I've always wondered how people like Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk achieved such success while being so seemingly in love with their lives.
After I immersed myself in studying the science and psychology of success, and having coached everyone from start-up advisers to executives of multibillion-dollar firms, I've discovered seven mindsets that set apart top achievers from the rest of the pack.
Worth: Knowing your worth allows you to face business and life with confidence. When we look to external factors for validation, we compromise our standards when challenges arise. Advisers discount fees, partnerships break down and CEOs struggle to manage their high-powered executive teams to their fullest potential. Our sense of personal worth allows us to face challenges and conflicts with confidence, without compromising our values.
(More Limitless Adviser: Advisers can cast off limitations with '5 Freedoms')
Clarity: Knowing what you want, and why, is an essential ingredient in building your success. Too often we react to circumstances without a sense of clarity about what we're striving to achieve. Without clarity, our circumstances can leave us reacting to day-to-day demands or chasing the next new idea before finishing the last. With clarity comes the ability to focus our time, attention and resources on the actions that will produce meaningful progress toward our goals.
Value: When you have a strong sense of the value you provide, you approach situations with greater ease and confidence. When you establish a standard — say in fees, minimums or client type — and then make an exception, what you're really saying is, "I don't think I can be successful holding to my standards, so I'll compromise my value in the hopes it helps me get there." Such compromises may make you more money in the near term at the cost of unnecessary struggles on the path to greater levels of success.
(More Limitless Adviser: Time to change the conversation on fees, referrals)
Time: The pace of your progress will be driven as much by what you choose not to spend your time on as what you do. When you possess a strong sense of worth, clarity and value, you become clear on the priorities that will deliver results. Too often advisers spend their time "running the shop" instead of on revenue-producing activities. Managing your time creates greater opportunities.
Leverage: Leverage is using your resources to maximize your impact and results. Many advisers struggle to extract leverage from their packaging (branding, sales and marketing), people, process and platforms. This is most often a symptom of other issues: difficulty delegating, perfectionist tendencies, control issues, fear of investing in scale or the perceived need to do everything personally because, well, you do it better than anyone else can. Leverage is about using your resources to maximum advantage.
Relationships: Advisers often don't truly enjoy the people they work with. Compromising on your staff in terms of quality, capability or cultural fit undermines performance, productivity and profitability. Add to this, many advisers have client relationships they don't enjoy. Creating a mindset that commits to working only with people you truly enjoy will make work a more rewarding experience.
(Stephanie Bogan video: The first thing you need to do to change the outcome you achieve)
Money: A positive money mindset means you believe you deserve to earn more, and allow yourself to do so. If you invest in success, expect a good return on that investment; that money is an exchange of value between two parties that should be fair and reciprocal. A successful practice is built on a strong financial foundation. This includes profitability at both the client and firm level, and ultimately the income of the adviser. I don't know many advisers who would tell their clients to stay in an underperforming investment, yet they stay in unprofitable relationships. Mastering your money mindset will deliver a greater level of financial success through the better decisions it fosters.
Understanding the seven mindsets of success has a tendency to transform the way we think, feel and ultimately act in our businesses, which in turns can lead to greater success and satisfaction in the work we do and the lives that we lead.
Stephanie Bogan is the CEO of Educe Inc. and has spent 20 years helping advisers unleash their potential to build successful firms and lives they love. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.