Why Do You Complain vs Improve? [Episode 106]

When you hear of another financial advisor charging high fees, do you attack them—or do you try to figure out what they’re doing right and how you can reach that same level of success? In this episode, Matt and Micah discuss how to take extreme ownership of situations so that instead of feeling angry or belittled, you feel empowered to learn from the people around you.

Listen in as the guys share the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are either already successful or are heading in the same direction as you: toward success. You will learn what does not count a value pitch, why you must be able to communicate your value, and how to overcome your own mental limitations.

Listen to the Full Episode:

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • The importance of taking extreme ownership.
  • Don’t attack other people for being successful—learn from them.
  • Why you should not surround yourself with negative people.
  • The importance of being able to communicate your value.
  • What is not a value pitch.

Ideas Worth Sharing:

Instead of {spending my days} figuring out how to deliver more value, I would spend them attacking people who were delivering value, or who were charging a fee, or who were successful—and newsflash, that never leads to success. –… Click To Tweet If you’re surrounding yourself with people who aren’t successful and just attacking people who are successful, that is NOT a group to be in.– @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet In order to deliver value, you must be able to communicate what your value is. – @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode:

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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…

Matthew Jarvis: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of The Perfect RIA podcast. I am your cohost, Matthew Jarvis, and with me as usual, the man, the myth, the legend, Micah Shilanski. Micah, how are you, my friend?

Micah Shilanski: Oh, buddy. I am doing absolutely excellent. We just got off a mastermind and it was a ton of fun, did some amazing stuff, and I learned a lot of fun things. But, Jarvis, what is the quote you put out in like 30 seconds, you found out how to transform my practice? Was it something like that?

Matthew Jarvis: It was something like that. Yeah. So Mike and I just got off a 10 day mastermind and one of the things we worked on is how can we as founders of The Perfect RIA, help every advisor double their EBOC, their earnings before owner’s comp, in three years or less? Now, when we proposed this we thought, “Well, there’s a lot of practices and that’d be pretty easy for us to do. Some will be harder.” And so I said, “Micah, what if we had to double your EBOC? Would that even be possible working half as much as you were already?” But first we thought, “No way. Can’t be done.” And then we thought through it and realized actually it can, in fact, be done.

Micah Shilanski: And, Jarvis, it’s really the fun thing. And forgive the expression, this might rub a few people the wrong way, but we often say, “Gun to your head, do it now.” Right? And when you create that type of forcing mechanism, that type of mentality, it forces you to think creatively, at least it does in us, right? And of course there was no literal gun to your head, but if you put yourself in that position, what would you have to do? And it was really cool to sit there and to go through that exercise and say, “Crap, I have to figure this out right now.” And we outlined a pretty unique strategy in order to actually make that done.

                        So again, going back to how do we help advisors double their practice in the next three years? It is a totally doable number and it does not require as much work, or I shouldn’t say as much energy as you think it would actually take to do.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, which is interesting. We went through this and said, “Wait,” and we’re going to have some exciting things rolling out through the podcast and through the backstage pass, how we’re going to be partnering with advisors to double their take-home pay working half as much in three years or less. So that’ll be coming, stay tuned for that. But Mike and I both came into the office this morning. We record these podcasts on Monday and we had a great email from one of our loyal listeners who said this opening quote. He also said, by the way, that kitces.com/seven was his favorite podcast episode. Maybe he stopped after that episode, but we’ll see. I just had to point that out for the audience.

Micah Shilanski: He must have. Either way, he’s on The Perfect RIA nation, so there we go. We can move on. I don’t know. And I got to say, give a lot of credit to Kitces on this one and to you for putting out that podcast, because without you putting on the podcast, we would never be here, so thank you.

Matthew Jarvis: That’s true. Thank you. Well, let’s jump to the meat of this, this particular advisor, great advisor, very well known in the industry, we’ll of course keep his name confidential. He says, “Hey, I was on a Facebook page, a private face group for one of the industry organizations, and there was a whole thread bashing Matt and Micah, specifically, for charging an obscene level of fees.” And his response to that, which Micah read as our opening quote, was, “Why would people waste their time complaining on Facebook instead of trying to mirror that success?” And we want to tackle this Mica from two angles, one, of course, we want to get on our soapbox about fees, but the other, we want to get on our soapbox about the head trash that has an adviser playing office and attacking other advisors instead of going out and delivering massive value to clients and prospects.

Micah Shilanski: When we built The Perfect RIA, we were solving for several things right now. We have our three deliverables that are really important, delivering massive value, charging a fee over a thousand dollars an hour, being worth that much money, spending time with your family. Jarvis and I are also solving for a few other things as we build this out.

                        Number one is joy, right? We want to have a lot of fun when we do this. We want to be able to provide value, of course, to our members and our audience. But if you’re looking for some joy and some value, feel free to invite us to that Facebook page. We would love to jump in on that forum, not a big forum guy, but I think I would come out just for that, be able to have something. But Jarvis, on a serious note, back to your point though, I remember when I was sitting in the audience, listening to a highly successful person that was doing it and I was not successful. I was not there. I did not have that mentality or that level. And I was rationalizing, justifying in my mind why he was so successful. “Oh, it’s because he sells a crap load of annuities. Oh, it’s because he doesn’t tell his clients everything. Oh, it’s because of this,” all of these things that I was putting out there, which by the way, had no basis in reality, but in my own mind, I was creating them to justify my lack of success.

Matthew Jarvis: 100%. And then of course, on the other side of the equation, I still remember so clearly sitting across from a prospect and I’d given my whole a hundred page financial plan, right out of a fancy financial planning software that will remain nameless, though half of you listening use it, and the prospect says, “Matthew, you seem like a really nice guy. I just, I got to be honest. I don’t understand why I’d hire you. I don’t understand why I pay you a fee.” And at that time I didn’t have an answer to that. I’m like, “Oh, I guess I don’t even know why.” Right? And it just destroyed my soul, and Micah, to your point, I would spend my days, instead of figuring out how to deliver more value, I would spend them attacking people who were delivering value or who were charging a fee or who were successful. And newsflash, that never leads to success ever, never, ever, ever.

Micah Shilanski: No. Or happiness, just to be clear. Right? All right. Take ownership. We are big in this whole extreme ownership thing by Jocko. If you’re in any type of presentation, and I see this a lot in not only my professional side, but my personal side as well, sometimes I’ll go somewhere and the presenter sucks. The speaker’s not really good. The teacher’s incompetent, right? All of these things are going through my mind. And I have to pause even today and say, “No, I am here. It’s my job to get value out of this situation.” Take ownership in this. If you’re not to this level yet, not a problem. Get yourself there by learning from other people who are already successful, not from theoretical things that may or may not work, but from people that are actually doing this, that are actually improving in this area and figure out how do you take that and improve it in your practice.

Matthew Jarvis: Now this does, Micah, I think present a certain dichotomy, right? So on the one hand, we’re saying, “Hey, you need to take any opportunity to learn that you can,” but on the other, we’re saying, “Hey, be very apprehensive,” right? Don’t take advice from people who can’t walk the talk. And so, yes, I think this has a bit of a dichotomy, but I agree with you, Micah, once we have established a person has credibility, which I will define as being more successful than me in some area, then it’s on me to learn from that person or to just get out of that environment.

                        And this is a point I want to bring up, right? If you’re surrounding yourself with people who are not successful and who are just taking their time attacking people who are successful, that is not a group to be in. You will not escape that. You need to spend your time around people who are crushing it, which is why we love Masterminds. People who are crushing it, maybe not in every area, but at least in one area that you aspire to.

Micah Shilanski: You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, right? Where are you spending your time? Is it in negativity or is it in delivering massive value to your clients?

Matthew Jarvis: It really is. Let’s tackle this from two sides, Micah. Let’s go first on our soap box of charging fees because that’s one that we love. We want to go through a couple of examples, right? First and foremost, Micah and I are both practicing in the United States. I know that sometimes Alaska seems like it’s not part of the United States, but it is, which means these are voluntary transactions, which means that any client that is paying us a fee, they know they’re paid a fee.

                        In fact, and Micah, I know you do a similar approach, I tell prospects and clients on a regular basis, I say, “Every quarter, there’ll be a line item on your statement that says advisor fee. And you’ll see that number, Mr. Client, and I’ll see that number. And we’ll both look at it and decide if the value that my team brought to the table exceeded my fee. And if the answer is yes, then we go for another quarter. And if the answer is ever no, then we need to have a very serious discussion or we need to part ways as friends. And if we decide to part ways as friends, as a gesture of good faith, I will refund to you your prior quarter’s fee and do anything I can to help you move to a new advisor, better suited for your needs.” I know that was a bit wordy, but that’s the exact verbiage I use. I don’t know how you can say that was manipulative or a hidden fee or someone doesn’t realize what they’re paying.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah, and this is about a hundred percent of the transparency fight. Now let’s go through some things that are not value pitches for a nice little comparison. Then we’ll go through some things that are value pitches. Being a fiduciary, is that a value pitch? No. So sorry. I know there’s a lot of people offended by that one. That’s not a valuable pitch. Yes, it’s the key word, everyone’s asking about it right now, but guess what? RA has been around a long time, so have fiduciaries. Fee only, no, that’s not a value pitch, right? What about a CFP? No, that’s not a value pitch. You do comprehensive financial planning. Is that a value pitch? No, that’s not a value pitch.

                        Now why are we saying these are not value pitches? These are features. These are not benefits, right? These are features of what you do, but a benefit is how does this actually apply to the client? That’s value. Saying you’re a certified financial planner, whoop de do. How does that actually help clients achieve their goals? Now you may connect that in your mind, but it’s only value when you connect that in a client’s life.

                        This is the reason we use buckets and guard rails, just as an example, right? We can take it very simply and tell a client, “Great. You’ve done a wonderful job saving X amount of money. Now we can provide X amount of income in dollars for the rest of your life,” and we can show it on a one pager. That is value because it takes a complex process and puts it directly in front of the client where they can clearly see what they’re going to do, versus a hundred page financial plan with all these different charts that says, “Hey, you may run out of money at 64 and you may become Warren Buffet.” I don’t know, right? Both of those lines are on the chart. Either one is a possibility.

                        How do you make things simple? This is value. And Jarvis, I really think so often we over complicate this from financial planners all the time. Now I do say, as I’m working on building a house and I’m working with CPAs and working with attorneys and all these other things, we’re not the only ones that over complicate this and cannot express our value. It is so frequent in professional services. People do not know how to articulate their value, but that’s what you have to do to deliver value. You must be able to communicate what your value is.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, this is so important. And it also, anything that you feel is of benefit, or valuable, if every other advisor is saying it, it doesn’t count. For example, if I’m looking for a new office space and they say, “Matthew, great news. We have electricity.” “Wow. Thank you.” What office space is out there saying, “We don’t have electricity?” So you say, “Hey, I’m a fiduciary,” and the client who has no idea what they mean, they say, “What does it mean?” And you say, “That means I act in the best interest of clients.” Perfect. What advisor is out there saying, “Hey, we don’t act in the best interest of clients. We’re probably going to rip you off.” What advisor is out there saying, “Hey, we’re going to do a bad job for your family.” None of them. That’s table stakes, not a differentiating factor, which is why, by the way, you can’t charge a premium fees. You’re delivering what, in the consumer’s mind, is the same thing they’re getting from anyone else, including Vanguard at 30 BIPS, or Schwab for free or whatever, who’s going to start paying them, whatever is going to come next.

Micah Shilanski: Right? We have to have transparency, and that’s, Jarvis, what you brought up before, is we bring up with our clients. We want to know the exact amount that comes out, whether it’s a line item on a statement, whether it’s on their credit card, I want them, the clients, to see this.

                        Now to bring this up in transparency, we had a client. All my client’s names are Bob and Sue, by the way, so it makes it super easy. I was chatting with Bob and Sue, and I was actually chatting with Sue on the phone, and they were going through a little bit of a tax issue and good news is we squared everything away with them. We helped them out. We got it taken care of. This is a benefit of, by the way, of getting these 8821s, getting tax letters from the IRS for the client before the client actually sees them, we can help solve so many problems. You want to talk about a value add, that’s a huge one. We got a tax letter copied from a client. We were able to solve the issue. I called the client. We got everything taken care of for them. And Bob’s in there and he goes, “You know what, Sue? We sure do pay Mike a whole lot of money. But man, he is worth every penny.”

                        That’s transparency, right? They know exactly what they’re paying in the fee and they’re happy they’re paying it because we take care of them. So again, if you’re in this aspect that you can’t charge 2%, you can’t charge X percent, you can’t charge whatever, that is your own mental limitation. How do you get outside of that and deliver so much value to the client? Price is not the issue.

Matthew Jarvis: I want to point out in this story, Micah, and again, I don’t know what people’s imagination is of Alaska. There is internet there and there is television ads there. And so they are getting advertised by Vanguard, by Schwab, by Fidelity retail, by fee only planners that are saying, “Hey, for free for 30 BIPS, for whatever.” They know. I guess I’m being kind of flippant here, but they know that there are other options. They’re not like, “Hey, in Alaska, there’s one financial planner and it’s Micah.”

Micah Shilanski: That’s true. Most of our internet broadcast or radio broadcast, it comes to our from Russia because it’s next to us. There’s a couple of English channels that are out there. Yes, of course. Right? We have all the modern amenities like anywhere else. We have all the local wirehouse guys, all the BDs kind of things. We have all of those things up here. We are not lacking in any pressure for financial advisors. But again, we’re lacking in value that’s there because how do we clearly articulate what we do for our clients to help them stay on track for retirement?

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. And to be clear again, I love teasing Micah on this one, half of his clients are in the lower 48. And when I go to Anchorage, I see all the big wirehouse names on the side of buildings. Again, it’s not like he’s hiding out in the middle of nowhere. Again, and this is where it goes back to, it’s easy to see someone’s success and say, “Well, that can’t work for me.” And this goes to a mindset of we can approach things with a mindset of, do I agree or disagree with what Mike is saying? And that’s fine. You can decide if you agree or disagree. The other mindset, the empowering mindset, is what can I learn from Micah? Even if in your mind you say, “I could never charge that level of fees.” Perfect. “How can I deliver Micah’s level of value such that a client would be willing to pay that level of fee?”

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. Spin that around. All the time. One of the things that has happened frequently, as we’re talking to all these other advisors with The Perfect RIA, which is great, or chatting with them. And I was chatting with one recently, Jarvis, and he was talking about how he knew our sales process that was there, our prospect process that goes through and he wanted to tweak it for him.

                        And so he tweaked it, but by tweaking it, he didn’t follow anything that we suggested. And then he was shocked that everyone he talked to was a no. No one would agree to him on the fee. No one would do all this stuff. And I went through his prospect process and he did pretty much everything backwards. He led with the fee, he didn’t lead with the value. He didn’t go through and set up the right communication policies. He didn’t set up the right client expectations. And when you look at it, so if you member and have a backstage pass, go back and look at our prospect process.

                        This is a master’s degree in prospect process because we have done everything that hasn’t worked. And so we have found the things that have along this process and there’s a way to deliver value. Yes, we could both end up at the same results, me and this other advisor, on if the client’s able to retire or not, but if he cannot articulate that to the client correctly, he’s not going to help the client. He’s not going to engage with them. He’s going to, their client’s going to come to us. We’re going to be able to articulate. And they’re going to work with us when you may look at it and say, “Well, you had the same product in the end. Both of you helped the client retire.” Yes. But who can effectively deliver that communication is going to help the client.

Matthew Jarvis: 100%. And again, it’s how do you communicate that value? And Micah, to your point, an advisor might be listening to this saying, “Hey, I do everything that Matt and Micah do.” One, I would bet that you don’t, just for the record. I rarely meet advisors that are delivering as much value as we do. And by the way, if you are, please reach out because we’d love to add you to our mastermind. But we’re consistently delivering massive value in a way that makes sense for a client.

                        One quick example of that, Micah, I didn’t even share this one with you. I worked on it on the plane ride back. Alex is the new advisor in our office is running through, we’re getting appointed by the state of Washington as a lost asset collector, which means that we can, with the signature from the clients, not only let them know they have lost property, but go through the claim process for them and get that money sent back. Now, is that a lot of money? No. It’s probably like a $50 gift card they forgot about. Does the client say, “Holy smokes? No one else I’ve ever worked with has done this for me.” Yes.

                        Micah, you mentioned the 8821s. How many advisors can tell clients, “Hey, listen, if the IRS is investigating you, if there’s a mismatch, if there’s an audit, we will get a notice of it the same time, possibly before you do. And we’ll get to work on that before you have to.” What other advisor is saying that? All other advisors are saying, “Hey, we can’t provide tax advice. We can’t get involved with this. We don’t even want to see your tax return.”

Micah Shilanski: Remember the dishwasher role. Right? There’s so many things that we do, make sure the client knows that you’re actually doing them, whether it applies to the client or not, you checked it, just like this lost assets, right? If all of a sudden, you guys do a check for clients, you’re going to let every client know that, “Hey, every year we’re going to do this check and make sure you’re not on the list.” You may or may not be, but you want to get credit for those things because that’s part of that delivering value process.

Matthew Jarvis: I want to talk for a second about head trash. Sometimes people think, “Hey, Matt and Micah, you guys must not have head trash anymore.” Absolutely not the case. We have maybe different head trash than we did years ago. But I got an email from a client a few weeks ago. Title of the email was, “Something’s wrong with my fees.” That was the title. And I’m thinking…

Micah Shilanski: That’ll set off every head trash alarm you have.

Matthew Jarvis: That’s right. One of my top clients, they’re paying us more than $10,000 a quarter in fees. “Something’s wrong with my fees.” And so again, immediately I go to, “Now they’re firing me. They found out that Vanguard will do it for a fraction of that price.” And the email was instead the client, I’ll summarize this, they were looking at our billing statement and they didn’t understand how the fees for the Roth were being charged against their non-qualified account. And in their mind, and we’ve corrected this sense, it looked like we were discounting our fees.

                        And so the client, and I’ll go with Bob and Sue again, Bob says, “Matthew, it looks like you were discounting your fees to us. That is not acceptable. You deliver massive value to it.” That was his words, “You deliver massive value to our family. Do not ever discount our fees.” So I emailed her back. I said, “Bob, I really appreciate your email,” and I explained that, “This was not a discount. It was kind of how it shows up. We’re getting that corrected because it was not clear to you. It’s not clear to us,” but my head trash was there. I’m like, “Great, he’s going to fire me. That’s the end of it.”

Micah Shilanski: Did you let him know you’re always willing to pay more though? That’s okay. You can always pay more. We do understand.

Matthew Jarvis: Someday I’ll work up the courage to use that line. I love the line. I just, I have too much head trash on that one.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. Fair enough.

                        What are you doing in your environment? And this is where I want to get back on and pick on Facebook. Now we have a forum. So just to be clear, in backstage pass, and I don’t think, and Jarvis, you correct me because you’re in that forum 10 times more than I am, no one is in there complaining and griping about what’s not possible, correct? Everyone’s like, there may be a lot of how questions, “How do I do this? I’m having issues raising my fees. I’m having issues moving to XYZ. Has anyone else been here before and can help me?” Those are totally fine. But if you get in a forum or a place that is consistently railing on people, you have to get off. And if you’re that person, you’ve got to make a change because you are never going to step, you put your game to that next level if you can’t get out of your own way.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. I’ll confess on this for some of you listening to the podcast, you might be up in arms like, “Wait a second. I’ve seen Jarvis criticize a lot of people on social media.” Yeah. That’s a weak spot of mine. If I get onto social media, I’m really quick. I used to write the editorial column for a local paper just to attack local government. I’ve deleted all those apps off my phone and I still get sucked into it sometimes. But that’s the epitome of playing office, right? You are in no way delivering value. You’re also not making a difference in the world. I know it feels like if I go on social media and I say, “Hey, Dave’s an idiot for charging this fee,” somehow it’s going to right a wrong in the world. It’s not. It’s just wasting my time.

Micah Shilanski: It was so interesting. I was talking to a buddy of mine who owns a company. We were hang out a little bit and chitchatting. Anyways, I was really encouraging him a while ago to hire a financial planner. And so I was like, “Hey, not me.” I was like, “We’re friends. We’re friends of the family. You need to go work with somebody else.” So profits not ever known in its own village. Right? So go somewhere else.

                        So he went and found someone else who’s a fee-only advisor. They got to working and they said, “Hey, why don’t you go to this robo advisor and invest your money?” So the client was like, “All right. Fine,” go to the robo-advisor. They invested the money. Then later, behold, that advisor came back and said, “Hey, I’m going to charge a fee on top of the robo.” And so the client was like, my friend’s like, “Okay, why? What am I paying you for?” “Well, I’m going to look at it and make sure the rebalancing.” “Well, the robo is supposed to automatically rebalance, so again, what am I paying you one point for?”

                        So there’s a huge disconnect. Some advisors may take that and look at it and say, “Look, you can’t charge a fee on top of something. You can’t charge more money because it didn’t work in that case.” And the problem, when I was talking to him, I was like, “Look, the problem wasn’t what she was charging. The problem was that she lacked value. She could not articulate what her value was working that particular case.” And as we were chatting a little bit more as friends, he told me about this other financial issue that they’re having. I was like, “Oh, that’s a simple fix. You need to go do A, B and C.”

                        And by the way, my clients would never have that issue. We would take care of it in advance. And his eyes were just like, “Oh my gosh, this is what we need.” Just because someone can’t charge that higher fee doesn’t mean you can’t charge that higher fee because where are you delivering that value? There’s a ton of examples we could use out there that are where advisors aren’t delivering value. And you can think, “Oh my gosh, if they can’t charge 1%, I never could.” Well guess what? You can step up. You can change your game. You can communicate more articulately with clients in order to deliver that value where you can charge the fees you are worth.

Matthew Jarvis: Now for our audience, speaking of charging the fees that you’re worth, for the audience that says, “Matt and Micah, I don’t want to complain about your fees at all. What you’re charging is your business. That’s great. I just don’t have the courage or I’m not confident I’m delivering enough value to charge a premium fee.” Couple of thoughts. One would be, there is no set fee in our industry. Just because everybody thinks 1%’s easy to calculate does not mean that that’s the right or the wrong or the average or the medium, nor all of those studies.

                        Another would be, and this is a selfish plug. If you’re struggling with raising your fees, join the backstage pass. We have an entire process outlined, the scripts, the letters, the system that we’ve gone through to raise fees in our own office. Micah, you and I were talking about recently helping advisors do this. Start with the bottom third of your book, like the low risk clients. Go to them, raise fees and see what happens. I would bet, in fact, I would literally bet that they’ll be fine with it. And then you can move up your business. You don’t have to do it all at once. The head trash is too much.

Micah Shilanski: You know, Jarvis. I was so blessed when starting out that I was able to go back and I didn’t have a lot of the head trash of people that you had to charge under X. I didn’t know there was a set fee that someone was supposed to charge, again, this made up number that was there. Once I finally got my legs underneath me in the practice, I just looked back and said, “Great, how much money do I need to make? Awesome. This is how much clients I need to have. This is how much I need to charge.” It was a simple math equation. I had to keep it really simple. Then the question was, “How do I deliver so much value that people want to pay me that?” That one took me a little bit longer to figure out, but it’s a very simple math equation. Where do you want to be? And how many clients do you want to have? That’s going to be your fee. Right? Perfect. Now figure out how much value you need to deliver to get there.

Matthew Jarvis: Yes. And with conferences being closed, it can be hard to get around other advisors, though Live 21, we have a waiting list for it. You can try to sneak into that. But so you say, “Well, where do I get around advisors who are really successful?” And there are options for that, Masterminds, but you can do this in every area of your life. Anytime you go to Starbucks, ask yourself, “How is it that Starbucks can charge $5 for this 50 cent cup of coffee?” And don’t attack them and say, “Boy, what a rip off Starbucks is.” Great. How is it that they’re delivering so much value that people are willing to pay $5 for what is a 50 cup of coffee, right? Or even the clothes that you’re wearing, unless you’re wearing an old ragged t-shirt, why are you wearing a nicer shirt? Why are you wearing a suit or something high quality? How are people able to charge a premium for something that has no additional utilitarian value?

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. I love the hotel example, Super 8 versus Ritz Carlton. What’s the difference? There’s still a bed you’re sleeping in, in the middle of the night. Where’s the difference in value? And you can make that difference to your clients.

Matthew Jarvis: That’s right. How can Mercedes charge a hundred thousand dollars for a car that Hyundai can charge 20,000 for? They both go from point A to point B, but again, they charge a higher amount and they’re able to do that because they deliver value that their niche is willing to pay for voluntarily.

Micah Shilanski: Exactly. And that’s a good point, right? Focus on where your niche sees value, not where other advisors think there’s value. I don’t focus on where other members are delivering value or not, thinking that I’m delivering value. I’m looking at my client base and I’m saying, “Great. Do they see value in what I’m doing?” And that’s how I’m constantly tweaking and articulating. All right, Jarvis, are you ready to move into some action items? Because this podcast is all about people improving their practice, not just a soap box for you and I.

Matthew Jarvis: Not just a soap box. Hopefully this was helpful information for the nation. It was fun for us, which is one of our things we’re solving for. So I would say, action item number one is to watch your thinking. “Am I looking at the world from, do I agree or disagree versus what can I learn from this situation?” We did an episode a while ago on going to Disney World, and it’s easy to go to Disney World and say, “My goodness, these lines are ridiculous. And I paid so much and how come the food’s so expensive,” versus a, “Wow. How can they create an experience that people are willing to pay this much money for?” And there’s a lot of application there.

Micah Shilanski: Yeah. Number two, raise your fees, especially if you have head trash around it. Raise your fees. Now if you’re not sure then sign up for the backstage pass, jump on the waiting list, contact us. We go through a whole thing. Last year in 2020, in the middle of COVID, I raised my fees to our clients. I had already determined I was going to raise my fees before COVID happened. COVID happened, I was still moving forward in my business plan. I still have to run and maintain a business. All of my clients agreed and we moved forward and all of them were delighted. I know this is blowing your minds, right? But a lot of them were delighted to pay it. They said, “Micah, you’re totally worth it.” A couple did give me some pushback, which I would absolutely suspect. I would push back if somebody was raising my fees, I want to see how soft they are. But everyone said, “You know what? You deliver so much value. We’re okay paying this increased fee,” so raise your fees. There’s a great way to do it.

Matthew Jarvis: Additional action item, find a way, we talk about this all the time on the podcast, find ways to surround yourself with advisors who are crushing it or who are at least as ambitious as you are, right? You might not have access to an advisor making five times as much money as you are, but you can surround yourself with advisors at your level who are as equally driven to growth versus trying to pull other people down, just don’t spend time there in your life.

Micah Shilanski: I love it. And we’re getting a lot of questions right now about TAMPs, which has been pretty interesting. We’re probably going to do a podcast just on TAMPs. We’d love to hear from you. What questions do you have? We might reach out to a couple and kind of put them on the hot seat or something of that nature. So what questions do you have? What do you use? What do you like? What do you not like? And let’s see if we can get some better information out there about TAMPs inside of our industry.

Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. You can shoot that information to [email protected] To the same point, use that email to request any topics that you would like covered. We love hearing from the nation. It makes it a lot of fun for us.

Micah Shilanski: Perfect. And hey, we did forget to throw out there if you are a first timer at all, make sure you send us an email [email protected] We have an initial series that you should go through to get the most out of these podcast episodes, to get familiar with the terminology and a lot of the lessons, kind of the top several things you have to do in order to have a perfect RIA practice.

                        And of course, one of the key ingredients of having a perfect RIA practice is to vote early, vote often. Jump on iTunes. We need five stars. Really getting a lot of five stars from people. Thank you so much. Our audience is growing continuously. So if you know someone who’s not listening to this podcast, or you’re not sure they are, share it with them, share it with the other advisors, have it grow. The email that we got, he actually didn’t know about our podcast until a couple of weeks ago until he heard about people bashing us in the forum and he’s pretty in tune to the industry, so there’s still a lot of people that need to hear this great message so that they can bring value to their clients and improve their practice.

Matthew Jarvis: Perfect. Well, thanks so much, Micah. Another fun episode, 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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