to be there all of the time.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yep. Yeah. Also questioning a lot of our assumptions are what we call anchoring. Why is all discussions of fees premised off of a 1% is somehow like the magical number, right? So Vanguard makes headlines for trending below 1%. Someone else makes headlines for being above it. How did that become the magical number? 40 hour work weeks, that’s a purely made up number. That’s not etched in the laws of science anywhere. That was a union labor dispute a hundred years ago. Somehow that became the gold standard of like, well, people that work more than 40 hours are hardworking and people that work less than 40 are slackers. These are made up anchors.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. So what are your made up anchors? What are the things that you’re holding onto that when you’re going through this that you need to learn to let go and it’s okay to drop those things, right? Whether it’s your excuses that come up when you look at other people’s successes, whether it’s the justifications for why you are in where you’re at. Those can be related to the same things. What are those mental blocks that you have that you need to get rid of so you can achieve the success you need to achieve?

Matthew Jarvis:   That’s right. That’s right. Pivoting just a tiny bit. I’m trying to think. First, I thought you asked me what my mental anchors are, but one that’s a little bit off topic. I had some mental anchors about what I could do with my physical physique. What body weight I could handle and muscle structure and so forth. For decades of my life, I thought it was impossible for me to hit this certain goal. Just because of my metabolism, I had all these stories, I cannot hit this goal. Then I thought, wait a second. That cannot be the case. Unless I’ve exhausted every single means of getting here, I can’t say that that’s the case. In fact, if I’m really being honest, I haphazardly tried three ways and those didn’t work. So I’m like, “Great, I’m going to try different ways.”

Then I was able to… A goal that was in my mind or a pipe dream that was in my mind for my entire life, I was able to hit in a matter of months because I just kept trying until I found a method that works. So whether it be time off or fees, if you say, “Hey, that’s not possible.” Guess what? You’re right, as soon as you say, “Hey, someone else is doing it, it has to be possible or at least close to that.” Guess what? You’re right.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. That’s the part that I use a lot. When I’m trying to achieve something or something’s happening, and I learned this a lot with quite frankly my daughter Abiana when we were in the NICU and going through things was okay, has there been one success? Has there been two successes? It’s not, can everyone in the world do this? Can one other person in the world do this? Can two other people in the world do this? Okay, great. Now it’s a learnable event. If two people can do it, then this isn’t a supernatural event that’s taking place. Now this is possible. This can be done. The question is, am I willing to put that energy into it? Jarvis, whether it’s a physical physique thing, whether it’s a mentally, a learning thing, that’s always my check and balance I want to go back to. Can at least two people do it? If only one person in the world can do it, okay, then that’s supernatural. Great. They can do it just for them. If two people can do it, now okay, now this is learnable. Anyone in the world can now do this.

Matthew Jarvis:   I really like that approach. I would also add to that Tim Ferriss’ fear setting. So if you say, “Boy, what’s the worst thing that can happen if I try this?” For example, it’s like, well, I could go to jail. All right, don’t try that one. That may not be a good one.

Micah Shilanski:  Okay. Too much. Too much.

Matthew Jarvis:   Fair enough. But let’s use surge meetings as an example. Okay. So you say, “Hey, in the month of July, I’m only going to see clients for the first two weeks and not the last two weeks.” What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? Let’s run through this. Client calls on vacation. They find out that you’re gone and they get really angry and they fire you. Now I have never, ever heard of this happening, but let’s just say that happens.

Micah Shilanski:  Ever.

Matthew Jarvis:   Okay, time to find another client. That’s the worst case scenario.

Micah Shilanski:  The worst case scenario that really comes up is that I need to take a call the same day. Most of the time, it’s a scheduled call while I’m traveling. It doesn’t have to be the same day. And I need to call a client back. We’ll call a client back, and I have called clients back from anywhere in the world. And I let them know I’m traveling. They are totally fine with it because again, they do not care where I am. They care, can we get questions answered? Can we get things tended to to make sure they’re taken care of? That is the most important thing they care about.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes. I’m trying to think of a perfect RIA strategy that cannot be tested on a small scale with virtually no risk. Let’s say a fee increase. You said, “Boy, I want to charge, 1.5 AUM in a $10,000 planning fee.” Great. On your next prospect, just tell them, “Hey, our fee is 1.5 plus 10 grand.” Worst thing that happened, they say, “That’s ridiculous. I’m not going to pay that.” “Well, boy, you should call Micah Shilanski then and see how much he charges.” I remember very clearly the first time I did a one page financial plan, I thought it’s absolutely impossible. There’s no way this is going to work, but what do I have to lose for trying it? I tried it and it’s worked perfectly every time since.

Micah Shilanski:  One of the things that I really think about these comments that you tell me about, so maybe it was just made up, because I’m not directly hearing it from people. So maybe it’s all in Jarvis’s head. I don’t know.

Matthew Jarvis:   This is me just like poking away. Well, I heard once that people that live in Alaska…

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. The three things that people talk about are the fees, is the time off, and the value that we add that’s going to be there. Well, you know what? Funny thing is, those are the three tenants of the perfect RIA. Number one, deliver massive value to your clients. What’s a great way to do that? A one page financial plan. Meeting with your clients regularly, surge meetings, scheduling them in, taking care of them, right? Number two, operating a profitable business, at least 50% profitability. Why? I don’t know. Let’s say the market corrects 30% in a span of two weeks and your revenue goes down dramatically. It might be nice to have a little profitability in there so you can help weather some storms. Number three, taking time off to spend with your family, at least six months of year. Those are those three core tenants that are there in the perfect RIA, that again, everyone can achieve. I’ve never met an advisor, I’ve never looked at a practice or a structure or a setup that you cannot achieve similar things.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. I completely agree. That mindset of what if it was possible? We know that it is, by the way.

Micah Shilanski:  What if it works?

Matthew Jarvis:   Because Micah, you’re doing it, I’m doing it. The guys in our mastermind are doing it. Many, many people in the Backstage Pass are doing it. The TPR Nation. It’s funny to think back. I was talking to somebody today and they said, “Well, how did you and Micah meet?” So I was giving him the story about 2017.

Micah Shilanski:  Online dating.

Matthew Jarvis:   Online dating. Nobody was talking about lifestyle practices. Just in 2017, no one was talking about high profit margins and then turns out that there’s a lot of us that are doing it. There’s a lot more now because suddenly it was possible. We talk about the four minute mile all the time. Suddenly it was possible.

Micah Shilanski:  If a couple of yahoos in Pacific Northwest and one in Cincinnati can pull this off. You know who you are.

Matthew Jarvis:   Inside joke. You know who you are.

Micah Shilanski:  Clearly, this is possible. All right. This podcast as always is all about action items. So we want to go ahead and pivot to delivering some massive value not only to our listeners, hopefully there’s some entertainment value in here, at least there is for us. But Jarvis, let’s kick this thing off. What is the first thing our listeners need to do to improve their practice?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. I would take a big step back and look into extreme ownership again. Anywhere in your life where you’re playing the victim or the martyr, or you’re saying, “Hey, that’s not possible.” Take extreme ownership. What if it was possible? What could I change? Don’t beat yourself up. What could I change? What could I improve to make that a reality? What did Micah do so that he could charge his fees? What did I do so I can get my financial plan on one page? What if you did half of that? What if you did a quarter of that? What would happen?

Micah Shilanski:  You know the words that changed my life. What if it works? Those were the words that really changed when Coach Joe said them. What if it works? And really made me kind of pivot and spend. What if it works? Give something a shot.

Matthew Jarvis:   I don’t mean to interrupt you here, Micah. I would say that, actually, put that on your computer monitor. Put it on a Post-It note. What if it works? Stick it on there.

Micah Shilanski:  That’s brilliant.

Matthew Jarvis:   Make that your mantra for the next couple of weeks or months.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. I was going to pivot with that where the second action item is these next three months, what is the big thing that you want to choose? What is the big thing that you want to change in your practice? Whether it’s a time off. So you’re going to implement surge meetings, whether it’s you’re going to move to a one page financial plan, you’re going to increase your fees. You’re going to spend more time with family. What is that one thing that you want to do differently and start saying, “What if it works?” And put a deadline on there and go do it. You take action on these things, right? You are the biggest advocate for you. You are the biggest force that can change your practice and your world. You’ve got to take action in this.

Matthew Jarvis:   I really like that. I’ll throw one other action item in, and then we’ll go to our usual self promotions. Early in my career, I read once from somebody that talked about this idea of keeping a rubber band around your wrist and then snapping it whenever you needed to interrupt your train of thought. Now you should do that in your top of the wrist not the bottom so you don’t damage your tendons and your nerves. But the idea was to give you a physical stimulus that would interrupt your train of thought. Try this out. It sounds silly. It sounded silly to me at the time, but anytime I found myself complaining or thinking negative thoughts, I would just snap that to try to restart my thinking. So if you find yourself criticizing someone who’s more successful than you are, snap that and say, “Great, what can I learn from this person instead of what can I pick apart?”

Micah Shilanski:  So Jarvis gets physically stimulated from physical, or I guess positively stimulated, from physical abuse. That’s what I took away from that.

All right. And of course, the main action items you need to do. We are growing our practice. We are growing the podcast. We are taking these things to the next level, and we want to get featured in other places. So you listeners are phenomenal. You’ve been great on social, five star reviews is amazing. We would love our podcast to be featured in other places. So if you want to jump on Kitces’s website or tag him in social and us and say, “Hey, you need to feature The Perfect RIA podcast in your weekend reading, tag him in social and tag us.” And we will send you some cool swag.

By the way, in our swag department, we have a pretty cool summer special that’s coming up. We’re getting some Yeti coolers, we’re getting some Yeti tumblers and whatnot that are going to be custom branded. We’re going to be coming up with a referral social media campaign. Stay tuned for that because we’re going to be giving away some pretty awesome stuff in the next few weeks in order to help get our name out a little bit more.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yep. That’ll be a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone in the nation, and until next time, happy planning.

Micah Shilanski:  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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