SurgeTM Head Trash

On the fence about SurgeTM?Here are the biggest excuses we hear advisors use for why SurgeTM can’t work in their practice and why they should reconsider. 


4 min read

Micah Shilanski
Micah Shilanski
Financial Planner, CFP®

We get messages from advisors all the time that tell us, “Matthew and Micah, SurgeTM sounds cute, but I can’t do it because…” and they insert any number of limiting beliefs. 

Instead of insisting it can’t work, for those of you not Surging yet, can you try honestly asking yourself why it can’t? What’s your worst substantial risk from trying it for a single quarter? 

On the flip side, what will happen if SurgeTM does work

While thinking about that, consider this: head trash screws us on both ends. You’ll always fail when tangled in head trash because you’re stuck in a fear and failure mentality. Stop living like Grover, climb out of your trashcan (yes, I just referenced Sesame Street–because giving excuses is childish), and let’s work on what’s holding you back.

I can’t do SurgeTM because I have extra long client meetings. 

Think for a minute, if you have two or–heaven forbid–three-hour meetings, why can’t SurgeTM work? 

Why can’t you block all of your meetings together in one day or one week each month? If that’s too much of a stretch, why can’t you have one week each month without any meetings? 

I challenge you to ask your team how they’d feel about having one week each month without any meetings. Ask them what they could accomplish during that week. 

You might be surprised by their answers. 

I can’t do SurgeTM because my clients expect me to be in my office. 

When you were a kid, did it throw you through a loop to see your teacher in the grocery store? Did you honestly think Mrs. Jones lived in her second-grade classroom? I’ll tell you a little secret: your clients know you’re human and don’t live in your office

So long as you’re clients are satisfied with your work, they don’t care if they run into you at Home Depot–they might even enjoy seeing you there! They know you have a family and a home to care for because you’re human, just like them

Along these lines, advisors ask us what happens when Bob and Sue call and you’re not in the office. 

Well, the same thing that happens when they call and you’re with a client. You need to train your office staff and have a system in place to take care of your clients, even when you’re out. 

On the rare occasion, you do have a client that thinks you keep a pair of pajamas and a pillow in a drawer because you should live in your office, try telling them this: 

“I’ve intentionally limited the number of clients I have to give you massive value and still have plenty of time to spend with my family. If you ever see me out and during the work day, that’s why.” 

If your client is still upset by this, you should graduate that person—they aren’t a good fit for you. Plenty of other butt-in-the-seat advisors who spend 60 hours a week in the office would love to take on your client. 


I can’t SurgeTM because I play office to feel productive. 

I still struggle with this; I’m as guilty as anyone at playing office—it’s a challenging game not to play. Client meetings make me feel validated—like I’m demonstrating my value. I don’t get that sitting at my desk or staring at my phone. 

What are you hiding from if you’re not implementing SurgeTM because you’re unsure what to do with your free time? 

Working with advisors in master classes, forums, and workshops, we find that not doing SurgeTM is often a symptom of other issues in an advisor’s practice. If you’re one of these advisors avoiding specific tasks through busy work, get whatever it is that you don’t want done first thing in the morning. Just get it out of the way so you can breathe the rest of the day. 

By getting this dreaded thing done first, you’ll find a lot of free time later in the day that you can use to work on your business, like that business development plan you’ve put on the back-burner. Or maybe you could fill that time with team-building activities, personal development, or other things you haven’t had time to do. 

I can’t do SurgeTM because time-blocking isn’t practical. 

If you can’t do SurgeTM because time-blocking doesn’t work, then you’re doing it wrong. 

Time-blocking forces activities to be condensed, according to Parkinson’s law. And for those who were dozing in the back row, Parkinson’s Law states that an activity will take as much time, money, and resources as is allotted to it

If you give yourself 30 minutes every morning to read your email, it will take you that long—or longer to get it done. The same goes for client meetings and busy work. If you don’t time-block, you’ll find you just wasted a week checking your email

Let’s get deep for just a second. Do you really want to spend your life reading email, or would you rather have spent that time with your family and doing the things that bring you joy? 

What are you solving for? 

I needed SurgeTM to care for my daughter, who has since passed away. Matthew also wanted more time with family. Every advisor who uses SurgeTM solves for different solutions. 

There’s no magic formula for SurgeTM that will work for every single advisor, but the principles behind SurgeTM hold true for everyone

At the end of the day, where do you wish you had spent your time? I’ll wager you don’t want to waste your life playing office.

Action item #01

Seriously consider the pros and cons behind Surging in your practice. The first few cons may seem a little scary, but if you keep working on it, you’ll see that the pros are enormous. It’s worth the discomfort upfront to reap the rewards later. 

Action item #02

Need help implementing your first SurgeTM but don’t know where to start? Take Benjamin Brandt’s SurgeTM Masterclass or sign-up for our Backstage Pass Waiting List, and once we open the cart (very soon), get exclusive content the TPR Team members use in our practices. 

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