Ep 047

Top Moments of 2023 | Top Guest Stories, Moments, and Ideas


Brad Johnson

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Inside This Episode

What’s up, DBDL listeners! We have a special episode for you this week. As some of you may know, at the end of last year, we released the DBDL Top Triad Member Moments of 2023, a roundup of the best advice shared on the pod from our valued Triad members.

The episode was so popular that we thought, why not do something similar for all the non-Triad guests who came on the show to share their incredible wisdom?

So, the team went back through our catalog of non-Triad interviews, pulled the best ideas, stories, and frameworks from the most downloaded episodes, and packaged them into 10 of the biggest takeaways.


  • 00:00 The Clock Principle: Unlocking Higher Levels of Patience, Consideration, and Trust – Rener Gracie
  • 03:19 The Power of the One Page Financial Plan – Michael Kitces
  • 13:08 Guiding Clients Through Bold Leadership – Chris Smith
  • 23:14 The Key to Building a World-Class Business – Shawn Sparks
  • 33:37 Leveraging YouTube/Video Content to Grow Your Advisory Business – Dave Zoller
  • 45:32 How to Avoid Having New Hires Quit in the First 100 Days – Joey Coleman
  • 52:31 The “Compete & Retreat” Sales Talk Pushing Your Prospects Away – Simon Bowen
  • 01:01:07 Podcast Funnel and New Client Engagement Process – Taylor Shulte
  • 01:16:54 A 3-Step Framework for Rewiring Your Brain for Empowered Thinking – Michael Hyatt
  • 01:22:10 Tony Robbins 80/20 Mechanics and Mindset Model – Amy Porterfield



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  • Humans are dying for proof that they matter. All it really takes for us to give it to them is a two-minute voicemail.” – Joey Coleman

  • Simplification is the greatest form of sophistication that there actually is.” – Simon Bowen

  • One of the best parts about being human is that we don’t have to stay stuck in a story that makes us play small.”  – Michael Hyatt

  • Sometimes time is the only ally that you need.” – Rener Gracie

  • If you want to solve low stakes local problems, you can continue to find clients locally. But clients that have high stakes problems are increasingly going online, and as the generations rotate through, they are increasingly more comfortable going online because they’ve had the internet and computers for more and more of their entire lifetimes as well.” – Michael Kitces

  • You will only be able to scale your firm to the size of the identity that surrounds it.” – Chris Smith

  • For your business to be scalable, it’s got to be trainable. If your sales process is based on you infusing 30 years of knowledge and experience into this young kid who’s starting from scratch, I will tell you, it’s impossible.” – Shawn Sparks

  • If you’re going to put content on YouTube or any social platform, do not go straight for the meeting.” – Dave Zoller

  • If you want people to get results, if you want them to stick with you, if you want them to do the work, you can’t just give them the strategy … It’s not enough if you don’t help them shift their mindset.”  – Amy Porterfield

Brad Johnson: What’s up, DBDL listeners? Back with another special episode. This one, we are going back through our catalog of every single episode that dropped in 2023 and taking some of the favorite stories, some of the favorite concepts, frameworks, ideas shared from all of our non-Triad member guests, people like Rener Gracie from the family that brought jiu-jitsu to America; people like Simon Bowen, one of the foremost visual models experts in the world; people like Taylor Schulte, who has built an entire business on using a podcast as a funnel; people like Dave Zoller doing a very similar thing, except on YouTube. So, we’ve taken their top takeaways. We’ve condensed them into one jam-packed episode here where we can kind of curate some of the best ideas and concepts and share them back with you and do a little rewind in some of the top moments from 2023.


So, with that in mind, I’m going to get to the episode but before we do, so we’re going to do a special offer on today’s episode because this is such a mix of a number of past guests. Many of them on their specific episodes offered a book, a framework, something they were specifically using in their business as a free gift to you, the DBDL audience, the listeners out there. So, we are just going to let, we’re just going to have a mix of all of those to where when you land on the page on our website, you can select based on your favorite clip, the favorite idea shared here today, which give what you want to take from their episode. We’ve got a number of books in the DBDL library, and we’ll send those out until they’re gone. So, with that, here’s what you need to do to gain access to that. Simply text the number (not the word) 47 to our DBDL insider hotline. It is (785) 800-3235. That is the number 47. It’s (785) 800-3235 or DBDL. And we’ll text you back with exactly how to fill out a form so we’ve got your mailing address and we can send you the book or the special gift directly to your doorstep.


One disclaimer, if you are an international listener, number one, we love you. So, thank you for listening in overseas or wherever you may be but when the shipping cost is more expensive than the actual book we’re sending, it just doesn’t make sense. So, I just encourage you to support whichever author by just going to Amazon and grabbing that book locally. They really would appreciate it. And one other disclaimer, anytime we text, we have to let you know, text messages, data rates, all of that can apply. You can opt out of receiving text at any time by replying stop to any messages you receive. So, with that, on to today’s episode.


[Rener Gracie]


Brad Johnson: So, this clip comes to us from Rener Gracie, author of The 32 Principles, also member of the family that brought jiu-jitsu to America. So, his uncle, Royce Gracie, won some of the early UFCs but what I love is he talks about in this clip, the Clock Principle, and there’s a really cool story that he shares to go along with it. Check it out. 


Rener Gracie: Let’s start with the Clock Principle because it’s a crazy story, dude. So, the Clock Principle teaches and identifies the significance of timing. The right move at the wrong time is the wrong move. This is as true in jiu-jitsu as it is in every aspect of life. So, we had a situation where I’m teaching, about ten years ago, I’m teaching 5, 10 hours a day. It’s full-time for me at that time. And I had a student who was a psychologist, and this psychology student said to me, “Rener.” I have a patient of hers. She said, “Rener, I have a patient who suffers from the most severe case of social anxiety that I’ve ever dealt with as a doctor. And I think jiu-jitsu would be beneficial for him, but I’m not sure I can get him in here. But if we can, I think it’ll change his life.” And for the sake of this discussion, we’ll call the student name is Shane. So, anyways, I speak to the student’s mother, and I said, “Look, let’s do this. Bring him in. If you can just get them here, I’ll take care of the rest.” And she says, “Rener, I can drive him there. I just don’t know if you can get them in the building.”


So, she pulls up in front of the building. She parks outside right in our parking lot, and she says, “Rener, I’m sorry he’s out here, but I can’t get him in. He’s not going to get out of the car.” And in my mind, I’m literally thinking at this point, I could cooperate and say, “Okay. I’m sorry it didn’t work out. You know, when he’s ready, let me know.” Which means what? I’ll never see him again. Or I can go figure this out and, Brad, I’ve never dealt with this in my life. I’ve had kids cry in their first class, and then I make it a clown and I let them jump on my back and they love me after. Never like this. So, I go outside. As I approach the car, the windows are cracked open. He’s sitting in the back passenger side seat and I hear hysterical crying like you’ve never seen like someone in your family has died and you’re hyperventilating and crying, heavy breathing. This is what I’m hearing as I’m approaching the car on foot. So, the mom is standing outside the car, helpless, like there’s no way we’re doing this. And I just signaled to her, I said (Can I get inside?). And she said, “Yeah. Go ahead.”


So, I go around, I get in the backseat, I sit down next to this young man who’s about 16 years old, by the way. He’s a high school student. I sit down next to him and he’s doing this (Gasp). He’s bending over crying, and I just get in the car. I didn’t say a word. 20, 30 minutes had passed. He finally slowed down. Start sitting up quietly. He’s just breathing now. He’s not crying. I said, “What’s up, Shane? I’m Rener. What do you like to do for fun?” “Video games.” “Cool. Which one?” “Pong.” Random conversation. Another 15, 20 minutes passes and I said, “Shane. Here’s the deal. I’m really happy to meet you. I’d like to take you inside, give you a tour of our facility. It’s really beautiful. I think you’ll love it. I just want to show you around. What do you think?” “Okay.” We get out of the car and mom is standing outside this whole time. We walk together. I’m in my jiu-jitsu gi. He’s wearing regular clothes. We walk into the building. I’m walking him around and, Brad, all I’m saying to myself is, “If I can get this guy to step on the mat, he’s mine.”


We’re walking around the building. Locker room, museum, grandfather, legacy. Beautiful facility, right? All of you are invited. Torrance, California, Gracie University. Just something. You wouldn’t expect this to be a martial arts facility. It feels like a country club, a Ritz-Carlton-type thing, spa. So, we really try hard to make it a unique student experience. So, I’m walking this guy around, and then I say, “Hey, and check this out. We have a private training room.” We have two private rooms at this old school. I opened it. I pushed the door open. I said, “Shane, you really got to check this out. The mats in here are really soft. Come on in so you can feel.” He had shoes on. I said, “Take your shoes off so you can feel how soft the mats are.” He steps in. I say to his mom, “Come on in.” I shut the door. They’re on the mat with me. I say, “Have a seat right here, bud.” We sit down together. His mom sits in the corner. And by this time there’s enough connection that we’re doing okay.


And I say, “Why don’t you lay on your back right here, Shane?” I get on top of him. He lets me. And then I said, “How would you get out?” Very conversational. There’s a relationship now. There’s trust. And boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. He tries to get out. He said, “Well, I push you off. I would do this. I would do that.” I said, “Let me show you.” I switched. I’d show him the move. “Oh, that’s cool.” He does it. I do it. He does it. I do it. Another hour passes. We do a whole jiu-jitsu class in this room, having the best time, laughing, learning, submission, learning escapes. His mom is in the corner, weeping. I just peek over to see she’s over here. We become best friends in there, bro. We had the best time. I leave the class. Send him out. “Thanks for coming, you guys. Amazing. We’ll see you next week.” All good. The next time he came to class, it only took me 20 minutes to get him into the building. And then each time after that, less time and less time. Eventually, I handed him off to another instructor. He started doing group classes. He graduated high school, went to college on his own. Life went on for the kid.


The right move at the wrong time is the wrong move. The patience to know that I needed to get him on the mat, but it wasn’t going to happen on my clock was the perfect application of the Clock Principle. What? Again? A scenario I’d never been faced with and a solution that I had never crafted before. But what I knew is that if there was love leading the way, if I was leading with love that I really wanted to help him, and I knew that I was the solution. Jiu-jitsu was the solution to his social anxiety. I knew it. There was no way I wasn’t going to figure this out. And in that moment, jiu-jitsu principle that I had applied 1,000 times in a fight, which is wait for the right time, the technique will be there when you need it to be there. The opportunity will present itself. That’s what that was, the highest level of patience, the highest level of consideration, and the highest level of trust that ultimately the truth would prevail. He needs jiu-jitsu, and I wouldn’t stop at nothing to help him with jiu-jitsu.


So, those two, if given time, would be successful and it was, bro. And today he’s a different man because of it. And it all changed because I looked at when she said, “Rener, he’s not coming in,” I could have said okay or I said, “No, no, no new problem.” Guess what? New solution. Which solution? I don’t even know what the solution is. I just know that jiu-jitsu will guide me. And it worked out. I snuck him on the mat. “Hey, come feel these with your shoes off.” It was the ultimate. So, I was proud of that.


Brad Johnson: That’s such a cool story, Rener. You know, what it makes me think of is just Tony Robbins talks about something called a pattern interrupt. And with you just sitting out in the car while he’s, I’m sure every single time he threw one of these massive fits, of course, everybody is sitting there like fighting it like, “Calm down, calm down.” And you literally just sat there and sat in it with him until he wore himself out. And I’m assuming, like, that applies perfectly to jiu-jitsu.


Rener Gracie: Bro, every day.


Brad Johnson: Yeah. Where you’ve got somebody that’s a big, strong dude just fully flexed and you’re sitting there just kind of riding it out until that opening appears, which is essentially what you did in that situation.


Rener Gracie: Yeah. And here it is, Brad, is that you’re absolutely right about jiu-jitsu is that the reality in this moment right now let’s call it this present reality, let’s say I can’t escape from underneath you. 30 seconds later, you’re changing your behavior. I’m changing my behavior. You’re changing your priorities. There is no consistent repetition of the present moment. It’s always every shift in a fight is a new moment, is a new encounter, is a new engagement. So, I just trusted that, yeah, it’s not ideal right now, but that doesn’t mean the ideal opportunity won’t arrive. I had faith. And so many people in that same situation go, “Well, if it’s not perfect right now, there’s no reason for me to believe it’ll be any different 10, 20, 30 minutes from now.” But jiu-jitsu has taught me absolutely the opposite. If it’s not the current circumstances that you need and want right now, just let time do its thing. Sometimes time is the only ally that you need and enough passing time the exact same.


So, when you think about the business application of this, you might think you have the product, a service that you want to bring to market. If it’s not the right time right now, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with the product. It means it’s wrong with the market opportunity. So, maybe it’s just a matter of waiting it out or sometimes speeding it up. You have to rush the attack because you know that the less-than-desirable time will be six months from now. So, you rush it right now before the, right, the economic downturn that you know is pending. So, you launch earlier than you expected. So, timing is everything and the Clock Principle and many others actually, of the 32 principles lean on this idea that, man, just because it’s not perfect doesn’t mean it won’t be.


[Michael Kitces]


Brad Johnson: Okay. This next clip comes to us from Michael Kitces. And in my conversation with him, we covered a lot of ground, but I love this specific clip on how building a financial plan has evolved in finance over the last decade or two, where it’s transitioned from a really big binder to a one-page financial plan. Here’s Michael’s take on that now. 


Brad Johnson: A lot of advisors way back when they didn’t do the best job at building a financial plan. And part of that was it was dependent on the school of finance that you grew up in but then there became an evolution of this leather-bound binder. I know you know exactly what I’m talking about.  


Michael Kitces: I used to use the binding machine. You would like punch all the pages and then you would layer them onto the little hooks and then close the binding machine. Absolutely.  


Brad Johnson: And it almost became like this race to who could build the thickest most data-dense financial plan with all the charts and graphs and backing up all here you go, hand me this money because I’m doing such amazing planning. And now what I’ve started to see and I know we have a mutual friend in Carl Richards, who wrote a book called The One Page Financial Plan, now we’re almost starting to see it revert back the other way and it’s how can we simplify the complexity? If you’re building on a CFP standard income, investments, taxes, health care, legacy, estate, all the worlds that that encompasses, that’s a lot. But it’s almost reverting back to can I get this complexity onto one page where it’s simple and it makes sense to somebody that’s like a fifth grader? So, that’s a really big topic. Let’s just riff on that. What are your thoughts? What trends do you see? There’s a really cool Twitter thread out there on like the best one-page financial plans. Let’s dive in on that topic.  


Michael Kitces: So, here is how I would think about it from just from that the advisor value proposition level. The big plan, right? The big, beautiful leather-bound plan, to me, was fundamentally about selling this value proposition of I’m smart, I’ve got expertise. Like you don’t know financial things. I know financial things. I’m the expert. You pay me money as the expert. I do the analysis you literally can’t do by yourself and I will bring you the results of this analysis of your very complex situation and provide you a series of recommendations. And that’s fundamentally an expert transaction. I think like a pretty good solid one from that perspective, right? Not to mean be silly like the better the advisor, the thicker the plan, or more direct like the better the advisor, the longer the list of financial planning recommendations I can give you. We’re like a good financial advisor can analyze this client and find eight recommendations. A great financial advisor can analyze the same client and find 13 recommendations. And then a fantastic leading financial advisor can take the same client’s information and find 19 different financial planning recommendations that would add value in this client’s life. It was all built around the depth of expertise and our ability to show the expertise. 


The fundamental thing that I think is shifting now is that the value equation is beginning to shift a little. We do still need to have the expertise, right? I’ll just say that out of the gate like you do really to have the expertise. Otherwise, you’re just giving recommendations that could be actually factually wrong and then people just get hurt out of ignorance. So, the relevance of expertise doesn’t go away but we can’t just be dispensers of expert information anymore because if you really just want expert information, if you want to ask a complex question and get an answer to it, the Internet’s good at that. Apparently, pretty soon ChatGPT is going to be good at that. Like, computers are good at spitting out the answers to questions. And the fundamental shift I think that’s happening now is we’re not just going to get paid based on having the answer. We’re going to get paid to help clients implement the answer. Now, a lot of us historically have said, “Well, yeah, I do implementation.” In fact, the roots of our industry was all about implementation because it was the insurance and investment product that we implemented that we got paid for to make the financial plan economically viable for us to deliver. 


But to me, we kind of had this breakdown that when planning went towards expertise complexity and the plans got longer, the difference between an okay planner, a great planner, and an amazing planner was whether you found like 8 or 13 or 19 financial planning recommendations for the client. But if you think about that from the client’s perspective, like, you know what you do as a client when someone comes at you with 19 financial planning recommendations to add value in your financial life, you don’t look at them and think, “Wow, that person is brilliant. Look at all the recommendations they came up with.” The script in most clients has something more along the lines of, “Wow, I didn’t realize my life was that screwed up.” Like, I didn’t even know. I mean, I came to an advisor because I was not confident in my financial planning decisions in life. That’s why I sought an advisor but I actually didn’t know I could make 19 different mistakes at once. Like, apparently, I’m so bad at this, I may as well just give up on financial life now. Like, 19 recommendations basically means I get an F in life at this point and it’s just depressing. I mean, it’s outright depressing for clients to come at them with that many recommendations.  

It’s demotivating and can be outright destructive because people just look at that and say, “Wow, like I’m basically a lost cause. I didn’t even know I could do that many things wrong.” But like, why even bother at this point?  


Brad Johnson: And overwhelmed.  


Michael Kitces: Utterly, completely overwhelmed. Like, where do I even start? This is like three years’ worth of work and I was just hoping to feel a little bit less pain. I actually feel worse about my financial life now than before I came into your office thinking I need help because I’m leaving your office realizing I’m far more gone than I even realized when I walked into your office. And so, at the most basic level, if you want to think about how that translates, it’s like imagine a world where the primary way that an advisor is evaluated is the percentage of the financial planning recommendations that their clients actually implement. The percentage of financial planning recommendations that your clients actually implement. So, you don’t get credit for giving them a list of 19 and then having them be so overwhelmed that they even walk out the door. Giving them three that are meaningful and having to actually implement three is way better because frankly if they want the list of 19, they can probably at some point give their situation artificial intelligence and you’ll list out 19 things that they could be doing differently. But again, that’s just demotivating. If I want to get to what do I actually do to implement this, how do I get to a decision I’m comfortable with, have buy and feel motivation of follow through on the recommendation and actually take action to implement it, it’s an entirely different skill set. And to say the least, what it starts with is not coming to the table with 19 financial planning recommendations and a 172-page financial plan because that’s just setting up the overwhelm, “I’m just so far gone. I may as well give up on this.” 


And that to me is really the essence of what’s coming forth in these one-page financial plans. It’s not just about simplifying down and getting it all to one page. The common theme that I see on most of those one-page plans comes down to two or three core elements. There’s something that reminds people about the purpose, the goals, the intention of this. All right. Carl likes to call it the statement of financial purpose. Different advisors do it different ways but it’s that touchdown to come back to that we all go through with clients where you say like why are you doing all this in the first place? They get back to that like because money means safety and money gives me security so that I can live the life I enjoy. Or money allows me to have the generosity to support my family and organizations the way I want like we’ve all got our different things.  


Brad Johnson: It kind of sounds like, Michael, it’d be the like the Simon Sinek’s Start with Why or Covey’s Seven Habits, start with the end in mind. So, it’s like, “Hey, here’s why we’re actually doing this.”  


Michael Kitces: Yeah. It’s like, “Here’s why we’re doing this. Here’s how we’re progressing.” Like, one of the interesting things about most one-page plans that I’ve seen is that they don’t just capture a moment in time. They capture progress over time. Here’s how your network’s progressing. Here’s how your savings are improving. So, a reminder of we’ll call it the why, a sense of progress, and what are we doing next. One of the most interesting things to me about almost every one-page plan that I see, it’s got action items. It’s got next steps, not 19 planning recommendations. The three or fewer that we’re working on right now and then every time we update that one-pager, they change as we check things off the list and bring new things into the picture. And so, that combination of sense of purpose, sense of progress, and what are our next steps, those are the elements that drive action, that drive behavior change. You can do it. Here’s why you’re doing it. You are already succeeding and making progress. Here’s the thing that we’re going to tackle next. And as we checked it off, it feels really good. And then we want to do more and we continue the momentum. 


And so, the essence to me of what you’re seeing like, yes, one-page plan is neat in and of itself and I love some of the beautiful ones that people have put out there but the real thing to me that’s happening underneath is we’re beginning this shift from my value is I give you this expertise, which I demonstrate through the length of the plan and the weight of the plan and the volume of financial planning recommendations. And we’re moving into a realm where we’re judged by action and implementation. And the tools to help people take action are not the same as the tools that are built just to show our expertise. And so, the expertise still has to be there. Even most advisors that I know that are doing one-page financial plans like the rest of the financial plan is still there like it’s still on the software. They may still print it. It’s like a one-page plan with a 50-page technical appendix behind it because we do have to still I think just from the advisor, we have to show our expertise at some point. Otherwise, like I can write all of your financial planning recommendations on a 3×5 index card but if I actually give it to you as a 3×5 index card, you’re going to assume I didn’t even do the work and you’re not going to take the recommendations because they’re not credible, even though they actually really might be the right thing to do. 


So, there is still a need that I think we have to demonstrate credibility and to demonstrate our expertise and to show that when I give you this short list of things to do, it’s because there’s many, many, many pages of work and analysis that went into this. But the essence I think of the shift that you’re seeing is when you start driving towards questions like, how do you maximize the number of recommendations that the clients actually implements, you don’t give them a list of 19 action items to implement.  


[Chris Smith]


Brad Johnson: All right. This next clip comes to us from Chris Smith, who I’ve had a number of conversations with. He is a strategic partner here at Triad. And what I love about Chris, he knows financial services really in-depth. He grew up in financial services but he absolutely has a way with words. But in this clip, we talk about more of a mindset and what it means to be bold when it comes to leadership as a financial advisor. And I know a number of Triad members have utilized this specific concept to really revolutionize their appointment process. Check it out. 


Chris Smith: You can get advice anywhere. But what’s really rare, especially in the world we live in today, I think, is leadership and people are desperately searching for leadership now more than ever.


And so, we’ve had so much success and help firms have success by just starting to actually change the way they see themselves as like, “Yeah. We’re not advisors giving advice. That’s part of what we do but we’re really leaders providing leadership.” And so, that’s the first place that I would actually that I would start, that we do start is we have a conversation around identity. And a lot of times advisors are like, “Well, I thought we were to talk about messaging. I thought were going to talk about like taglines and elevator pitches and presentations.” It’s like, “Yeah. We’ll get to that. But all of that is actually driven by your identity if you want it to matter, if you want it to be sustainable, if you want to stand out, if we can have this deeper conversation around identity like who are you? What do you want to be known for? What do you stand for? And how do we create in your organization this culture of leadership?” Because if you can change the way you see yourself, you start to show up that way more and you start to be experienced as a more confident, bold leader. Because, look, I just don’t think that most prospective clients going to sit down with an advisor, I don’t think the reason they’re there is for advice. They could get that anywhere. And they don’t even know it but the reason they’re there is they’re looking for leadership. They’re really looking for someone to guide them and their family.


So, that’s really what this is about for me is we have to help them first change the way they see themselves. And I think that’s a massive opportunity in this industry is to realize like we’re in an industry that can have a profound impact on people’s lives for generations. But I think sometimes we don’t see it that way. 


Brad Johnson: So much there. So, spot on. I completely agree with that. To me, the word that comes up is a belief like leadership takes a belief system that you can inspire other people to follow that. And you just brought one of my favorite people in the world and a client that their firm will bring in north of 200 million this year. So, I mean, when you look at the numbers, incredibly successful. And we were having this exact same conversation, Chris, the other day, and I see what happens a lot of times is there’s this I call it R&D, rip off and duplicate in our industry. And it’s like, oh, you look at one financial advisor’s website, they’ve got X, Y, Z blueprint or fill in the blank for whatever the name is. “Oh, that sounds good. We’ll do that, too.” And it’s kind of like if you were going to compete with McDonald’s, you’re like, “Oh, we’ll sell a Big Mac, too,” and then you think that differentiates yourself. And the biggest thing I’ve seen that you just hit, it’s one thing to kind of rip off some packaging and, “Oh, that worked for that firm, so I’ll use that too,” but then I had this conversation with their team and I said, “What’s the name of your financial planning process again?” And they all looked around the table at each other and they couldn’t even remember the name because there was no belief system, because they knew it was kind of an imposter that they just kind of ripped off from somebody else and hadn’t actually put the thought process into it, how it applied to their firm, how they’re different, that belief system, that leadership. I’m curious, you do this work all the time. How frequently do you see that sort of thing play out when you do? 


Chris Smith: Oh, yeah, every time. I got off a call earlier today with an advisor who the name of their planning process is, you know, ABC XYZ Lighthouse Blueprint Roadmap. You know, it’s just like, and again, there’s nothing wrong with that. Like, it’s better than not having a name, right? The problem, though, is that most advisors when they’re thinking about standing out and differentiating themselves, it’s being driven from a place of what do I think will work and what do I think will be successful? It’s not driven by their identity. When you start creating identity-driven messaging, when you start creating identity-driven marketing, when you start creating identity-driven culture, when you start creating identity-driven leadership, now you’re onto something because no one can rip off your identity. There’s only one of you. But most of us don’t pause long enough to actually go deep enough. And to put this into terms from a planning perspective, it’s like no good advisor who’s really a leader would sit with someone for 10 minutes and then start making recommendations on like products or investments. They would spend time really getting to know who that person is, what’s most important to them and their family, what their long-term goals are, what their dreams are. Basically, they would uncover that person’s identity then they would make recommendations in the planning phase that are in alignment with their identity.


Well, we know how to do that in planning. We do the exact opposite when it comes to marketing. We just start taking products off the shelf and solutions and start throwing stuff. And it’s like, well, if we plan first, right, if we did real like true planning and then let that dictate and determine what we choose, it’s just more likely to be an alignment that’s driven by our identity. Same thing when you go into like you can go to a lot of firms. I’ve been into like really large organizations and ask them what their values are and the core values are written on a wall somewhere in the organization, and not one person can actually tell me without having to go out and look at the wall. It’s like it was a creative brainstorming session, an exercise that they did and they landed on some cool-sounding values, but it’s not who they are. And so, yeah, this is deeper work. It takes more work but the sustainability of it, especially if you’re a founder of a firm, you now create a situation where you can actually have something that grows beyond you. You can actually have something where it can grow while your personal freedom grows because most advisors or most founders are like those are at odds with each other. Right? Like, if my firm continues to grow, my personal freedom diminishes but it’s like, no, you can create something bigger than you. And I think it would be interesting if you want to, Brad, I think it’d be interesting to like talk about what does this idea of leadership actually mean. Like, when we say like, you know, not just being an advisor but being a leader but I think that’s where it has to start. It’s like this has to be identity-driven. 


Brad Johnson: Yeah. So, let’s hit one thought, and then I would love to get into some of the verbiage because I know you’ve got some really cool verbiage and how you start to make that transition from advisor to leader, financial leader in their life. But you just spurred a thought. Michael Hyatt spoke at – he’s a fellow strategic partner as well. And I love, by the way, surrounding myself with all-stars. It works on the football field. It also works in business. So, I’m really thankful that you are aligned with kind of the vision and the journey here. And Michael Hyatt, I remember him saying, “One of the biggest problems I see in finance that’s kind of a widespread problem is most financial services firms are built on a personality.” And, I mean, just look at how most financial services firms are named. And this is nothing against any advisor out there if it’s, you know, Joe Smith Financial. That’s completely cool. But if the whole value proposition is built on Joe Smith, Joe Smith does not scale. And this is the thing we’ve talked about, Chris, where it’s this tug of war of, well, I want to grow my business but now I feel like I’m losing my freedom as I grow my business. It’s this trade-off. And a lot of what you coach on is once you take and unlock this identity, now it becomes a value proposition that’s not dependent on just Joe Smith delivering it. That can be transferred to the team and that is what really starts to unlock the scale. So, maybe just freestyling that thought and give me a download where that really hits home with your work. 


Chris Smith: Yeah. Like, you will only be able to scale your firm to the size of the identity that surrounds it. So, if the identity you’ve created is no bigger than you, then that’s the ceiling at which you can scale to that capacity. So, like your ability to scale a business has everything to do with like the identity that it’s scaling to. So, like, you have to create an identity that’s bigger than you. You have to create an identity that’s bigger than any one person at the firm. Because if there’s this identity that’s created and it was co-created by the team that’s bigger than any one person, then it’s like it can grow beyond any one person. But if the identity is really tied mostly to you, you can have some growth and some scale and you can have some team members that support you but the majority of the weight and the burden of growing it and like coming up with innovative ideas and like scaling it will largely rest on your shoulders. But it is possible to create success beyond yourself but it has to be an identity that’s bigger than you, that’s bigger than your biggest producer. It has to be an identity that the entire team can see themselves like growing into and like really feeling aligned like, “Wow. I’m part of this.”


And again, it’s just not a conversation that’s had a lot in this industry. You know, it’s like, hey, go be really successful as an advisor yourself. Start to build a small team of people who can support you. Grow that up. Maybe then if you’re really lucky, you get one or two other advisors who can start to do some client servicing so you don’t have to do as many reviews. Then if you get really, really lucky, one of them can even maybe step in to start taking some client discovery meetings once in a while. So, you’ve scaled out of that. And then that’s kind of the dream like you’ll still do a lot of client discovery meetings. You’ll still have a handful of client reviews. But it’s like, well, what if more was possible? What if you could have a team of advisors who actually can do all of it?


[Shawn Sparks]


Brad Johnson: Okay. With this next clip, my business partner, Shawn Sparks, here at Triad. It was one of the, I believe, the second episode ever recorded on the DBDL podcast, and we talk about what it takes to build and scale a world-class business. And what I love about Shawn is he has a way of simplifying the complex. So, if you’re a financial advisor out there that wants to scale into a business owner/CEO, this is the clip for you. Check it out. 


Shawn Sparks: The characteristics you need for an advisor, everybody thinks they’re all the same, an advisor. But some advisors are gifted with different things. 


So, I’ll tell you a good example is we’ve got an advisor, amazing person. She at one point was in charge of managing a billion dollars by herself. She had incredible relationships with clients. She was in a very high relationship. She was the person that at the end of a call with the clients, you’d stop them and say, “Oh yeah, I was going to ask you, how are your kids doing?” And like, she just loved on them and built relationships. They never wanted to talk to anybody but her. She was so good. This was a service-based advisor. She loved routine conversations with clients, just loving on them, getting back to them quickly. You know what she didn’t like? She said, “I work here at this company.” She was in a work where she was transitioning and she said, “But I don’t want to be a part of the sales process.” 


Brad Johnson: Just don’t make me sell, isn’t that what she said? 


Shawn Sparks: Just don’t make me sell. And they’re like, wow, this advisor is knowledgeable. She loves clients, but she didn’t like the sales process. Now, we got another advisor. This advisor is a great salesperson. He is somebody who immediately when you’re sitting back, he’ll sit up. He’s got that thing where there’s passion or she’s got that thing where there’s passion, there’s knowledge, taking complex things, make them simple. People immediately trust them. And they’re able to actually get people to take action, fix the problems. 


This advisor is gifted when they’re in front of clients and helping them. Oftentimes, this advisor, you know what they don’t like? All the routine service calls after sale. Oh, hey, be sure to call Julie back. It’s like they’re so mission focused on just helping people and get that sales process down. They don’t find joy, it’s like a side-of-the-desk job. Which one do you think will provide a better service to your client? The first one. 


But they’re both advisors, so this goes back to you bring a service advisor and try to make them sell. You’ve got to find the right characteristics you’re looking for to solve the problem you’re in. Those two advisors as a team fully aligned will crush it. Incredible service person. The clients don’t even want to talk to the main person, guy, girl, whatever. 


And then here’s the other thing. Some advisors are very analytical. They are the people that I would say is like they have a coffee mug. I love spreadsheets. And they will analyze every number, do all the research. You could put them in front of a computer all day long and that’s their comfort. That’s where they’re at. That’s where they find their fun. 


I had a friend that was a CPA. He was just really, really smart. He was a whiz and he decided he wanted to be an advisor, and for some reason, he couldn’t close a deal. He got into the weeds. So, he would be what I consider a very analytical and analyst-type advisor. You put him in as your sales advisor. Guess what happens? He’s not bringing people. He’s so smart. You’ve got to understand that there are three types of advisors. There are those that are really great service, those that are really good in front of people like sales. 


Then there’s the analytical side and here is what’s funny. We call it the triad advisor model. Triad is when three parties work together. Imagine a team-based approach to where the service people are providing all the service. The salesperson is doing the sales appointments and the pair planner is doing all the plans. 


As I think about me being a client for an advisor. Who do I want to put together my plan? The planning advisory. Who do I want the ongoing service? That guy that calls me or the gal that calls me at the end of the day off the side of their desk just quickly to get the job done? Or this person who just loves the communication relationship? Which one do you think I want to explain how they can help me? 


So, we call it the triad advisor model where all three worked together and they were fully aligned. And I just want you to imagine this brand, imagine those three advisors excited about the mission they’re on, working together, protecting each other. And every time something is done, they’re high-fiving each other because they work as a team. This whole idea of making businesses based on I and all that, it’s like the team-based approach is a skill-based approach. 


Brad Johnson: Two things, first off, I had the exact same conversation this morning too. 


Shawn Sparks: Really? 


Brad Johnson: So, on my way to the office, this is a firm that’s north of 250 million this year. This is one of the founders. And he goes, “Man, I hate service work.” And to your point, he’s one of the best naturally gifted salespeople, like people love him. They trust him. He really is great at simplifying a really complex plan. And I heard it said one time, what if procrastination is the greatest source of wisdom? 


So, for you as an advisor out there, that’s listening, if you are that advisor that has the stack of paper sitting on your desk that never goes away because you procrastinate, it’s probably service work, which probably means you’re doing service advisor work as a selling advisor. It’s so common. We see it all the time. 


But what you just explained is that those three that we’ll call it a triad, we like threes around here, those three right there, that’s what unlocks the freedom because now, I can sell. I love it. I love to meet new people. I love to see the breakthroughs, the aha’s, but I hate the follow-through. Well, guess what your clients hate is when you promise something and it doesn’t happen. 


But now, when you’re side by side, it’s like I look at it like a relay race, like handing the baton. Now, you’re passing the baton to service. Service is coordinating with planning. We had an incredible advisor. I think she was doing north of 50 mil. She didn’t even know what a pair planner was. So, like just this, I think just the education piece of it. 


Shawn Sparks: Yeah, what we’re doing is we’re moving from a jack of all trades. One advisor does everything to specialist model, which is scale. As you evolve, you must move to specialization. We’re grabbing three different types of advisors, in this case, all working together as one team aligned with conviction. And we’re putting a process in place in order to make it just really be an incredible experience. 


Here’s what’s funny. Not only is this best for the clients, not only is this best for the advisor because they can specialize and do what they love, but this model creates more referrals than you could ever imagine. Guess whose job it is to invite referrals to the events and to bring referrals? It’s the relationship person who had the extra time to get to know me and have the relationship. And I’m like, it is like the trifecta model to scale your time to where you do the appointments because you love it, you enjoy it. None of the services worked so your bandwidth as an individual just got cut in half, maybe even more. 


And then you’ve got this team that’s all smiling and high-fiving itself, working together, doing what they each love. The outcome is your business overall is both better, and your clients are giving you referrals. They’re not giving them to you, they’re probably giving them to that relationship person, the service advisor. So, this is key. Leveraging your time and putting those around you, it’s a team-based approach to create a better output for the clients. 


Brad Johnson: You hit one thing and there’s actually another benefit I just thought of. So, number one, you’re creating career tracks for different types of advisors and personalities. So, to your point, now, the team’s excited. Now, there’s more that goes into it. We don’t have time today, but obviously, you need to align compensation. So, there’s a whole model that goes along with that. 


But the other thing that I really think about is what you’ve also created is the track, the client experience. But now, you’ve unlocked this whole ‘nother potential, which is now that advisor can go, the founding advisor has freedom of time to– if they’re just selling, not servicing, not planning, we’ve had advisors bump the net worth up of who they see. We’ve had advisors go be the seminar face of the company, the head of the marketing, and now, they can explore those greater strengths as well. So, there are a lot of different things that open up… 


Shawn Sparks: So that on the sales side, just for the sake of time, there are a lot of limiting beliefs that keep people from doing this. If I bring the client on, then I’ve got to do everything at the end. This is a completely limiting belief, your clients want the best possible experience. Most of them are business owners. Business owners understand how things work, but you’ve got to set the right expectation on the front end to where they say, “Heck yeah, I love this,” versus you carrying the weight of the I. 


This goes back to the advisor in charge, but if you put I in the equation, you’re hurting your growth pattern. You’re hurting your potential. So, put us, put we, and then had all that’s centered around what your clients want, deserve, and how to manufacture a better experience for them. That’s how you have a business that’s getting high-value referrals because it’s a team-based approach. So this is what I would say is the scalable sales side. It’s just some keys to it. There are a lot of processes built in and so on, but looking at your business, your sales side as this will increase the chance of success and scale. 


Brad Johnson: All right, my man, we’ve got 10 left here and we’ve got so much to cover, so we might have to– who knows? We’ve got plenty of time to do Part 2. All right. So, we’ve got vision marketing sales. Let’s hit the two real quick, and then let’s make sure we give them a little bridge into phase two of the phases of scale. 


Shawn Sparks: Yeah, it’ll wrap up. So, the fourth of the five pillars is operations. Now, advisors, just the nature of who they are, they like the marketing side usually and they love the sales side. And sometimes, they love marketing and vice versa, but just the way that we are, I think a lot of us don’t see, like, enjoy the operations piece, which is represented by about everything else. It’s the processes in the business. Due to scale, there are probably 10,000 different processes, all these little things that happen towards like clockwork. This is what the road map is about. It’s like having these processes handed to you where your team can adapt. What’s happening before appointments, after appointments? What’s the whole process of working together as a team? 


But I would say the operations piece is one of the biggest missing ingredients. Having somebody who can execute as opposed to just big ideas, having somebody follow through and make sure things get done, which increases the chance of progressing towards the right path. So, most advisors are really good at marketing and sales. They miss the operations piece. And then the bigger they get, the more toxic the business gets, the more opportunities they’re missing right in front of them because they don’t have the time. 


So, on that operation side, it’s understanding the choke hold spots in your business and fixing them in an operational view in a way. But operations are critically important. It’s what I would say is kind of the launch pad that allows you to keep progressing. And most advisors tend to not like it, enjoy it, know how to do it. 


If I were to tell you, like hey, put together an operations manual of sort, most of my advisors, they’ll go write down on one page and say, “What do I do next?” It’s just not the same type of person. So, operations are critically important. Having that, that’s the fourth pillar. 


[Dave Zoller]


Brad Johnson: In this next clip, we feature Dave Zoller, who’s a good friend, also a trailblazer in the world of finance. He has driven almost exclusively all of his new clients through his YouTube channel. So, if you’re out there as an advisor looking how to blow up YouTube or start on YouTube, you’ll definitely want to check out this next clip. Collectively between Dave’s two primary channels, he has almost 50,000 subscribers, millions of views between the two of them. Check out this clip when it comes to producing great content on YouTube. 


Dave Zoller: The first video I did that I wanted to do well, I knew that it was going to be bad and I knew that it was going to be embarrassing. So, I actually talked about this at Jolt when I did the talk. And there were three things that were barriers for me to even get started. And I think that it’s probably everybody out there or at least advisors. One of them is it’s that so we’re advisors and we’re pretty smart, right? We’ve got this financial expertise or expertise in some area and we might be at the top of our game. And it’s really difficult to go back to the beginner mindset and to do something where you’re a complete newbie and you kind of stink at it. And I think you have to be able to do that. It’s the ego, right? I had it. I had trouble. I was embarrassed and I was worried more about advisors criticizing me than anybody else watching the video. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s the way that I felt when I was doing that. It was that ego and going back to the beginner’s mind and just being bad.


The thing that helped was really focusing on the person that I’m trying to help. Like, if you’re coming at it from a place of generosity and giving and wanting to help people and not a place of doing something for a return expected or for some sort of ROI, if you’re going into it to get 100 views the first video or a thousand views, or if you’re going into it to do three videos and get a client from those three videos, you’re probably going to fail. There maybe are case studies out there where people are able to do that but if you can go into it instead from a place of service and just looking to help, we already know the more value that you put out into the world, the more will come back to you. Most like not always, but a lot of times it does. And that’s what I started doing. And I kind of forgot about the ego, but that first video that I did, it got this, it was around I was talking about tax content, tax planning things back then, and it was around I think it was like using Spotify for business and being able to deduct the costs. Like, companies get to do that if they’ve got a lobby that’s playing music or a store or something like that? So, I was talking about that.


And one of the comments was legal related, Spotify. I think it was an attorney and it was like kind of scary and it was like a negative comment. It was like it reminded me of this thing that I keep hearing, which is whenever you have an intention to do something, disruption always follows intention, right? Whenever you’re trying to, if you set your mind on something and you start moving forward, a lot of times there’s going to be something that blocks you from doing it. So, as long as we have that in our mind and remember that and just know that disruptions are going to come or things are going to block us, it’s easier to keep moving forward and iterating and trying again. So, that was the first video and it was like this. To me, it’s not a big deal at all but to me it was like, “Oh my goodness, I’m not doing this anymore. I’m not putting any more video out there like this. But I was able to get past that and then keep going and then it’s paid off since then.


Brad Johnson: There’s so much good advice right there. And so much of that advice is very similar to my own journey podcasting. I want to just pull a couple of things out of that. The first one, the thing about doing it for others and not yourself. I did an episode with a guy named John Israel on my prior show. He wrote a book called Mr. Thank You and you reminded me of something he shared with me. So, he wrote five handwritten thank yous a day for an entire year and mailed these out. And that book’s incredible and his episode was incredible. It was one of my top downloaded ever. And he shared exactly what you just shared. He said originally, like the first month or two of that journey, he started getting disappointed because he was dropping five handwritten thank-you notes in the mail every day. And he might get like a little text or a note back every other week. And he’s like, “Man, am I not writing these right? Are these people not getting my thank yous? Or they get lost in the mail?” And he goes, “I realized I had focused on the wrong intention in these thank yous. I was making it about me as opposed to about them.” And he’s like, “I realized I can just send gratitude out. And if I expect nothing in return, it’s like a freeing feeling.”


Dave Zoller: Yes.


Brad Johnson: What you just said on you shared this when we were kind of prepping for this conversation, you said, “Hey I might have had like 5, 10, 15 views on those first videos,” and the mindset you went into is, “If just one of those viewers I help them on their retirement journey, I’m going to consider that a win and I’m going to consider that that video is worth doing and putting on the Internet.” And I love that because the truth is, when you start a podcast, when you start a YouTube channel, basically, you don’t have any viewers except maybe your mom, if you’re lucky enough, right?


Dave Zoller: Yeah.


Brad Johnson: And one piece of advice that was given me on the podcast is don’t do your first episode if you don’t plan on doing your hundredth because it’s the long game. It’s the consistency. It’s continuing to show up. And by the way, I remember when I listen to my first podcast episode, I’m like, “Is it possible for a human to say the word “so” that many times in a five-minute span? You know, all your little verbal tics.


Dave Zoller: Oh, yeah.


Brad Johnson: It’s scary to listen to yourself and realize, wow, like, I’ve got these little mannerisms I didn’t even realize I have. But because of that, you get better and you put in the reps just like anything in life and you evolve and you level up and you go from beginner to actually, hey, these videos are starting to get pretty polished. 


[Joey Coleman]


Brad Johnson: All right. This next clip comes to us from Wall Street Journal bestseller, Joey Coleman. His most recent book, Never Lose an Employee Again, we actually get into what statistically is the cost of losing an employee, the math. And I will tell you, this was the most viral clip of all of the DBDL podcasts. I believe on Instagram it had over a quarter of a million views as Joey unpacked the statistics and the why behind the extensive cost of losing and replacing an employee. I know this is a big thing in finance, so you’ll want to check out this clip. Check it out. 


Joey Coleman: Depending on whether someone is hourly or salary, somewhere between 20% and 60% of new hires quit in the first 100 days. I’m going to let that sink in for a second.


Brad Johnson: Whoa, whoa, Hold up. 20% to 60% quit in the first 100 days?


Joey Coleman: 20% to 60% of new hires quit in the first 100 days depending on your industry and depending on their role. So, we already can see the size of the problem is enormous. You have huge numbers of people running out the back door before you’ve even fully completed bringing them in the front. Or in fact, one of the most staggering stats I came across is 4%. 4% of employees show up for the first day on the work, they do the first day at the work or at the job, they go home that night and they don’t come back for day two. 4%. Now, here’s the interesting thing and why I’m okay sharing that stat with a bunch of advisors listening in. You know that 4%, “Oh, that seems like a little number, Joey.” No, 4% is a gigantic number when you think about all the time and effort it takes to get a new employee in the door, all the money you spend recruiting, hiring, going through the interview process, bringing them on board, training, planning the first day, and that’s 4% or leaving after day one.


These are huge problems. When we turn around and we look at how much does it cost to replace an existing employee, we looked at studies from around the world and what we found is on average it’s somewhere between 100% and 300% of that employee’s salary to get a new person in the role. So, let’s say you’re hiring a $50,000 role. It’s going to cost somewhere between 50,000 and 150,000 to get a new candidate into that role if that first person leaves, and that’s before you start paying their salary. So, that’s independent of their salary.


Brad Johnson: Well, that’s what I was about to ask you. So, let’s just say $50,000, I’m going to say team member because employee…


Joey Coleman: I love it. I love it.


Brad Johnson: So, 50,000 team member, $50,000 team member annual salary leaves. We just simply replaced with another $50,000 salary team member. Excluding the apples to apples there, 50 to 150 on top of that to replace.


Joey Coleman: Correct.


Brad Johnson: Can you break that down? Help me understand that.


Joey Coleman: Yeah. Some people are like, “Wait a second, Joey. This is fake news. This is made up math. What are you talking about, Joey?” Here’s the thing. Most businesses fail to accurately track, measure, or value the time it takes to identify, interview, and onboard a new employee. So, part of that $50,000 to $150,000 is whoever is in charge of hiring, the time they’re going to spend on this project that isn’t tracked. So, if you’re the leader, you’re the owner, and it’s like, great, you’re going to have to sit through four or five-hour interviews. Awesome. What’s your effective hourly rate? And by the way, what is the staff’s rate? Who or the team members rate? Who is figuring out, okay, let’s get the resumes in. Let’s go through the interview process, not to mention the cost of doing advertisements. Not to mention all the things that we’re going to have to potentially address but here’s the real kicker, Brad. When we have a team member leave and other team members need to fill in the gap while we’re waiting to hire that new person, this is how it works at most organizations.


“Hey, Brad, look, I’m really sorry that Luanne resigned but you do kind of the same job she does. So, what we’re going to need to do, just for a while, while we find someone to replace Luanne is we’re going to need you to do her work, too. You’re not going to get a bump in title or salary. We’re just going to need to have you fill in. Don’t worry. We’re going to spread this across three or four of you that are kind of doing the same job. But don’t worry about that. We’re going to get a new person in the seat as quickly as possible.” That conversation is happening in every organization on the planet every single day but we don’t stop to realize how did that just impact Brad’s productivity? How did that impact the profit of the organization and the efficiency of the organization now that Brad’s energy and effort is diffused across his work, as well as what was formerly Luanne’s work? Number two, what missed opportunities are we getting that we could have had if Brad would have been able to be focused on what he was doing instead of doing multiple jobs? And number three, what are we doing when Brad goes home that night and says to his roommate, his significant other, his partner, “Yeah. So, Luanne is only here for three weeks and she quit. What do you think that she knew that I don’t know? Maybe I should be thinking about quitting, too.”


And when we factor all these things into play, that’s how we get 100% to 300% of the cost of the salary of the new hire is what it costs us to get someone new into that space. So, before we even had the conversation of who’s the new person going to be, we’re losing money. Last thing I’ll say on this because I like to geek out on the stats and on the numbers, the Department of Labor here in the United States, and we’ve seen this data matched globally just in case anybody is outside the U.S. listening to that. The Department of Labor did some research where they went to employees and they asked them, did you participate in a strong onboarding program when you were a new employee? That’s all they said. Self-defined the words strong, self-defined the word onboarding. But do you feel you participated in a strong onboarding program, yes or no? Of the people that said yes, 69% had been with that organization for more than three years. So, this goes directly to the question you are asking. If we focus on that first 100 days, we are extending the total time that an employee will stay as well as their productivity.


They also found some research that was commissioned by Glassdoor that it’s an 82% increase in productivity and a 70% increase in retention if an employee feels that it was a strong onboarding program. So, it’s really about focusing on those first 100 days. You get increased productivity, increased engagement, increased retention, which is we’ve seen from that 100% to 300% cost metric, that allows you to weather that storm financially while also extending the relationship with that new hire.


Brad Johnson: Do you happen to remember the stat? So, you said if they said yes, it was a strong onboarding experience. They were there on average three years. If they said no, do you have that statistic or did it just…


Joey Coleman: So, regrettably, the study didn’t share that. It didn’t share what that number is but what we do know is that somewhere between 20% and 60% are leaving in the first 100 days. Those are folks who don’t have a strong onboarding program. So, we know that people churn quickly. Only about 50% of new hires will make the one-year anniversary, only about 50%. And if you are facing that kind of regular churn, the impact that is having on your productivity, the impact that is having on your profitability, the impact that is having on your morale is absolutely devastating to an organization.


[Simon Bowen]


Brad Johnson: This clip comes to us from the one and only Simon Bowen. I know on my old show, The Elite Advisor Blueprint, the new show Do Business Do Life, his episodes consistently ranked in my top 1 or 2 downloaded of all time. It’s because he gets into whiteboarding, aka visual models, and how that works in explaining concepts and simplifying them, which is obviously a lot of what we do in finance. But this specific clip talks about when you face objections in a meeting, what to do instead when it comes to visual models to co-create something together. So, stick around for the next couple of minutes to learn what to do. 


Simon Bowen: When you have two people in a complex conversation and that’s how we got you, the advisor, on one side, you had your truth. Your truth is we need to manage these five worlds and we’ve got to do things in these five worlds to make sure they’re squared away.


And the customer on the other side over here who isn’t in an ideal spot right now and if they were, they wouldn’t be talking to you. So, there’s something going on for them, right? And they have their truth. And their truth, they didn’t care about the five worlds. They’re interested in their one world, which is actually all about them and the future, their future world. Because the only reason someone would be speaking to an advisor was because they’re worried about their future world. There might be five dimensions or five storylines in that future world but they’re worried about their future world. So, they have their truth and what we tend to do in verbal-only kind of communication is we push our story towards the other person. Here’s what you got to do. You’ve got to do this. You’ve got to do that. We’ve got these five worlds. But if five worlds is really just an advisor’s way of trying to frame this thing so that people can understand it, I’ve never heard any client of financial planning talk about five worlds until an advisor gives them that language, right? They’re just interested in, “What’s my future look like?” That’s the only world. “Will I have enough money in retirement?” Right? “Is my family going to be protected? And what if I get sick or infirmed?” It’s all one thing, which is the future.


But when we push something towards somebody, we are all hardwired to push back. It’s how the human being survives the world. And so, there’s this kind of almost conflict. I call it a compete and retreat conversation. We’re competing for perspective and we’re pushing and retreating from that conversation. That’s the typical sales dialog that’s going on. But what we do in order to manage conflict or difference in perspective and things like that is we put an umpire between the two. So, every couple with children understands this to be true because they’re usually the umpire when two of their kids are in this compete and retreat tussle, right? But when there’s conflict, we usually put a mediator in play. And so, the mediator goes to, in every conversation, there’s a weaker party and the weaker party is the one that has less information and has a higher emotional investment. So, the person with the least emotional investment in a relationship is in control. And in this case, the client has the higher emotional investment because they’re worried about their future but they don’t have all the information. So, a good mediator will go to the weaker party and ask them what’s going on for them. And then the weaker party might share some of the things they’re concerned about.


And then a good mediator will go to the party with the information and a stronger position and they’ll inform them or give them some intel on what the other person is concerned about and thinking about. And then the stronger party can share some insights and go, “Well, how about this?” And then the mediator can share that but a good mediator will share by asking more questions and getting them to think more expansively and so the mediator allows us to gather more intel and share more insights. And when we do that, we elevate the conversation. When we elevate the conversation, we elevate the value that goes with the conversation. And this is called the Coaching Triad. Every coach, every psychologist, every counselor understands the triad, right? Well, I discovered… 


Brad Johnson: We like triads around here, Simon, so you’re good. 


Simon Bowen: Say what? 


Brad Johnson: We like triads around here so you’re perfect. You’re right on point. 


Simon Bowen: It’s a great name, right? It’s the Coaching Triad, right? And so, what you get is this interesting mix of it can help discovery on this side and help selling or influencing on the other side. But it can’t take a mediator into a sales conversation with you. And so, what I discovered was that if we put a model between two people, the model becomes the mediator. And now, the person who’s leading the conversation, this person is actually using the model to ask the questions and the customer shares back into the model and says, “Well, what about that bit there?” And now we’ve got some intel that says, “Oh, you’re interested in this specific piece. That’s good to know. Here are some insights around that specific piece. Here are three things that you need to have to make that work.” “Well, what about that little piece there? How does that work?” “Oh, interesting intel. Here are two things that we do to protect you in there.” And so, the model becomes the mediator, the value increases. And now instead of being in a compete and retreat push-pull conversation where side by side, working on the model, standing at the whiteboard together, the physical dynamic of the conversations change. We’re now side by side working on something between us.


And the thing we’re working on is a natural mediator because we’re drawing their future for them. And when people can visualize their future, everything changes. If we’re just speaking their future for them, that’s our story of the five worlds that we’re sharing with them as opposed to drawing their future for them. I know that financial planners talk about the five worlds, Brad, but there’s only one world and that’s their future world. And we talked about this in a previous podcast. You know, the futures model is everybody wants the genius model that we help them build but actually my favorite model is the futures model. It’s just a ridiculously powerful conversation to be having with people because you’re talking about their future, their world, and you can talk about five different storylines into the future and things like that. But they really only care about their future. I mean, we could draw it again but we’ve already done… 


Brad Johnson: Yeah, So, for time’s sake, Simon, the futures model, I’m going to brag on it so you don’t have to. We did have that conversation. It was during COVID. So, what a perfect time because everybody was trying to figure out how to communicate via Zoom and you were kind enough to hop on. And I’ll tell you the power of that. I had an advisor in Sweden, of all places, reach out to me on Facebook, and he’s like, “That model, that one model, that futures model Simon shared,” and all he was doing was kind of trying to recreate it off of the video that the ten-minute conversation where we covered it and it helped him close a $10 million client. I don’t know if I ever told you that story but that’s the power of it. And he said it just simplified everything. This guy was procrastinating and it helped me in a very simple visual way, helped me get him to a decision point. And so, we’re not going to reshare it today. If you’re listening in, Simon’s kind enough, we kind of clipped that section out of our prior conversation. Just reply back to however you got this, whether it’s a DM on social, we’ll make that a deliverable that we’ll share out so we can kind of save everybody some time here.


[Taylor Schulte]



Brad Johnson: This clip comes to us from Taylor Schulte. Many of you out there in finance know him from either his podcast or potentially from AGC, a community of advisors that he runs. But specifically, what we cover in this clip is how he almost exclusively used his podcast to drive all new client acquisition over the last year, and not only how he did that, but also his new client engagement process that allows a partnership where you clearly talk about here’s what Taylor’s firm is going to do for you, and here are the expectations that you have as a client if this is going to be a fit. This is one of the top downloaded episodes, as well as one of the top downloaded tools all of last year. Check it out. 


Taylor Schulte: What’s crazy is those 125 intro calls to your other point is a result of only, I think, two call-to-actions on the podcast this year. So, it’s not every single episode where I’m saying, “Hey, give us a call if you want to work with us.” It’s twice a year and very, very intentional about how I go about doing that. But I think the call to action I did in January of this year, I think resulted in 70-ish introductory phone calls getting scheduled for the first half of the year. So, I mean, it almost filled up our entire pipeline, just one single call to action.


Brad Johnson: Now, going out on a limb here. Are you open to freestyle sharing? This is almost like a freestyle rap, except it’s a freestyle call to action. Are you good with that?


Taylor Schulte: Yeah, Let’s do it.


Brad Johnson: So, what’s it sound like?


Taylor Schulte: So, the way I like to approach this is because I don’t do this in every show, I like to catch, I don’t like, but it’s intentional that I catch listeners off guard a little bit. So, typically, the show will begin with a monologue from me or kind of the intro music that leads to the introduction of the show. So, they’re kind of used to that cadence of I could hit play and what happens. When I do a call to action, it’s at the very top of the show before any of that begins. So, I’ll kick off the show and I’ll say something like, “Hey, everyone, really quick, before we start today’s show, I want to let you know that my firm and I are taking on new clients this year. As you might know, we specialize in working with people that are in retirement or close to it. They’re diligent savers and have amassed $1 million or more and have tax problems in retirement. Right now, we’re offering a free retirement assessment. So, if you’re on the hunt for a financial planner, you think we have the right expertise to help, just go to FreeRetirementAssessment.com to learn more. On that page, you can schedule or call directly with our firm.”


So, something along those lines, it’s probably much tighter than that when I actually deliver it but in short…


Brad Johnson: That was pretty tight.


Taylor Schulte: In short, it’s what do we do? Who do we do it for? How can we help you and how can you take action in a nutshell? And one of the things that I’ve learned through all this before I started to see results from the podcast is don’t assume that your listeners know what you do for a living and that you’re open for business. A lot of listeners, I learned, assumed that I was just like a financial personality. I didn’t know you’re a financial advisor. I didn’t know you had your own wealth management firm.


And then the other thing is I didn’t know you were taking on new clients. Listeners have this image of us that may not be the actual reality. It might appear to them that Taylor has this giant podcast and this giant following, this giant platform. There’s no way he’s taking on new clients right now. Just the other day this week, prospect said, “I’m shocked, I can’t believe you guys only have just over 100 clients, 100 households.” In his mind, I think he thought we had thousands of clients or something. So, don’t assume that listeners or potential clients or, yeah, also listeners know that what you do and that you’re open for business.


So, I always lead it off with like we have the capacity to take on about 12 new clients this year. That’s intentional as well, has little scarcity there, like, we’re not a high-volume firm. And then again, what do I do? How can I help? How can you take action? I’ve made it very easy, FreeRetirementAssessment.com, it’s just a redirect to our landing page.


Brad Johnson: So, dissecting that quickly. So, what we do, who we do it for, how to take action, or was there one more step in there?


Taylor Schulte: I added just how we can help, like our value proposition. I always hit on taxes. We specialize in helping people reduce taxes in retirement or we specialize in tax planning. It’s typically the value prop that I lead with when I have limited time.


Brad Johnson: That’s awesome. That’s a very simple framework, too. I mean, any advisor listening in could craft their version of that pretty quickly. I’ll tell you the other thing that you’re doing there that I love. Like, if you go to any podcast you listen to a lot, you kind of just get used to, like Tim Ferriss, there’s the kind of upbeat club music at the beginning of his, even Rogan, there’s like the chimp voice or whatever, right?


And so, you kind of get this pattern and what you’re using as a pattern interrupt. A couple times a year, where it’s like, “Wait, this doesn’t sound like normal.” So, of course, people are going to listen. That’s just natural human curiosity, and obviously, putting that on the front end there, they’re all going to hear it. So, I love how you do it, where you do it. As far as the call to action, that makes a lot of sense.


Taylor Schulte: Yeah. And you don’t have to do it at the top. I will experiment with different places where I’ll inject it into the middle of the episode like, “Hey, sorry to interrupt you guys, but really quick and I’ll go into a call to action.” I’ve tried that before. I’ll weave it into a story that’s part of the script for that episode. But whether you’re trying to convert listeners or not, I still think, to me, it’s fun as a content creator to shake things up and change things. So, I’m constantly trying to inject little things to kind of surprise listeners and do something a little bit different. I think it just keeps it fun.


Like you mentioned, a lot of podcasts I listen to, I fast forward to the first three minutes. My listeners know not to do that because sometimes I’ll be giving away a book, one year about $5,000 worth of sweatshirts and gave those away. So, the listeners have to remember these things like, I better pay attention because there are some cool things that happen sometimes.


[Michael Hyatt]


Brad Johnson: This clip comes to us from Michael Hyatt, who most recently released a book called Mind Your Mindset. If you’ve listened to this show, you’re no stranger to conversations with Michael, New York Times bestselling author, used to run one of the top ten book publishing companies in the country that published books for Dave Ramsey, John Maxwell, many other thought leaders out there. But in this one, what I love is Michael talks about something he hasn’t talked about before, which is actually the mindset that it takes before all of the other business stuff matters. So, check out this clip. You’re going to love it. 


Michael Hyatt: Because one of the things that we discovered in our research about neuroscience is that on average, about 20% of our memories, get this, Brad, are false. They’re just totally made up. They never happened. And it’s hard for any of us to admit that you think, “Okay. Well, I can get that Brad probably makes 20% of his stories, but not me. All my stories are real.” No. On average, people make up about 20% of the stories or the memories that they have. But get this, up to 70% are distorted in some way. You know, we misremember some aspect of the story or we amplify some aspect of the story. I can remember one night I was laying in bed with Gail, and as we often do before we go to bed, we were kind of reviewing the day’s events and we tried to discipline ourselves to say, “Okay. What was the best thing that happened to you today?” And so, we share that with each other and she said, “What was the best thing that happened to you today?” And I said, “Honestly. It was a horrible day,” and she said, “Well, tell me about it.” 


And so, I told her about the day and she didn’t say anything for a minute and then she finally said, “Well, it sounds to me like you had a really bad 20 minutes, but the rest of the day was pretty awesome.” So, I had taken that 20 minutes and I had amplified that and so my memory of the day was that it was a terrible day but she helped correct the narrative. So, this is where getting to the facts and we have a number of questions in the book that help us get to the facts but, again, we have to remember that the facts, that’s the objective reality. That’s what’s really true. That’s what can be verified. That’s what can be substantiated. That’s what’s subjective. Because oftentimes when I start talking about thinking like this, some people jump to the conclusion. They say, “Oh, so you’re a relativist. You don’t think anything is real.” I said, “No, no, no, no, no. The facts are real. I’m just saying the way that we perceive the facts, nothing in the world happens in our brains without it passing through our perceptions and that’s where the distortion can happen.” So, we have to interrogate and say, “Okay. Is that really a fact or is this a story I’ve created based on that fact?” 


So, in my case, that fact was I did have a bad 20 minutes. I think that if anybody had been in that conversation or been in that situation, they would have seen those 20 minutes and they said, “Yeah, that didn’t go very well.” But I made the jump from that to the whole day was a waste. The whole day was terrible. And so, we have to interrogate and try to get back to the facts. I like to think of the facts, Brad, like a police report or a financial statement. It’s stuff that any two people would be looking at it and would have the same perception of the facts. Yeah, that’s a fact. But what we do with it is where the difference is. Like, one mistake that sometimes we make and we can interrogate this is we think something is causation when it’s just correlation. So, for example, I use this in Austin. Did you know that there’s a correlation between shark attacks and ice cream sales?  


Brad Johnson: I wouldn’t have had I not been in Austin.  


Michael Hyatt: That’s right. I mean, it’s amazing. And apparently, if you eat ice cream in the summer, it makes your body sweeter and makes you more attracted to sharks. I’m kidding. There’s no causation there. One doesn’t cause the other. There’s merely correlation but we oftentimes stumble into the trap of thinking there’s causation. You know, that person, for example, we walked down the hallway and that person frowns at us, or they don’t look us in the eye. And we create an entire story based on that. We think, “Oh my gosh, Brad’s mad at me. He didn’t look at me in the eye,” or, “I just met this person and they won’t look me in the eye. They certainly don’t have self-confidence.” But what if the real story in that latter case was that it’s just they’re from a different culture where you don’t look people in the eye. They practice what’s called cultural deference. Or what if that person was not looking them in the eye because they were sidetracked based on a story completely unrelated to me? Not everything has to be about you, Megan says, and I think it’s a great thing to remember, “Nobody thinks about you more than you think about you.”  


[Amy Porterfield]


Brad Johnson: All right. For this clip, it comes to us from Amy Porterfield, who is one of the most prolific digital course creators on the planet. And this little-known fact, many don’t know this, Amy actually started out working for Tony Robbins a decade plus ago, and she picked up and shared this tip on the podcast. She called it the 20/80 rule and what it unlocks when it comes to not only coaching but how to coach people to take action, which obviously, as a financial advisor, that’s really important in what we do day-to-day. So, be sure to check out this clip. 


Amy Porterfield: One thing I’ve learned along the way, and I probably got this from Tony is that, you know, whatever someone wants to do, whether they want to build a portfolio, they want to change around their finances, they want to work with a financial advisor for many, many different reasons. At the end of the day, there’s like 20% is the mechanics, how you’re going to do it, how you’re going to save, how you’re going to invest. But there’s about 80% of the mindset and how they look at money, how they look at their own worth, how they look at their legacy is so incredibly important. And this applies to so many different areas. It applies to my business when people are creating courses. It applies to a financial advisor’s business as well. And so, when I say that, Tony used to teach 20% mechanics and 80% is the mindset and I believe that for everything that we do when we work with our clients.


So, my point being is that you’ve got to tap into the mindset. If you want people to get results, if you want them to stick with you, if you want them to do the work, you can’t just give them the strategy, the saving strategy, the investment strategy, even explaining to them how their money is going to work and how they’re going to make it go further. It’s not enough if you don’t help them shift their mindset. And one way to do that, the way I do it in my business for my students is in my courses when someone gets to a module that I know is going to be tough, Module 3: How to Outline Your Entire Course feels daunting to someone who’s never done it. So, before they dive in, a video will pop up and all it is is a pep talk and I’ll say, “Okay. You’re going to get into something you’re not going to like. You’re going to think you can’t do it. You’re going to think it’s going to take too long.” I take all the objections and I put them on the table and then I remind them why they’re doing this, what it means for them, and I future pace them in my pep talk. And I believe that is important for any industry that is working with someone who is looking to get results. So, it’s tapping in more into the mindset than the strategy, the techniques, the technology, whatever it might be.


Brad Johnson: That’s so good. I love that. I’m just applying that to our business and it’s like, “Hey, it’s going to require change. It’s going to require maybe starting to get into and understand things maybe you haven’t explored before or you’re unfamiliar with.” Yeah. That’s awesome. I love that. And right there, I’m going to have our coaches go back and listen because I know we pride ourselves a ton on just the curriculum, the content, and it’s a lot of the mechanics, but I think if the mindset isn’t right to your point, that’s where I’ve just seen people they just check out. It’s like, “This is overwhelming. I can’t do it. Only that advisor on the stage can do it because they’re special. It’s not me.” And so, I love just more of a focus there. Any other like just let’s call them human objection? You just kind of listed a handful there but you’ve just seen that hold people back from taking action.


Amy Porterfield: Well, a really big one is that people will say they don’t have the bandwidth or they don’t have the time right now. That one comes up a lot and I see it come across many different industries. And again, so when I do a webinar, at the end of the webinar, I’ve taught, I’ve added value, I delivered on my promise, and I sell something. So, my webinars are all free and I will always sell a digital course at the end. And after I sell it and tell them where to go to buy it, people are still on. They want to ask me questions, they’re kind of on the fence, and that’s when I literally rattle off every objection that I see come up. Much like what I said in the pep talk, you’re putting it all on the table. But the reason I do that is because I want them to know, “I know exactly what you’re thinking right now.” And so, one of the ones that comes up a lot is, “I don’t have the time, I don’t have the bandwidth.” So, what I do is exactly what I mentioned. I future pace. So, you not making time for it right now, what does that mean for you in five years from now? Where will you be? What will that look like?


If you don’t do this, you don’t move something around, make the time, or change how you’re thinking about it, what does that mean for you in just a few short years? And we talk about that and I have people type in, “If you don’t create your course now to create an additional stream of revenue, where are you going to be in a year from now? What will you be struggling with? What are you going to want to be doing but you haven’t yet?” Like, I have them answer that question. And so, again, just keep coming back to those objections but choosing the ones that are most relevant for your industry is the most important.


Brad Johnson: Love that. And I believe that is such a common objection in every business that sell something. I feel like the invention of the iPhone has created so much distraction that nobody has time for anything anymore. They didn’t have time for an hour-long course anymore. You had to scrunch it down. Have you connected with a guy named Simon Bowen before?


Amy Porterfield: No.


Brad Johnson: Out of Australia? So, he has something called a futures model. And he’s a whiteboarding expert and he’s brilliant. So, if you want an intro, happy to make it but what you just reminded me of is one of his models and he calls it the red line and the green line. And the green line is up and to the right where they want to go with life. And the red line is, I believe, what he’d say over time what happens is drift. If you’re not intentional, that red line drifts down. And what I love around procrastination is he says, “Today is the closest you will ever be to the green line, because the further you go out, the further away you get.” And so, he uses that same psychology. And that’s what you just remind me of. And what’s funny is that that simple visual model works for our advisors when they’re dealing with clients that have procrastination.



DBDL podcast episode conversations are intended to provide financial advisors with ideas, strategies, concepts and tools that could be incorporated into their business and their life. Financial professionals are responsible for ensuring implementation of anything discussed related to business is done so in accordance with any and all regulatory, compliance responsibilities and obligations.

The Triad member statements reflect their own experience which may not be representative of all Triad Member experiences, and their appearances were not paid for.

Copyright ©️ 2023 Triad Partners. All rights reserved.


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