What You'll Learn In Today's Episode:

  • The traps we fall into when striving to improve our practices.
  • Warning signs that you’ll be playing office and how to fix it.
  • How the office reflects your behavior.
  • The value of time blocking and the techniques Matt and Micah use.
  • What was wrong with Matt’s business plan.
  • The importance of giving tasks “a place to live” and what that means.

Podcast Article:

After sending Nick Murray his business plan to look over back in 2009/2010, Matthew Jarvis was told it was so terrible that he shouldn’t waste his time. So in this episode, the guys will be unpacking how this impacted Matt and his future, as well as what you can do to actually improve your practice rather than just play office.

Listen in to hear what went wrong with Matt’s business plan and what it took to get it right. You will learn the common warning signs of playing office and how you can bring attention to it, cut down on it, and consciously lead your practice away from it.

Resources In Today's Episode:

Read the Transcript Below:

This is The Perfect RIA, in case you didn’t know. Bringing you all the strategies to help your business grow. Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? Sit back and listen in while you feel the beat. Another myth bites the dust…

Micah Shilanski: Welcome back to The Perfect RIA podcast. I am your co-founder, Micah Shilanski, and with me as usual is the other guy, Matthew Jarvis. What’s going on, Jarvis?

Matthew Jarvis: Hey, I’m just glad to be here. Other guy or not, it’s glad. Well, I don’t … Actually, I have to confess, I’m not sure I’m glad to be here. We’re going to dig deep into the painful archives.

Micah Shilanski: Oh, I’m happy to be here.

Matthew Jarvis: We’re going to revisit trauma. You all can’t see. The nation, you can’t see, I’m like laying out on my therapist couch here getting ready to weep openly to talk about this traumatic experience.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. What do you do when your idol … when someone you look up to just automatically tears you down, rips you apart and says, “Don’t come. And by the way, if you come I’m not even going to talk to you like I said I was going to.” I mean, that … And this is not hyperbole, by the way.

Matthew Jarvis: Nope.

Micah Shilanski: This is actual happenstance of what really took place to Matthew Jarvis which, again, is why I’m happy to be here. He’s tearing up a little bit. No lie. It’s okay. We’re going to get through this together. And it’s for you. It’s for the TPR Nation we’re willing to put Jarvis through this.

Matthew Jarvis: That’s right. I’ve only shared this story … Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever publicly shared this story. This may be the first time. But circa 2009-2010, depth of the financial crisis, my practice was terrible. We were losing money profusely. I decided that the solution to all of my problems was to attend Nick Murray’s newly announced Behavioral Investment Conference in New York. My first time going to New York.

Micah Shilanski: Of course.

Matthew Jarvis: And as part of this, because it was Nick’s first time doing these conferences again, he added this carrot saying, “If you come to the conference, you can afterwards send me a one-page business plan. I will review it and then spend up to 30 minutes on the phone with you discussing it.” Mike, as you pointed out, Nick Murray’s my hero. I’ve read all his stuff. I was excited to go to his conference. And then I sent him my one-page business plan, which for the BackStage Pass members will be posted on the BackStage Pass. So, I sent him my business plan, Nick Murray emails me back, says, “This is a terrible business plan. I will not have a call with you and do not come to my next conference because you’re wasting your time. Do not come to my conference.”

Micah Shilanski: Oh, this is just brutal. When we post this business plan, this is clearly not a role model business plan just yet to follow through, right? But this is one of those things that sometimes in life, it happens. We get locked into this idea, we get so emotionally attached to this idea, but we’re so deep in the woods we don’t see how bad it actually is. And this is where groups like Masterminder Coaches or even Role Models can come back and can really be helpful in this case, but sometimes the help is a little brutal.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. And Nick Murray’s an east coast guy. He’s known for being brutal. If you subscribe to his newsletter, his solution to every client complaint or client issue is just to fire the client. He does draw a hard line on it. And when I got that email, I was devastated. I was devastated for lots of reasons. One was, if I’m being honest, I had in my mind if I go to Nick Murray’s conference enough times I will magically have a great practice.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah.

Matthew Jarvis: And that’s a trap that a lot of us fall into even with … and I hate to say this … with this podcast. If you have in your mind, “If I listen to enough episodes of this podcast, somehow my practice will magically be transformed,” I hate to tell you this, it probably won’t.

Micah Shilanski: Jarvis, we weren’t supposed to mention that.

Matthew Jarvis: But remember to give us five stars anyway.

Micah Shilanski: That’s right. Five stars, anyway. No, but it won’t, right? Because it’s not just about what you know. It’s not just about what you listen to or what you read. It’s about what you do.

Matthew Jarvis: Yes.

Micah Shilanski: Your action. And this is why we always wrap up the podcast with action items. And we actually think about these action items in advance to help our members listen and improve their practice because it’s not those other things; it’s all about your action. And it kind of comes to one thing. If I could summarize a little bit of your business plan, it’s playing office.

Matthew Jarvis: Yes.

Micah Shilanski: Right? There’s a decent amount of playing office inside of there. Regardless of the scale of your practice, whether you’re starting out or whether you’re midway through your track or whether you have a perfect RIA practice already, we all are victims of playing office. We all do it-

Matthew Jarvis: Yes.

Micah Shilanski: -at some level, just in different ways. And this is something you have to be so cautious about calling out. Well, so cautious about not doing, right? Really quick to calling out, “Am I actually playing office? Or am I focusing on the best use of my time, which is delivering massive value?”

Matthew Jarvis: Totally. Totally. Nick Murray gave me a lot of tough love, but in that email he also said, “Hey, this isn’t a business plan because it doesn’t talk about how you’re going to actually get in front of prospects. This is all …”

Micah Shilanski: Yeah.

Matthew Jarvis: He didn’t use the term playing office. He said, “This is all an avoidance behavior.” And in his book … one of his books that I love, The Game of Numbers … he talks at length that there’s all these things that we do to avoid getting face-to-face with a prospect. We say, “I need another designation.” “My 2010 business plan did say get my CFP.” “I need a fancier office.” “I need a new website.” “I need a new logo.” “I need new wardrobe.” All of these things, some of them which we talk about. We talk about dressing for success, but-

Micah Shilanski: Right, right.

Matthew Jarvis: -too often we say, “Well, once I can afford a fancy wardrobe … Once I have that, then I’ll prospect.” Reality is then you’ll find one more reason to play office.

Micah Shilanski: We even had a member in our BackStage Pass post something on our forum, which was phenomenal. This is what the forum’s for. He was dealing with some head trash and he was saying, “No, I got to get this designation then I have to start my own firm. And then after that, then I can prospect, then I can do this, then I can help with clients.” And everyone was like, “No, that is total head trash.”

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah.

Micah Shilanski: That is absolutely not the way to do this. We have to focus on we have and taking action. That doesn’t mean don’t get your CFP. That’s not the point of this. The whole point of this is how are you delivering value on a consistent basis and what actions are you really taking? And I got to say, Jarvis … I got to confess here. Now I am so attuned to hearing this playing office speak with other advisors, I get so turned off. We had a meeting internally and there was a talk about, “Oh, we need to freshen up the website. We need to look at our logo.” And I’m like physically revolting based on this. I’m like, “All this is, is playing office. Why am I even on this call?”

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah.

Micah Shilanski: This isn’t about actually delivering value. And it’s easy how quick we can get can get caught up there. I’m going to pick on the website a little bit because everybody picks on my website, which is totally fair game. And it’s not the prettiest looking website that’s out there. I’m totally game. I absolutely admit that. But I never had a client ever come to me and say, “My guy went with another advisor because their website was five percent better, was 10% better, was twice as better.” I’ve never went with XYZ because their logo was 50% better. How do you even measure that? And we can’t measure it, therefore you’re making it up.

Yes, you have to get some minimal standard. I mean, if you look like a website from the 1990s, probably isn’t going to work. I’m solid 2002, so I’m so fine with that. But there is some clear minimum bar but other than that it’s such diminishing returns. And we need to focus on building our firm and helping our client.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Because something I remind myself on, specific to websites, specific to branding and marketing, is that if the fanciest website, if the nicest branding, if the nicest marketing was what drew in all the clients, there would be no clients left for you and I.

Micah Shilanski: Right.

Matthew Jarvis: I always remind advisors that Vanguard, Fidelity, Merrill … Pick a big investment name. They spend more money in one month in your geographic region than you and I will make in our lifetimes. So, praise the heavens that having the fanciest website doesn’t get you all the clients because there would be none left for the rest of us.

Micah Shilanski: Amen. Amen. Okay, we talked about this. So, Jarvis, what if we pivot this a little bit into what are some warning signs that you’re going to be playing office? Then let’s talk about action items that’s going to be inside of there. What do you do in order to fix that? Forcing mechanisms that need to be there.

Matthew Jarvis: Let’s start first with prospecting. Again, Nick Murray talks about this in The Game of Numbers. Prospecting only counts if you’re risking a no. At the end of the day, it’s only-

Micah Shilanski: Yeah.

Matthew Jarvis: -really prospecting. There are lots of steps that have to take place before you can get in front of somebody who will tell you no unless you’re going to start cold calling, I suppose, which can be done. It’s a tough road. It can be done. But at the end of the day, you need to measure … Your KPI needs to be, “All right, how many people did I talk to? How many chances did I give someone to say yes or no to my services?”

Micah Shilanski: I’m going to put this … And again, we go back and forth on what was the number one thing you have to do for the perfect RIA, but time blocking is always in that top one or two.

Matthew Jarvis: Yep.

Micah Shilanski: And this is a time blocking skill that you got to have. How much are you going to do? I’m going to separate prospecting up into two different categories.

Matthew Jarvis: Please.

Micah Shilanski: I’m going to have face time and non face time. Face time is any time you’re risking a no.

Matthew Jarvis: Yep.

Micah Shilanski: And that absolutely is the primary part of prospecting. The other stuff is plain prospecting. It’s looking at the ads, it’s writing the content, which takes a lot of work. We do a ton of content creation and I do a ton of video creation. I do a ton of written content creation. And that takes a lot of time, but I have to limit that. I have to block that, otherwise I could spend all day playing office justifying that this video is not perfect. I have to rewrite my script. I have to rewrite this. Oh, my yo score was less and I should work on A, B, and C to get all green marks. I could spend all day on that content, but it’s a diminishing return. I have to meet a minimum level. I have to limit my time at something and then move on to face-to-face time.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. And really, with anything, it’s got to be, “Can I measure the result of this activity?”

Micah Shilanski: Yeah.

Matthew Jarvis: We were talking this morning about, “Hey, we need to update some branding stuff for TPR.” Great. That’s nice. Can we measure a result for that? Will that deliver more value to our members? Will that show more people the value of joining the BackStage Pass? Probably not, so we need to be really careful there. I would also, Micah, put that I find myself playing office with my team sometimes. Colleen and I have worked together for a lot of years.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah.

Matthew Jarvis: I know you’ve worked with your team. Sometimes it’s fun to just sit and like, “Well, let’s say that we’re brainstorming and, really, we’re just burning time.” And we get done with an hour or two hours or whatever and then we look and say, “There’s no action items here. There’s no clear step forward. This was playing office.”

Micah Shilanski: This is a great example of, I got to say, the dichotomy of leadership. We give a lot back to Jocko and the things that he talks about, but your office is a reflection of you and your behaviors.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah.

Micah Shilanski: If you don’t like your team’s behaviors, it’s because you are doing those same things and your office is reflecting that. So, if you are wasting a lot of time and you’re doing a lot of playing office and you’re upset because your team isn’t productive and getting stuff done, it’s because you were setting a bad example with yourself. And the more diligent you are in limiting playing office and calling it out … I mean, I’ll call it out if I’m playing office. And I do! I’m just like everybody else. There’s something in there, I’ll pivot a wave, I won’t eat that frog, I won’t jump on something. I’ll go do something else and think it’s worth my time and I’m playing office. And the quicker I can call it out, the quicker I can bring it to the attention of the team that I dropped the ball on something, the more they realize they need to do the same thing and I don’t have to call out them playing office. Just by leading that as an example, everyone rises up. And the opposite is also true.

Matthew Jarvis: Yes.

Micah Shilanski: The further you sink, the further your team is going to sink. It’s all about you.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. And to be honest, at times that’s a real burden. And sometimes I think to myself, “Man, I wish I didn’t have to have that burden.” But then I cash my paycheck and I remember why I like that burden. And joking aside, that’s the lot that we chose to be independent financial planners. We’re entrepreneurs, we’re business leaders. We have to lead even when its hard. Even when we desperately want to just play office and not lead, we got to lead.

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Micah Shilanski: Let’s take that scene, before we jump off of it, Jarvis. And there’s two things I like to highlight.

Matthew Jarvis: Yes.

Micah Shilanski: One, we’ve talked about before. Colleen. Your relationship with Colleen is real important. She’s a very-

Matthew Jarvis: Yes.

Micah Shilanski: -valuable member of your team. You care about her. You want her to succeed. You want her to do a great job. And having social interaction is a pretty important time, so you make sure you allot for that time to chat with Colleen on a social level. Is that correct?

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. That is correct. In fact, we could do a whole sidebar on this, but that used to kind of bother me because I would get to the office and I wanted to get right into work. And I realized that, “Hey, Colleen wants 10 or 15 minutes to talk about the weekend or the Seahawks or whatever else.” So, I just kind of … I don’t have it on my calendar, but I just have in my mind, “Hey, the first 15 minutes is just going to be catching up with everybody and then I’m jumping right into action.”

Micah Shilanski: And that’s so important, right? Because now Colleen is … When she’s talking to you, you’re actually able to listen, you’re able to communicate, just like with a client meeting. You dedicated that mental time that’s going to be there. I like that one. The second one is kind of an outlet for this that I like; having team lunches. This is a great-

Matthew Jarvis: Yes.

Micah Shilanski: -time to do it. Generally, everyone needs to eat lunch. Buy lunch for the team, have everyone come in on Friday, whatever that’s going to be, and you can sit around a lunch table and BS. I will probably be the first one that leaves the lunch table because I meet a threshold, my own personal limitation. I’m like, “All right, I’m done. I got to get back to work.” But it’s a nice way for the team to come together. Again, if you need to talk to your team, if you want that BS, that office space time, then limit it. Give yourself an outlet. Don’t say, “I’m never going to play office,” because that is just not realistic. Say, “Great. I’m going to spend 15 minutes in the morning. I’m going to lunches on this. I’m going to do whatever team time to make sure we have that going on.”

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. I like that, Micah. Another great tool that I’ve found for myself … and this goes back to time blocking, something we preach all the time … and really, this came … After I got that email from Nick Murray, I said, “Great. I’m going to block out the first two hours of every morning to do prospecting.” Not compliance, not research, not browsing the internet, not working with my team, not putting branding material together. Nothing. Just pure prospecting.

I will confess, sometimes that two hours was me sitting there staring at the telephone and that’s not productive time. But otherwise, I would divert it into some kind of avoidance behavior and release the pressure that would finally build up and have said, “Well, maybe instead of just sitting here … maybe I should get involved with a hospital foundation.” A lot of people that I’d want to have as clients are there. We’ve talked about networking. We’ll talk about it again. I’ll call my centers of influence. I’ll call people on my prospect list, make sure they got the invite to our next client event, whatever it is. But I blocked out those first two hours of the day. That was prospecting time and nothing else.

Micah Shilanski: When I block out my prospecting time that’s going to be there, I shut everything off on my computer except for the sole thing I’m working on. So, my CRM is not up. My text messaging is not up. I have DND on the phone. My emails not up. Don’t worry, it never is. But I’m closing out as much of that stuff as I possibly can so I’m not coming up with legitimate excuse not to do what I’m supposed to do. And I want to say legitimate excuse because if something comes up, I’m going to say, “Oh, well a client needs X, Y, and Z.” “Oh, the team really needs me to do A, B, and C.” And really, I’m just avoiding doing what I should be doing at that time.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah.

Micah Shilanski: So, remove the ability for legitimate excuses to pop up. Focus your time just on that in time blocking then move on to those other things.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Where I find that come up as well is when you’re doing content creation, which is a valuable exercise for clients, for prospecting, whatever it is. The temptation, though, is you say, “Oh, I’m writing a piece about Roth conversions. You know what? I remember that Kit just wrote some nuanced article about that. I should go pull that up. I should go pull up the tax code.” And then an hour later, you haven’t typed but three words and you’ve researched all that.

Something that I force myself to do … Micah, your comments made me think of it … is if I’m writing content … If there’s something I need to research, I’ll just type into the content “research this” but I will not stop the content creation until my time is done. I’m going to spend an hour writing my content client newsletter. I’m not going to go on the internet during that entire time. I’m just going to dump content onto a page.

Micah Shilanski: I like that. I didn’t even think about that. When I do my first federal fast check …

Matthew Jarvis: Yes.

Micah Shilanski: My bi-weekly email videos that go out, we’ll pre-list those questions. People submit them online to us, then we go through it. And they’re all queued up for me to sit and record. If anything is a super technical question, I’ll automatically kick it to the next time because I don’t want to spend that time researching an answer that’s going to be there. I only want things that I know off the top of my head so I can be productive. I didn’t even think about that, but I do the exact some things to make sure I’m not wasting my time. I shouldn’t say that; to make sure my time is best used. Because that time is for recording content. That is it. It is not for looking stuff up online. It’s not for doing other things. It’s just recording content. And I got to be true to myself, otherwise I’m not going to be delivering massive value to our prospects that are out there.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, and that’s a good point, Micah. I love how you caught yourself on that because only the real rookie advisors are just sitting playing solitaire on the computer. That’s what rookies do. “Ah, I’ll just play solitaire.” Those of us that have done this for a little bit are like, “Well, I think I’ll read The Wall Street Journal. You know what? There’s 7,000 Kitces articles I haven’t read yet. I will spend some time … I haven’t updated the FPA forum post for a while so I’ll go troll there for a little bit.”

Rookies are playing solitaire and updating Facebook. Those of us that are professionals, we really upped our game on avoidance behaviors.

Micah Shilanski: At least the rookies have a good excuse. “I want to do something different.” We’re just avoiding it on a whole new level that’s going to be there. Or you want to talk to your buddy about X, Y, and Z. There’s so many ways that we can play office. And again, a forcing mechanism. Something I’m a huge fan of … When we talk about action items, we’re going to talk about this … but forcing mechanisms … We got to really come up with what these top three things you got to do to be a perfect RIA. Delegation is definitely one. Time blocking is definitely one. Forcing mechanisms have to be in the top five.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah.

Micah Shilanski: But in the forcing mechanism side of it … And the reason I really stack my client calendar and I’m doing seven appointments a day, it’s a forcing mechanism. I don’t have time to play office. So yes, I want to congest things together. I want to deliver a lot of value. But I don’t have time in between my appointments to go do other things. I have time to get my crap done and move on to my next appointment. What are forcing mechanisms you can put in place that force you to do that? If you’re procrastinating on your prospecting, if you’re procrastinating on making COI calls, what is a hard forcing mechanism that gets you out of the office and you have to do it beforehand? And if you don’t finish, what’s your financial penalty? I’m not big on the rewards system. What’s the penalty and who’s going to hold you accountable?

We had a good party … We talked about one of our Masterminds. We had a good buddy that every now and again would check out stats online. He would look at stats and he would not work. He has a very successful practice, but he would just look a little too much on the sports stuff and he says, “All right, every time I catch myself doing this I’m going to pay my staff $100 because I need to be focused on this.” And it’s not really a bad activity.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah.

Micah Shilanski: Agan, highly successful practice, does really, really good, perfect RIA standards, all of those things but he’s still playing office. So, what’s your forcing mechanisms?

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, and I would also say, related to that, give those things a place to live. I joked a couple times about reading another Kitces article. I love to spend time … They’re such great resources there. But I give that a place to live. If I see that Kitces has written a great article on a lifestyle practice, I want to read anything he writes about lifestyle practices. I’m not going to read that during my prospect time. I’m going to say, “Hey, Wednesday afternoons-“

Micah Shilanski: I love it.

Matthew Jarvis: “-that’s my time for doing research. That’s my time for doing whatever the case is.” Give it somewhere to live. Don’t let it bounce around in your head like, “Hey, I’m going to need to get to that,” or, “I want to get to that.” Great, put it on your calendar. “Hey, Thursday afternoon I will go and read everything that Kitces has written for the last three weeks.” Or whatever your … The Wall Street Journal, whatever it is you’re into. Give it a place to live.

Micah Shilanski: Boy, I’m going to make a whole sidebar here real quick-

Matthew Jarvis: Please.

Micah Shilanski: -if that’s okay? I’m going to tie this into a client meeting. You and I, when we start off our client meetings one of the first things that we ask are what questions or concerns do the clients have that they want to address today?

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah.

Micah Shilanski: The reason we’re asking that is we want to give those questions a place because if we don’t give those questions a place to be addressed, the client’s not listening to a bloody thing that we’re saying until their question was addressed. And oh, by the way, that’s the same thing here. If we have on top of our mind we got to go read a Kitces article, we got to go to The Journal, we got to do something else, we’re really not paying attention because we have that nagging … In the back of our mind, there’s something else for us to go and do. If you schedule it for Thursday, Wednesday, Saturday, I don’t care. If it has a date, it’s now out of your mind. It’s addressed and now you can actually focus your attention on things.

Matthew Jarvis: Totally. By the way, this applies to your personal stuff. There’s this myth …

Micah Shilanski: Yep.

Matthew Jarvis: There’s this thing called the work/life balance. That’s a myth. Work is just part of life. As everyone knows on the nation, I don’t ever work on Fridays but I have plenty of calendar items on Fridays. Work with my daughter to find a tutor for this Fall, help my other daughter apply for college, whatever. It gives that a place to live so that Tuesday afternoon when I’m getting ready to do TPR stuff and I think, “Oh, I really need to help Calvin build a new LEGGO that will climb stairs.” Great, I just need to give that somewhere to live. On Friday, remember to play LEGGOS with Calvin. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes we beat ourselves up and say, “Well, if I was a good parent-“

Micah Shilanski: Yeah.

Matthew Jarvis: “-I would remember all these things.” I don’t know. Maybe. But if I can give that someplace to live and say, “Great, the weekends … I don’t work on the weekends and that’s my family time. Let me put reminders for myself there.”

So Micah, to your point, give it somewhere to live and don’t let it bounce around in your brain.

Micah Shilanski: Well, to be a good parent, is it remembering the stuff to do or is it doing the stuff you’re supposed to do?

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. I would err on doing.

Micah Shilanski: I need-

Matthew Jarvis: If you remember and don’t do, I don’t think it counts.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. I don’t think it counts at all. It’s not about your intentions; it’s about your actions that’s going to be there. No, I’m in total game for that. All right. You want to transition a little bit to some action items? Of what … Now that we talked about this in theory, about playing office. I don’t know if it’s a good thing; is the TPR podcast are playing office. We’re here to get together and we get to talk about all the things that other people should be doing. But it’s also a good reflection for us on how we need to focus and sharpen up our own tools.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. That is a fun example though, Micah, because we said, “Boy, how can we find a way to productively play office?” So we can now have all this time to have fun together but still be able to measure the results coming out of that.

Action items. I feel like we say this all the time. Time block. Time block, time block, time block.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah.

Matthew Jarvis: Time block your prospecting time. Time block your working on your business time. Time block your family time. I was coaching an advisor a few weeks ago and he says, “Matthew, someday when my practice gets really great, then I want to take Fridays off.” And I said, “You got to do it right now, Ray. Your kids are growing up.”

Micah Shilanski: Right.

Matthew Jarvis: “There’s ample research to show that the five-day work week is not perfect. Do it. Now, when you’re in the office, Ray, you got to work your tail off. But if you want to take Fridays off you got to start now. There will never be time for that.”

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. Absolutely do it now. All right. Number two, forcing mechanism. You got to create a forcing mechanism. For Jarvis and I … And Jarvis, correct me here if I’m wrong.

Matthew Jarvis: Please.

Micah Shilanski: But for you and I, that same psychology that’s going to be here. If it’s not a big stick, I am not going to be super motivated to making a change. Because I’m in a groove. I’m in a habit.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah.

Micah Shilanski: Certain patterns going on that’s going to be there. So, if you came to me and said, “Micah, it’s going to be $20 every time you play office.” And let’s say I played office two to three times a week. That was going to be there. I’d be like, $40 to $60? That’s it? And I can do whatever the hell I want? Okay, Matt.” It’s just not a motivating number for me. So what is a painful number that’s going to motivate you and who’s going to keep you accountable? Those are the two things that you really need. You need a painful stick that if you get hit by it, it’s really going to hurt, and who’s going to keep you accountable for it?

Jarvis and I accuse all the time. We’re really good friends, but I will absolutely hold him to the things that he asks me to hold him to because he asked me to hold him to them. I’m going to make sure he does those things so he is a better person. Who is going to hold you to that standard? Hint: not staff and not family.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, yeah. Not anybody that you got a relationship with. So, find another advisor. We got that available on the BackStage Pass on the forum. The more arbitrary the punishment, the better. I did have some friends, they were doing an accountability where each time you did something you had to do a burpee because they were all Crossfitters. But the problem with that is it’s a punishment that actually makes you stronger. Say, “Well, I guess I’m doing burpees.”

Micah Shilanski: Right.

Matthew Jarvis: It still needs to be a total, just pure pain. Micah, you and I have done things like very large checks, checks to our least favorite political candidate along with a note saying, “This is the first of many contributions you’ll be receiving.” For a fee increase, Micah-

Micah Shilanski: Cars.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, for a fee … Cars. For a fee increase, I was going to have to send Micah a letter introducing him to my 10 top clients saying that they should work with Micah instead of me because he was a better advisor. Believe me, I did the fee increase. But it did take that much. If it had been, “You’ll have to give me $1,000, I could have talked myself out of the fee increase for $1,000.”

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. It really has to be something. And people say, “Is it really that important?” Yes! It is really that important. How serious are you about being the best advisor you can be? If you want to be a mediocre advisor, why are the heck are you evening listening to our podcast? Go Netflix something if you’re going to be a mediocre advisor. If you’re serious about being the perfect, RIA, about being the best advisor you can, everything counts. Everything counts.

Matthew Jarvis: Yep. I’ll throw one last action item. This is somewhat related to the other ones, but that is understand that your willpower will only take you so far. And you can beat yourself up over willpower and say, “Man, I can’t believe I didn’t make those phone calls.” “I can’t believe I ate that junk food.” “I can’t believe I didn’t make it to the gym.” Willpower’s only going to get you so far. So really look at your practice, look at your life and say, “Hey, where’s willpower not delivering the results that I want? And how do I change that system? How do I create extreme accountability, like Micah suggested?” But if you’re just saying, “Hey, someday I’ll have the willpower to do this,” probably not going to get there. Don’t rely on willpower.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah.

Matthew Jarvis: Rely on systems. Systems work.

Micah Shilanski: I love it. All right. Your last action item, which we all know what this is. Vote early, vote often. Jump on iTunes. Give us a five star review. Hit us up on Twitter as well as we start sharing this out. The nation has really been growing, so thank you. Thank you to our listeners. It’s because of you and sharing this information with other advisors that have helped us to grow. If you like this, always jump on that BackStage Pass. We have some great things going on there, especially the forum. Oh my gosh. And I’m not a big forum guy. Jarvis really kind of drug me into this thing, but the forum on the BackStage Pass has been absolutely phenomenal. It was a great idea.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Love that. I love that. Well, thanks everybody for listening. It’s always a great time. 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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