Being in the financial services industry, you know there is one thing you can guarantee—that change is inevitable. It is how we embrace or shun change that defines the difference between having a successful advisory practice or one filled with constant struggles.
The overall solution is to have a consistent process for adapting to and moving through change.
Decide That You Are Done
Sometimes the hardest part of starting a new process is determining that the old one just doesn’t work anymore. It takes being honest with yourself to become aware there is a challenge and that you are tired of the push and pull. This is the most important part of changing anything aspect of your business—time management, prospecting, sales, marketing, or client servicing. So, the real question you need to pose is—Are the results I’m currently experiencing with my business ones I’m happy with, and if the answer is no, then am I ready and willing to ax the old and embrace the new?
Determine Your New Route
Once you are committed to changing whatever is not working, it is time to determine how you want to change it. The best way to do this is look to others— your branch manager, a trusted colleague, industry authors or even a business coach. Why reinvent the wheel? You just need to find the most appropriate solutions for you and your business.
Take Immediate Action
The biggest mistake you can make after you decide on a solution is not to take immediate action. If you let a few days, a week or a month pass while you let the process sink in, you are simply wasting time. Let your fear of change melt away with the anticipation of success. Let the mantra, “action alleviates anxiety” become your battle cry.
Create Productive Habits
Some say that it takes 30 to 90 days to create a new habit. In many regards this is true, so it is important to have a process for continuing new actions on a daily basis to create lasting change and develop those new productive habits. One way to do this is to make a game out of applying actions; give yourself a prize for winning or a punishment for losing.
Evaluate the Progress
The best way to determine if you are moving in the right direction is to continually evaluate your progress. If you have been playing the game of action you should easily be able to determine how many times you have accomplished your goals over the past month or so and if the new activities are providing you with better outcomes. If you’re happy with your progress, continue doing what works; if not, it is time to continue embracing change by making some adjustments.
Make a Course Correction
There is no shame in admitting that some things work and others do not. In fact, it is a productive part of being open to optimizing your business. Often times, just a slight adjustment to what you are doing can make all the difference. Take time to determine what part of the new process is and isn’t working before moving onto the final step.
Continue to Embrace Change
Ironically, once you have mastered the previous steps continuing to embrace change actually becomes the easiest step of all because you have already established your process—you simply go back to step one when something in your practice doesn’t feel right. Follow the steps again until your new process is working better than the old. Apply this series of steps to any facet of your business and see real results in several areas of your business.
If this blog post has resonated with you and you want to make real changes to your business, take the next step and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss what area(s) of your business you want to adjust.
Daniel C. Finley
St. Paul, Minn.