FA Tactical Tip: Perseverance is a Team Sport

You never have to do life or business alone — not even if you’re a member of the introvert family (like me and thousands of financial advisors )!

I bet you recently saw the story of Diana Nyad, world record-holding long-distance swimmer.

I was working in the city (Manhattan) when she swam 28 miles around the island in 1975. Since then, I’ve read about her tries and fails. Now, 38 frig’n years later, on her 5th attempt, at age 62, she swam 110 miles between Cuba and Florida. Amazing!

Did you catch the 3 nuggets of advice Diana had for the world as she stood on the beach?

"One is, we should never, ever give up. Two is, you’re never too old to chase your dream. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team."

Diana Nyad

TeamworkYeah, life is a team effort for sure. Sometimes people know that they’re a part of your team — your friends, family, and those you pay to be part of your business team. But often, people don’t even know they’ve been on your team — but they sure made the difference! Former teachers that gave you "food for thought" or a kind word when you needed it. People you’ve met for just a few moments that gave you a lift. The stranger that gave you an ah-ha moment. Even the author whose article you’ve read or speaker whose talk helped you move ahead. They’ve all been part of your team.

I remember the 2nd grader who needed to practice for Holy Communion with 100 of her fellow classmates and she was very scared to be such a big, dark church. She didn’t want to go in. She just cried and cried. I was a 5th grader and found myself volunteering to walk beside her and then stay in church for the 8-10 afternoons of practice. I promised to go to church on her special day, to make sure she was ok, and I did. While I don’t remember her name, it could have been Patricia or Catherine, she helped me learn empathy.

I was on her team…and she was on mine.

We are never too old to chase our dreams. Just ask Dear Abby. Sometime in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s, I was sitting on the trading desk and read a profound Dear Abby column. Here it is.

Dear Abby:
I am a 36-year-old college dropout whose lifelong ambition was to be a physician. I have a very good job selling pharmaceutical supplies, but my heart is still in the practice of medicine. I do volunteer work at the local hospital on my time off, and people tell me I would have made a wonderful doctor.

If I go back to college and get my degree, then go to medical school, do my internship and finally get into the actual practice of medicine, it will take me seven years! But, Abby, in seven years I will be 43 years old. What do you think?

Unfulfilled in Philly

Dear Unfulfilled:
And how old will you be in seven years if you don’t go to medical school?

So don’t let age, medical conditions, car accidents, or even recessions keep you from reaching your dreams.

Ask for help from people you need on your Dream Team and watch for the ones that will inevitably appear. Above all, never give up on something you really believe in!

For more insights from Dear Abby, visit her website

Join The Conversation

Who’s on your team and why? Post a comment below.

©2013 Maria Marsala guides independent financial advisors to reach their 5-year business and personal goals in 24 months. She is a business coach, speaker, and a former Wall Street Trader. Named one of the Top 30 International Coaching Gurus in 2011, Maria has been recognized as a thought leader whose ideas have been published in Financial Planning Magazine, RIA Biz, Advisor Max, Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous books, trade journals, and magazines. She has authored four business-building workbooks including, Attracting Clients You Love Working With: 6 Steps to a Profitable Client Base. Did you find this article thought-provoking? Get more delivered directly to your inbox every two weeks by signing up here: www.CoachMaria.com


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Financial Advisors: Is it time (yet) to lighten up?

Creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum nor does it happen when you’re busy 24/7. It’s a running joke with my staff, who know when I’m taking a trip on the ferry, boat, or somewhere different. I send them some very interesting articles, concepts, or new programs soon afterwards.

Below are some examples of ways to lighten-up… or take some time off to regroup during the day or get inspired.

a) One of my favorite places on the web was designed by ICQ (one of the original instant message companies).   While I can’t find it on their website, here it is on another site.  http://www.webworksllc.com/I_Like_You.cfm or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk6r41zbNJc


b) 2 Minutes:  What can you do in two minutes?  If you love the sound of the ocean, this website will show you how you can “do nothing for 2 minutes”



c) Good things happen all the time.  This site has great photos of cool things.   http://www.wherecoolthingshappen.com/


d)  Listen to videos about people doing good things.   http://storytellersforgood.com/


e)  Value is worth watching.   http://www.values.com/inspirational-stories-tv-spots/122-Annie-s-Song

f)  Serenity Cards:  Started at a list, I now sell them in card format, delivered in a golden box — wrapped if you wish.  Here is a list of the cards:

http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/50-ways-business-owners-find-serenity-during-the-holidays/  and you can order cards to download here  or to give as a gift here http://bit.ly/1bqhlaf 


Financial Advisor Tactical Tips: Sign Up for SUCCESS

3. Sign Up for SUCCESS

As a financial advisor, chances are you read a lot of books, websites, and magazines about your industry. That’s important, but not enough for you personally. I recommend subscribing to SUCCESS Magazine. The magazine articles look at success the best way and only way, in my opinion — holistically. It includes both personal and business development tips and tools that will enlighten and inspire you. Topics include goal setting, marriage, leadership, life balance, giving back and more. Plus you’ll receive an audio CD each month on a topic that revolves around being successful.


Register now for SUCCESS Magazine at a deep discount off the retail price. Listen to the CD in your car or home office and take action — a small or large step — each month on one thing you’ve learned. Recycle your copy of SUCCESS Magazine by giving it to your team to read and have a monthly discussion on the topic of the CD. Or put your business label on the cover and give it to your clients to share. Learn more here


Our tips may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

©2013 Elevating Your Business. Maria Marsala is a Business Coach to Financial Advisors and a former Wall Street Trader. She helps independent and fee-based financial advisors reach their 5-year business and personal goals in 24 months. Maria has been recognized as a thought leader whose ideas have been published in Financial Planning Magazine, RIA Biz, Advisor Max, Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous other books, trade journals, and magazines. If you liked this article, get them delivered to your Inbox every two weeks. Register here

The Top 10 Factors Which Contributed To My Success by Thomas Leonard

I have had a few bosses who I remember fondly and only 3 that had such a profound effect on my life.   Thomas was one of them.  He was my boss for 3 years.  He was a CFP who is known as the father of the profession of coaching.   He lived a full life.  Born a few months before me, in July 1955, he died on February 11, 2003.  Ten years ago, but it seems like yesterday.  He still has lessons to teach us all.  What can you learn from his article?  Let us know by posting your comment below

Created on 11/21/96.

I was recently asked this question by a coach and I thought it would be fun to think “back” and identify the key factors.

1.  I had a vision.

Well, it wasn’t really a vision at first; more like something I was really interested in – – training coaches and creating new/better ways to serve my clients. I had this idea  that it would be possible to train a coach in an hour. Sounds silly, but this goal/vision has influenced and motivated me because it’s so BIG and would require a radically different approach to coach training. It’s called a vision, because it’s clear to me that this will occur, and hopefully during my lifetime.

2. I created a game that others could also win at.

In helping to “package and popularize” the coaching profession, I opened the door for thousands of professionals to become coaches and earn a great living at it.  When you give folks access/faster access to money and happiness, they’ll return the favor in many ways: personal support, gratitude, referrals, cash  contribution/gifts, etc. Value has been added and folks pay you back when they receive value. Simple as that. The funny part of it has been that the financial cost  of me adding this value to others has not been very expensive. It was very expensive, personally/emotionally/spiritually, however.

3. I was entirely selfish in my efforts, yet….

I was looking out for me and doing things (writing, teaching, etc.) that gave me pleasure or energy or money. When in doubt, I put myself, my intuition, my needs, my opinion first. I made plenty of righteous mistakes, but I’ve come to believe in my approach. Dangerous perhaps, but tempered by an EQUAL dose of ‘standing in the shoes of my  customers/clients/students’ and feeling/guessing/asking what would serve them most TODAY. So, I was being really selfish, but getting my inspiration/direction/guidance from my customers. This selfish/contributory dynamic works really well for me.

4. I asked my critics to take a hike.

I could definitely would have made fewer mistakes if I was willing to listen to my critics. But the fact is, I am too SENSITIVE to hear much criticism, even if accurate. And, some people just think that it’s their role in life to point out other people’s weaknesses and boo-boo’s. I got really tired of that and decided to surround myself with folks who agreed with me AND who could point out errors with LOTS of sensitivity. I’m a believer that my sensitivity/reactiveness has permitted me to create cool stuff. I’ve given up the conventional wisdom that you should be really open to criticism from all sources. No thanks.

5. I had several key coaches and partners who were incredibly supportive.

As I was building Coach University and my other ventures, I had lots of emotional support. I needed it, given my history with depression and other stuff. These folks kept my spirits up, endorsed me and even the dumb ideas I’ve had, etc., because they had FAITH in what I was up to. Plus, they were personally and financially benefiting from my efforts, so they had a vested interest.

6. I kept my personal and business expenses, very, very, very low.

I live on less than $40,000 a year; Coach University is primarily volunteer-run. Both mattered a lot. It’s hard to make money in the training business and I knew I was going to make mistakes rearing this baby. Mistakes are/were financially expensive — but because Coach U was volunteer-based, I could afford to incur/pay for those “learning curve” mistakes and not put the company at great financial risk.

7. I knew that I was going to sell Coach University from the day that I started it.

Having this goal in mind gave me some of the emotional freedom I needed to keep working at it. Having sold Coach U in mid-1996, I look back on the experience and believe that the timing was perfect; it was strong/structured/viable enough to sell and the right person (Sandy Vilas) bought it.

8. I create by fully responding, not by trying to create.

Life is my creative catalyst. I am a far better “responder” to what’s going on right in front of/around me than I am at creating from scratch. The key is to surrender to responding vs. trying to initiate new stuff all of the time (too exhausting!). I feel/am sensitized to a lot of what’s going on around me, so I always have something to write about or create. My inspiration comes from others/life/situations; not from me.

9. I put myself on a progressive thinking track.

I am interested in how I think and in how the world is evolving. I read everything from Wired Magazine to The Economist; from USA Today to the Wall Street Journal; from The New Yorker to the New York Times. I read for the pleasure of it, but also know that reading such a list of magazines affects my thinking and educates my mind — not just with facts, but with IDEAS! I create by feeling/getting and I have CHOSEN to surround myself with ideas, trends, information and people/writers to affect me greatly. It’s SO much easier this way!

10. I continually add value, everywhere and for everyone.

If I have something that I can share with others, or if I can improve something that I’ve created, I do so. My goal with Coach U was to double the value that students got from the program each year, yet keep the tuition at $2495. I think it’s fair to say that this has worked and will keep working. I know of no other company that both thinks AND acts in this way. If I had to pick out the #1 source of my success, it would be this one: Adding value, everywhere and always, just for the pleasure of it.

About the Submitter: This piece was submitted by Thomas J. Leonard. His site is maintained at www.thomasleonard.com Copyright 97, 98, 99, 00, 2001 CoachVille

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