What You'll Learn In Today's Episode:

  • What “The Perfect RIA” is all about.
  • The difference between a lazy practice and a Perfect RIA practice.
  • Why consistent growth is mandatory.
  • How to ensure you’re delivering on massive value rather than laziness.
  • The importance of benchmarks and a good grasp of what drives you.
  • How to pour value into your team.

In a recent conversation, it came up that a lifestyle practice is considered synonymous with being a lazy practice. Although it’s easy to get defensive, a better idea is to sit down and chat about the difference between what Micah and Matthew consider a lifestyle practice and this other kind of practice that actually is a lazy practice. It’s an important thing to think about so we can make sure we are evaluating our practices and goals fairly.

Listen in as Matt and Micah explain what a Perfect RIA is—and why it isn’t lazy. They also discuss whether or not they might want to transition away from the term lifestyle, or simply be more specific in how to define it. From consistent growth and delivering massive value to your team, you will get some great ideas on how to ensure your practice is a Perfect RIA.


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:   Well, hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of the Perfect RIA Podcast. I’m your cohost Matthew Jarvis, and with me as always Mr. Micah Shilanski. Micah, how are you doing buddy?

Micah Shilanski:  Jarvis, another day in paradise. It’s summertime in Alaska. We’re out and about. We’re having a lot of fun up here, so nothing to complain about. And what about yourself?

Matthew Jarvis:   Doing good. Getting ready to leave in a couple of days on a 10 to 15-day road trip with my daughter, Alice who’s 15. So we’ve never been to Yellowstone or Mount Rushmore, and since our trip to Alaska got canceled, we’re going to hop in the car and just race across state lines. So it should be a lot of fun.

Micah Shilanski:  Very cool. That’ll be a blast. Dodging the COVID police here and there and checking out the state parks, national parks.

Matthew Jarvis:   We do what we can. National parks, which I hear are pretty overrun because nobody’s going to Hawaii, nobody’s going on cruises, so it’ll be a lot of competition and of all injustices, there’s not really a reliable way to buy your way to the front of the line at a national park. So I got to write my congresspeople and see if we get that fixed.

Micah Shilanski:  That is messed up. I mean, quite frankly, I think I pay for more of the national parks than a decent amount of people with tax dollars. That should get you something, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Maybe that’ll be my strategy. I’ll show up with my tax return and say, “Do you know how much I pay for the …”

Micah Shilanski:  Good luck with that one.

Matthew Jarvis:   Good luck with that one. Well, speaking of soapboxing, Micah, as you know I was on the phone a few weeks ago with a major company in our industry that provides support to big RIA firms, and we were talking about potentially doing some work together with the Perfect RIA nation. And the gentleman who was very gracious to work with, he says, “Matthew, I got to be honest with you. Anytime I hear someone say they run a lifestyle practice, what I hear is a lazy practice that they’re running into the sunset. They really don’t care about their practice or their clients.” I could tell by the way I’d hit a little note there. And he says, “I got just to be honest. I’m really just not that interested in talking with lifestyle advisors.” And a couple of thoughts came to mind, Micah. My first was defensive. My initial was like, well, show me your calendar. What’s your revenue per hour worth?

But then I stepped back and thought, all right, well, this was not a personal attack against me. And even if it was, so what? Doesn’t change my life any. But I think he had a good point, Micah. There’s a lot of practices that use the term lifestyle, which isn’t really even a defined term, that are sort of riding them into the sunset. And we want to talk about that today and really distinguished between what we think is a lifestyle practice, a Perfect RIA, and what could just be a lazy practice riding off into the sunset.

Micah Shilanski:  You know Matt, when I did my first presentation with the FPA and the FPA Retreat going through it, and it got really good response like that. It was a packed room. It was amazing. And several people came up. Older gentlemen kind of came up at the end and said, “Micah, you described my practice.” And I started talking to him a little bit more, and I didn’t call him out on it at the time, but it was like their practice except for mine was growing and producing more. And I’m not saying this to be egotistical, but there is a huge difference between that. And you know what, if you have done a great job and you want to coast, and that’s your goal that you want to set, rock on.

If that’s what you want to do, go for it. That’s just not the Perfect RIA. The Perfect RIA is about growth. This is a very huge key component to the Perfect RIA is combining what theoretically couldn’t be done. Combining that lifestyle practice, but not coasting, but upping your game consistently, delivering massive value, growing your business over time. And Jarvis, as we said before, I didn’t think anyone else was really doing this until I came across you.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. Totally. And not to beat this one too far. I do want to give one other example. A friend of mine, this is a shout out, who does a lot of coaching with advisors and a lot of advisors know that he knows me and so they’ll call him, they’ll say … We’ll call him Dave. They’ll say, “Dave, guess what? Guess what? I have a practice just like Matt Jarvis.” And so he’ll say, “Oh, you have more than 150 million under management.” “Well, no, I have 12 million under management.” “Okay. You run a hyper efficient team.” “Well, no, it’s just me.” And he’ll run through it because it’s kind of a pet peeve of his. So he’ll run through all these things. So he’ll call me up. He’s like, “Jarvis, I had another one of these and I hate you, and I hate your last out practice for that because guys are using this as an excuse to be lazy.”

And Micah, to your point, that’s not what we’re trying to accomplish here. So what’s the counter to that, Micah? If we’re saying, hey, lifestyle’s not lazy, well, what is a lifestyle practice then?

Micah Shilanski:  Well, you know what, maybe this is on us. Maybe we’re using the wrong term. Maybe the term should be the Perfect RIA. So I think moving forward, I am no longer going to say I run a lifestyle practice, I run a Perfect RIA. That I think is going forward because why try to reuse the same terminology. That is a different definition that we’re not using. Everyone out there believes that a lifestyle practice has a definition of not growth, of lazy, of whatnot. Do we try to reclaim that name or do these transitions as no, I run a Perfect RIA?

Matthew Jarvis:   Wow, I like that. And since we own the Perfect RIA, why not?

Micah Shilanski:  It kind of fits. But you too are welcome to use that terminology nation. Go for it to just accurately describe what you do.

Matthew Jarvis:   So then I guess let’s start with, how would we differentiate? If someone’s listening, if the nation’s listening, they’re saying, “Well, which do I have? Do I have a Perfect RIA practice or do I have a lazy practice?” Micah, I would think the first thing is what are the intentions for your practice? So if your intention is to coast, if your intention is to collect AUM fees until your clients die, or they forget that you exist, or something like that, I would put that on the far end of the spectrum. That’s what I would call a lazy practice, a dying practice.

Micah Shilanski:  A retired practice.

Matthew Jarvis:   Maybe we’ll call it a sunset practice. I’m just riding it off into the sunset. And again, Micah, to your earlier point, if that’s your intention, that’s your intention. In my mind, a Perfect RIA practice is one where you’re intentionally saying, I always want to deliver massive value. In fact, I always want to be delivering more massive value. I know that’s not grammatically correct, but let’s just run with me here. I always want to be delivering more massive value. I want to spend immense amount of time in my personal life with my family, and I always want to be getting better at what I do. We’re talking about the core tenants of the Perfect RIA, but I think that’s a distinguishing factor between a sunset practice and a Perfect RIA.

Micah Shilanski:  I want to add something more than just intent in there, which is actually, what are you doing? So it’s the road to hell is paved with good intentions. So kind of that same concept that’s there. And if I’m pushing back in the wrong direction, of course, Jarvis, come back at me with this. I have a good buddy that has a lifestyle practice. He really has a sunset practice. Let’s call it that. And he always says, his intention is do A, B and C, but God love him, he can’t get out of his own way, and he just doesn’t do it. He is in the upper Northwest, there’s tons of opportunity, and these things just don’t happen. And so I pushed back on him all the time and say, “Look, you’re not. I don’t want to hear any more about your intentions to grow. You’re not doing it. So what are you actually doing?”

Matthew Jarvis:   Wait a second. You have a buddy who lives in the Northwest who’s not growing as fast as he should. I feel like that’s code for me.

Micah Shilanski:  Man, all right, this is an intervention. Thank you guys, the nation is part of this. Want to make sure everybody knows, it is not Matthew Jarvis.

Matthew Jarvis:   Wink.

Micah Shilanski:  Wink. That’s right. No, but that is a very big distinction. Now, we all go through different times. We have different growth periods. It moves up and down and fluctuates. So that is absolutely fine. So one of the things that I often say is I’ve had a net 20% growth every single year. And my wife is always great. Whenever I’m about to do a presentation, she always really rails me on these numbers. And she’s like, “Well, is that really true?” Well, no, some years I had a 17, some years I had 30. Overall it’s on average north of 20% that’s going to be there. So it fluctuates all the time. But the question is, what are you doing with that over time? So not just your intentions, are you delivering those results? And if you fail to deliver results, just like if you had an intent of delivering massive value and you never did it, sorry, you don’t get to call yourself the Perfect RIA. You have to deliver massive value.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. You really do. Something that Joe Lucas told and Joe Lucas has been a multiple guests on our podcast. Something he told us in a mastermind one time, and I had always thought that that adage, if you’re not growing, you’re dying is this tired cliché, but he really drove it home for me. And he said, “Hey, this isn’t necessarily about growing your revenue or not, it’s you as a practitioner, if you are not trying to deliver more value to your clients, and therefore you’re going to end up with more revenue, whether that’s your goal or not. You’re doing a disservice, you’re robbing yourself, you’re going backwards.” And I don’t know why it struck home so much when he said it, but think about things like the tax law. We did a couple of podcasts on the CARES Act. If you’re not staying on top of this stuff, if you’re coasting, you’re falling rapidly behind and you’re doing a real disservice to your client and to yourself. It’s undermining yourself throughout that process.

Micah Shilanski:  So let’s change practices a little bit or change industries. Sometimes I like to do this. For me, it throws a different lens on it, of where to look. So if we change industries and we said surgeons. And we went to a surgeon and we said, okay, a surgeon was doing an operation the exact same way for the last 30 years and has never made any tweaks or updates, any modernization whatsoever. They’re using the same type of equipment, the same staff, everything from 30 years ago or you have a gentleman who’s been in the business the exact same period of time, who is on top of their game, who has the latest technology, the latest things. He’s making sure that he’s delivering. Which one would you prefer to see, and how is that not different than us?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. I 100% agree. And so, yeah, we’ve got to be intentional about the goals for our practice. And Micah, you and I were talking before the podcast going back and looking at our calendar, saying, “Hey, with the Perfect RIA growing, with the other things that we’re doing, with the COVID crisis going on, are we being true to our intentions for managing our calendar? Using one specific example. Are we being true to our intentions with delegation?” Especially with new projects, it’s easy to say, “Well, I’ll just do that one, I’ll just do that task, I’ll just do that task,” pretty soon we’re doing all of them.

Micah Shilanski:  I think Jarvis is calling me out indirectly on something I said on our meeting right beforehand. So there we go on that one, touché. But my wife and I, we talked about this thing I think in our last poder or one before that. My wife and I had a real conversation with this whole COVID thing when we were at the house before we were out and getting about doing stuff, I had that thing that I would stay in my home office and work a little bit longer because we’re still limited in the things that we were choosing to do. We had to get out of that lack mentality and go do other stuff as well. But that is absolutely something you can fall, I don’t want to say victim to, because you’re putting yourself in that position. So how do you break out of that? So Jarvis, what are some other things that you are consistently going to be working on to make sure you’re delivering on massive value and not laziness?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. So one thing that is a curse and a blessing is of course the imposter syndrome for me. So you say, “Boy, am I really as good as I think I am?” And Micah and I are now getting more and more comments from the outlier saying, “Boy, you guys are so full of yourselves. Whatever.” But it is what it is. Looking at the value add we did last year and I’m saying, “Boy, that really wasn’t as good as it could be. Let’s take it to the next level.” So I just have this drive to say, “Hey, I never want to reuse something without improving it, be it the meeting process, be it a value add, even our statements, the guardrails.” I’m always saying, “Boy, how can we make that even just a little bit better?”

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. And also taking it from that aspect too with your team, how do you make your team just a little bit better? And that’s something that we’ve really been pushing on these last few years, and it’s been amazing to see our team grow and our team be able to make decisions independently where they’re coming to us and we’re having to make decisions either it’s a software program or this and that. Some of our team has come to us and says, “Look, do you guys actually need to be on this call or can we just make a decision and move forward with it?” What an amazing feeling. Now, it’s partly terrifying but partly liberating at the same time. And I think it’s such a great thing. So what value are you putting into your team? What training are you putting into your team so that they can work better inside of that Perfect RIA?

Matthew Jarvis:   Boy, that’s a good point, Micah. And I know that for years I would tell my team, “Hey, if there’s ever any training you want to go to, if there’s ever any conferences you want to go to, we’ll pay for those.” And then I realized that they weren’t really ever opting into that. And I think it’s just part of the psychology, the psychological makeup of team members.

But now I’m more … and Micah this is an idea I got from you, kind of a personal development budget for the team saying, “Hey, you will attend one conference.” Now, again, all the conferences are canceled this year so that’s a little weird. But I’m sitting down with them saying, “Hey, where would you like to be better? Where would you like to be able to deliver more value to the team, to clients? Where do you think you struggle?” And if they don’t have any ideas, I’m ready with some gentle suggestions. “Hey, I heard about this program.”

For example, last year I had Colleen attend the strategic coach training for team members. And I said, “Hey, this might help you get a better understanding on how my mind works as an entrepreneur and how to support that, because this will be a room full of other people supporting entrepreneurs.”

And so she was a little hesitant because it costs a lot of money. I said, “No, go ahead and do that.” Loved it. Really helped take her to the next level.

Micah Shilanski:  So one of the ways that we try to do this as well, kind of those gentle suggestions is when we’re wrapping up surge, one of the things that we do is we go through what are our successes and what were our failures? And we kind of go through and kind of take ownership. And it’s not a blame session. And it’s really good. We talk a lot about this on other pods, but really taking ownership and other things. But part of that ownership is where do we lack? Is this a systems issue or is it a personnel issue? So a people issue.

If it’s a people issue, means you got the wrong people. If it’s a systems issue, that means you don’t have the right training, you don’t have the right process in place. You’re missing some key components. So assuming you have the right people, then everything’s a system issue, how do you fix that? And so we can look at those weaknesses, where did we drop the ball and surge and how do we get better training for that? Do we bring someone into our office? Do we do it on the virtual side? Do we send them to a conference? All of those things. So if you’re struggling with where to go with your team, look back over the last quarter, what were your successes and failures and how do you improve those failures?

Matthew Jarvis:   I think this ties nicely Micah, to this distinction between the Perfect RIA and a sunset practice or a lazy practice. It’s not just you as the advisor that needs to be steadily improving. It’s not just the value you deliver to clients that needs to be improving, but also your team needs to be constantly improving, which will improve these other things. It will make your life easier, it will make the client experience better, but it will also dramatically improve their quality of life, your team member’s quality of life and their job satisfaction.

We all like to be better than we were before. Some of us are super driven, some of us want to 10X that every year, some people just want to make marginal improvements, but it’s really essential. And Micah, I’m glad you brought this up. Your team needs to always be growing or they too are dying, to use that cliché.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah, absolutely. And so this translates into so many different things. So how are you personally growing? How is you as a professional? Are you growing? And how is your team growing professionally and personally as well? Because those are all connected with the team, just like as they’re connected with ourselves as well.

So looking at all of those aspects and being not only intentional about making decisions in this manner, but measuring, are you actually doing these things and then grading yourself on that? What’s the benchmark for you to become your Perfect RIA? We have our benchmarks, we’ve got our three pillars, which is kind of our standard ones that we throw out there, but what are yours? Let’s say you’re not to that level yet or maybe you’re past that level. What’s that next milestone for you?

One of the most soul sucking, crushing things you can ever do is accomplish your BHAG. Your big, hairy, audacious goal and not have another one. You hit this plateau of success and this has happened to me and it’s happened to Olympians, and I’m not even in that category. But you achieve something without even setting that next level of success.

And it’s like your whole life just went away because you don’t have that next thing that’s driving you. So we always need that aspect of what’s driving us. And if you don’t have it, you’re going to ride yourself into a sunset practice. So if you want to stay in the Perfect RIA, you got to have those benchmarks.

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, I’m really glad you brought that up. That took me a lot of years to figure out. And I think I’m still working on this idea that the victory from whatever, a BHAG or a small goal, the victory is very short lived and very shallow and will leave a void. So to your point, what is going to fill that in? And something that’s helped me fill that in, and I know you as well, and I think is a key to a Perfect RIA practice is having masterminds and having a peer, someone that when you are in your lulls, your peaks and valleys, they hopefully are on the other side of that and they’re going to say, “Hey, pull yourself up. What’s your next goal? What are you going to do? Quit coasting.” And then you can be reciprocal on that.

In fact, I was just reaching out to a bunch of my advisor friends now that these conferences are canceled, and we just scheduled a mastermind/mountain bike trip in Colorado, which Micah is not coming on, a bum. But still, I know that when I …

Micah Shilanski:  You blew me off in Alaska. I don’t want to hear about it.

Matthew Jarvis:   It’s true. I did cancel on the Alaska. I know that when I’m around other Perfect RIA practices, whatever their level of performance, that will inspire me and keep me motivated to go to the next level. So look for those things that will keep you driven.

Micah Shilanski:  Jarvis, I’m just now thinking about this, you bring up such a great point, but when I come down to see you, you always have these fun events planned that you are really good at in the hopes of beating me. And then when you came to Alaska, I had this whole set of events planned and like five days before you were supposed to come up here, it’s like, “Oh, I’m so sorry this COVID thing that’s actually not taking place in Alaska. I’m from Seattle, I don’t want to infect this state, maybe I shouldn’t come.” This is now making sense to me.

Matthew Jarvis:   That’s right.

Micah Shilanski:  But one of the things that you have to think about at the same time, getting back to kind of our topic, and one of the things that I desperately need to work on is celebrating successes while enjoying the pursuit of the next thing. Because you said it, successes are so short lived. By short lived, it is seconds for me. It is not this great celebration. It’s like, well, why didn’t I do more? Why didn’t I do this? What is that next thing? So really knowing your own psychology is so super important so you can make sure you’re lining these things up. So again, you don’t get into this lazy aspect of things.

Matthew Jarvis:   I know this wasn’t a topic for our podcast. Since we’ve come into this area, I want to spend just a minute longer. A symptom of what Micah has just described is when you go around, everyone else around you, your spouse, your team, your children, your whomever and you’re saying, “Hey, why aren’t you 10Xing in this area?” And it’s not done from a place of love, of encouragement of, hey, I just want to help you be a better person. It’s sort of like, “Hey listen, I just 10Xed five things and I can’t figure out the next thing to 10X yet. So I’m going to focus my attention on getting you to 10X the cleanliness of the house or the timeliness of your homework.”

Even yesterday, I’m working on something with my daughter, Alice, and I said, “How long do you think this is going to take you?” She said, “It probably take me an hour.” I said, “It should take you seven minutes. Let’s get on it. Want me to sit down and do this with you?” “No dad, I’m kind of fine if it takes an hour.” “Successful people would do this in seven …” This is a real thing. I’m not—I’m just telling you. And then I’m like, “Oh, I’ve got a lull in my attention span right now, a lull in my goals and that energy is going in bad places.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. And that’s really hard, especially with family to be able to do that. We have a joke with my sister. When her son is not … because he’s 18 now and he’s not up and out of the house at like 7:30 AM, she’s opening his door, “What the hell are you doing with your life? Come on, let’s do stuff.”

Matthew Jarvis:   Oh, I do that too.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah.

Matthew Jarvis:   It’s a common thing in the Jarvis house.

Micah Shilanski:  Another similarity. It’s like, come on, let’s move on with things. But how do you direct that best? And your answer in your personal life is going to have to be different than your answer in your professional life. And your professional life, you can push and drive more. Of course, with your family, we’re trying to solve for different things. And it’s really important to understand those distinctions that are going to be there.

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, with that mention of your personal and your professional, in my experience, I’d be curious towards advisers on sunset practices, on lazy practices, that goes in all areas of your life. So let’s say, you’re saying, “Hey, I’m just going to ride this into retirement.” Their golf game is suffering. Their physical health is suffering. I don’t think that you can be really driven in one area and not have that trickle over. And the converse is also true. If you have an area in your life where you’re being lazy and let’s just call it lazy, that’s going to go over to your other areas.

So Micah, I know you’ve been working really recently on your target shooting. I’ve been working on improving my dirt biking and my rock climbing my fitness, different things. You need to have this drive, this intention in every area of your life, or it will bleed for better or worse into the other areas.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah, it really will. And it has such a devastating effect. Because trying to come out of that valley, out of that is going to be really, really challenging versus staying on that top game. And Jarvis, here’s a fun question for you. But how do you transition? So you get a practice, you get the lifestyle the way that you wanted. And now what is that way? For us, it’s always changing. Even now my wife and I, our plans for the next few years are different than we thought they were going to be at the beginning of this year.

So what is that really going to look like? But how do you have that balance? How do you fit that that’s going to be there? Because if what you’re saying, if what we’re telling people is always be strive, always be growing, but have this phenomenal lifestyle balance and always grow. I mean, man, that’s hard to really balance those two.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. It’s definitely a paradox, if you will. If we’re saying, “Hey, grow your practice 20% every year, but don’t let it creep into your family life.” And the converse is also true. Yeah, there’re definitely a paradoxes and there’re things that you’ve got to watch out for personally and say, “Boy, how am I …” And I do this on a regular basis. “How am I doing in my professional life? How am I doing in my personal fitness and my mental health? How do I feel in each of these areas?” The business is somewhat easy, I can say 20%, 10%, whatever. These other areas are more subjective. Great, let them be subjective and say, “Man, I don’t feel mentally well. I feel like I’m just dragging around all the time.” Cool. What activities do I do when I’m a five versus when I’m a zero, and try to implement those again.

Micah Shilanski:  And this is so important. This is the reason I go to Joe Lucas’ business planning every year. And this is you’re going to our live event, we’re going to incorporate some of these things that Joe talks about. And Joe’s event is so good at this because he’s going to talk about what are those things that put you in a positive mental state and how do you repetitively do them? When you get into that head trash, when you get into that lazy mode, because we all do it, what are the activities in which you can engage in to get yourself where you need to be?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. And from a business perspective, and I suppose we can apply this personally, you and I, by the time this podcast drops, we’ll have already done the webinar on mapping your activity calendar out through the end of the year. But to keep my practice always growing, I’m looking and saying, “Hey, I have this set activity calendar, I’m going to do these value adds, I’m going to do these client events, I’m going to do these newsletters.”

It creates a forcing mechanism for me to stay on top of things. And I do the same in my personal, hey, I’m going to do a trip with friends every month. I’m going to do some kind of physical adventure every week, and I’ve got this checklist. Do I make it every week? No, not necessarily, but as I’m planning my week, I’m saying, “Great, if I don’t go dirt biking this week, it’s got to be next week. If I’m not doing a value add … Well, I don’t have to think about the value adds, I know that they’re happening every quarter and I always want them to be better.

Micah Shilanski:  We talk about a lot of stuff that we do personally. What are you doing for your family as well? Because that is the third pillar, if you will, or the first pillar depending on how we want to look at it is that time with family. So how do you benchmark that so you’re not being lazy with your family?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. That’s a tricky one because I don’t want to fall into that again like, “Hey daughter, you did your homework in an hour, you probably could have done it in seven minutes.” That’s not a healthy one. Personally, I want to make sure I always have-

Micah Shilanski:  I’m just laughing because that is so true. I’m just thinking of me with my kids, it’s the exact same thing.

Matthew Jarvis:   I’m watching her type and I’m like, “You need to type faster.” Well, this is how … No, we need to do some typing classes. We need to do a-

Micah Shilanski:  The keys aren’t moving. This isn’t complicated. They’re in the same place every time, let’s go.

Matthew Jarvis:   That’s right.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah.

Matthew Jarvis:   Why are you thinking about the answer, Google already has it. One of mine Micah, is to make sure I always have adventures on the calendar. So I mentioned I’m leaving in a couple of days with my daughter. I’ve got already have the next one planned after that. Try to say, “Boy, I want to do a dad date with each kid every month. I want to do some kind of weekly date with Jackie every week.” I just have to have forcing mechanisms. Otherwise, I’ll look back and I’ll say, “Oh man, it’s been three months or whatever the period of time is since we’ve done it adventure, especially with all this COVID crap going on, it’s a lot harder than it was before.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. I like to go with my kids and do that same thing with them. And I spend their goal setting in this way. Helping them set goals, but making that kind of tied. How can I help them do it? So what are the things that they want to do, they want to work on, et cetera, and how can we tie that into daddy time that I can help with that? Gabe, wants to get better at throwing a football or building Legos or those other things. And Lana wants to ride a horse and actually it’s a unicorn, still looking for one of those.

But all those other things, how do I help them in those areas? Because it plays two boxes for me, for one, it feels like I’m helping my kids set goals. So now I’m mentally more engaged in that activity. And it’s not that I don’t want to spend time with my family. Please don’t get it that wrong. But I want to make sure that time is really quality time. So how do I need to gear my mind with this as well? And I think that’s really important to do so we can stay engaged with them.

Matthew Jarvis:   One other area I would touch on, Micah. And this actually came from a friend of ours and one of our masterminds who confessed to the group that he found himself spending an inordinate amount of time watching ESPN on his phone. To confess even to the point that he would spend extended periods of time in the bathroom at the office just sitting on the toilet reading ESPN because he just didn’t really have anything else going on. And the guy’s got a really great lifestyle practice, but it was an area that was sort of sucking energy away, if you will.

For me, that’s like social media. If I get on social media, I get angry, I start ranting. I’ll stay on it for hours, and so I just have to completely stay off of that. I know another advisor friend, really great guy, when he gets home from work or leaves his home office, he powers off his phone and puts it in a drawer and doesn’t touch it again until the next day, because he knows that as soon as he pulls out his phone, he’ll end on it for hours. And instead of spending time with his daughter in the evening, he’ll spend time doing lord knows what on his phone. And so he just has that forcing mechanism in place.

Micah Shilanski:  I think it’s great knowing what those things are, because these are all keys not to have that sunset practice that’s there. Jarvis as you said before, all of these tie together, and if you start to fill in one area, it’s going to trickle around. So how are you doing in your family life? How are you doing in your personal life in addition to family? What are those other things that you want to aspire to achieve personal development, et cetera. And then how are you working in your professional life? All of those areas are connected. When you have one that’s faulting, and we see this a lot, when marital difficulties come in, to an advisor, you’re going to see their practice tank. They will absolutely tank in this life. So they are directly connected. So having that spousal engagement and family engagement in a very strong place, which is why the Perfect RIA is so important because you’re putting family as a fundamental pillar in your success because they are.

Matthew Jarvis:   Hey, a quick caveat on the family thing. I think we’ve mentioned this on a podcast. So Micah and I both talk a lot of times about this sort of a traditional family development, a husband and wife, and a couple of kids. For our advisers who are single or who don’t have kids, family can mean whatever you define as family. It could be your parents. It could be your sibling. It could be your peer group. So please don’t say, “Well, that doesn’t apply to me. I’m going to ignore it.” It applies perhaps doubly so because you don’t have that forcing mechanism. If you have your kids running to the door, you’ve got … That’s just a critical part of the human experience to say, “Great, if my family is not a spouse and kids, great, then what is my family? Is it my CrossFit group? Is it the people that I like to travel with?” Whomever it is, that has to be a key part of your life all the time. I just want to throw that in there real quick.

Micah Shilanski:  No, I think that’s absolutely phenomenal. So this podcast is all about action items. So let’s get to some action items for our audience. Things that we do intentionally to make sure. Now, I guess before we jump on there, one of the things that we do want to mention is coming up on August 12th, we are going to have a very special webinar. And one of the things that’s out there that’s kind of missing that we hear from the advisor community is that there’s going to be some great information training advisors, but there’s really nothing for team members.

How do you get team members to embrace the Perfect RIA? How do you get them to do that? So we’re going to do a special webinar featuring Victoria and Coleen from both our respective offices who really are kind of the cornerstone in helping run things to really kind of guide through that. So if that’s something that you’re interested in, make sure you mark it on your calendar. This would be ideal for your assistance to be on as well. Who are those people that need that little help? We’re going to start asking for questions about this and things in advance to help make this very powerful and it will be available to the entire nation. So really important to think about that.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. And I’m excited, Micah and I are working on some forcing mechanisms that we only ask questions and don’t give answers. So this is really going to be the Coleen and Victoria show. We’re pretty excited about this. So action item number one, mark your calendar, August 12th for your entire team. Action item number two, I would say go back and make sure your practice is intentional. Have clear goals for new assets under management. We talk about the 100K challenge, adding $100,000 of new revenue or 20%, whichever is higher. So be very intentional in all areas of your life. And Micah, to your point, knowing that, hey, when I hit these goals, there’s going to be a void and I’ll need to have another goal up to bat, if you will, to fill in behind that.

Micah Shilanski:  Super, super important. I would say another one is, have a clear activity calendar. So we run a family calendar as well, just on Google so we can overlay with everything else. And so we know what the family calendar is. We know what our personal calendars are that’s going to be there. And what are those scheduled activities? And you don’t have an excuse. I don’t care COVID is going on or not, whatever’s happening in your life, you must have activities in order to stay very productive. That’s going to be there. And to make sure there’s family time earmarked out as well. Because if we’re not planning for it, and I don’t need it to the nth degree. But if you’re not planning in generalities for these things, they’re not going to happen.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, they are. I would say the third action item, which is maybe the opposite side of that is keep track of the things that you’ve done personally, professionally and as a family. I know that for myself, I’ll look back, I’ll tell Jackie at the end of the year, I’ll say, “Man, we didn’t do anything this year.” So maybe we didn’t do anything. We did this and we did this. I mean, she gets them all top of mind. I forget them all. And so I keep written on the wall, hey, Alice and I went to Yellowstone National Park and we got a new house and we did this and we did this. So I can look professionally and personally and say, “Here’s everything I’ve done.”

And that doesn’t for me ever give me a reason to sit back on my haunches and not do anything. It keeps me excited like, wow, look at everything I’ve done. Great, what comes next? It keeps me fired up on both sides.

Micah Shilanski:  That’s right. At least I’m not a total failure. At least I got this done. So no, I love that. And Kelly, my wife does it in Christmas cards so I always keep those because she does in a paragraph format just everything that we’ve done this past year. And you look at, you’re like, “Holy crap.” So yeah, those are positive things so you can celebrate those a little bit more.

Last action item I’m going to throw out there is make a commitment on this deliver massive value. And I want your commitment in three folds. Not to overcomplicate this. I want it with your clients, with your team and your personal life. How are you going to deliver massive value in all three of these areas that are going to be there? Jarvis and I do a pretty good job of making sure we have these delivering massive value items set up for our clients that are going to be there. How are you going to deliver massive value to your family? What’s your plan for that? Start making this because improving that will feed into absolutely everything else and help grow that practice and make sure you’re not just being lazy.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. And to clarify, what was massive value last year or last month, or last quarter is not massive value this quarter or this month or this year. It becomes a new baseline. And we can call that an entitlement or an expectation, whatever it is. Even if you were 10 out of 10 last year, you need to be 11 out of 10 this year. It’s got to keep upping the game because again, what’s not growing is dying and cliché or not, it’s the truth.

Micah Shilanski:  Awesome. And then of course on August 12th, we’re going to have our webinar. And so make sure you got that on your calendar so you can listen to Coleen and Victoria tell us how they actually run the Perfect RIA and our practices. Because it’s really not us. We’re just the pretty figureheads.

Matthew Jarvis:   We’re not so pretty. Well, until next time-

Micah Shilanski:  That’s why we’re made for a podcast.

Matthew Jarvis:   That’s great. 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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