Each morning, I find a quote that speaks to me and then I post it on my prioritized action list for the day. Here are 10 quotes that recently made my list along with what they mean to me.
Listen as I Discuss 10 Quotes That Speak to Me
1. “If you want to achieve any goal in life, go four to six seconds, point A to B, as hard as you can.” Urban Meyer
Notice there’s three components here. There’s a duration of 4 to 6 seconds, which is the length of a football play. There’s a direction, point a to b, and there’s a determination to work it as hard as you can. I think this a great way to look at your goals. For every goal you need to have the three D’s; you need a Duration, a Direction, and a Determination to pursue it with relentless effort.
2. When we have arrived at the question, the answer is already near. Ralph Waldo Emerson
In society, we’re always looking for the answers but the reality is, if we can come up with the right questions that’s going to lead us down the right path. And I like to tell my coaching clients that if we come up with the right questions we are at least half of the way to the answer.
One question you could ask yourself is, “What business are you really in?” On the surface you could say you’re in the financial planning business, or you’re in the business of helping people retire comfortably, but if you really dig deeper, I think you’ll find a different answer. You may have heard of the five whys questioning technique that came from Toyota. You could use that same idea to really dig deep to understand the business you are really in. By continuing to ask yourself, “Is that really the business we’re in” several times, you will get to the core of what you do.
I would also recommend that you go back and listen to the podcast I did with Ian Chamandy about his new book, “Why Should I Choose You?” We had a fantastic discussion that revolved around answering the question “What business are we really in?” and the answer to that will help you come up with your core proposition.
3. It is a mistake for anyone to think he has lived too long in his old unsatisfactory ways to make the great change. If you switch on the light in a dark room, it makes no difference how long it was dark because the light will still shine. Be teachable. That is the whole secret. The Daily Guru
This quote really speaks to me because essentially it’s saying two things. First, it says you can change in an instant. And I firmly believe that you can be thinking about something for days or weeks or months but then the moment that you make a decision to move forward, to make that change, to take a specific action to say yes or say no, the instant that you do that just takes a second. The trick is to really shorten that learning curve and make those changes faster so that’s the first point that I like about this.
The second point I want to make about this quote is the idea of being teachable. We all have to be able to learn new things. The world is moving too fast to think what we learned last year is still valid today. Take a look at yourself, what’s something new and important that you’ve learned in the past year that has had a measurable impact on your life?
4. Respond to every call that excites your spirit. Rumi
If there is something that’s capturing your attention, don’t let it go. We only have one life here and we have to make sure that we pursue it to the fullest. Right now one thing that is exciting my spirit is the pursuit of buying and renovating an old historic building. My wife would start an art gallery on the first floor, I’d move my office to the second floor, and we might even add a condo with a rooftop deck. What excites your spirit right now?
5. Your beliefs write themselves on your biology. Tash Mitch
When you believe in something so strongly that it gets to every fiber in the core of your body, it does change your biology. What you need to remember here is what are you feeding your body and I’m not talking from a food standpoint. I’m talking about from a mental standpoint. What are the stories that you’re telling yourself? Are you telling yourself empowering stories or are you telling yourself excuses for not being able to do the things that you want to do?
There’s no limit to what each person listening to this podcast can accomplish. The only thing that limits you is your belief system and your desire to actually accomplish it. It doesn’t have to be something to change the world. It doesn’t have to be that you become a $10 million dollar producer or you raise $1 billion in assets under management. If it’s one of those things, fine, but it doesn’t have to be. Just make sure that whatever you’re feeding yourself, whatever you are telling yourself, it must be empowering and lift you up toward your objectives.
6. If all you are receiving for your work is money, you are being grossly underpaid. Alan Cohen
Whether it’s an employee that is complaining about their pay or whether it’s you and you’re employed by someone else, if you’re constantly feeling like you’re underpaid it’s because you’re not happy in the job itself. If you find yourself in that position or if you have an employee who was in that position then you need to have a conversation, you need to look in the mirror and say, “Am I just trying to get paid more money to make it bearable for me to continue in this situation?” If the answer is yes, either fix the job or find a new one.
7. He did each single thing as if he did nothing else. Charles Dickens
The point is simply this; be focused, be clear on what the most important thing is that you need to be doing at any given moment. If you’re at work, what’s the most important thing that you need to be focusing on? If you’re at home, what’s the most important thing you need to be focusing on? If you’re with your spouse or your kids or friends or colleagues, what is the most important thing that you need to be focusing on in that moment?
Your work, your relationships, and your results will improve dramatically if you can just stay focused and in the moment.
8. The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. Hans Hoffmann
In the business of financial advising or investment management, it’s easy to slip into the idea that we need to sound sophisticated, or we need to use fancy language to impress our clients with just how much we know about this business. But the reality is the simpler that we can make things, the more effectively we can communicate them. And ultimately you’ll get better results for your clients when they understand what it is that you’re trying to do.
I think this also relates to the previous quote about the idea of focus. If we can simplify things to their essence and focus on those, that will lead to excellent results. So take a look around at how you are doing business right now. What can you simplify? Can you make your website easier to navigate? Can you make it easier for prospects to contact you? Can you get clearer on your messaging and what makes your firm unique?
(Side note: Hans Hofmann is one of my favorite artists and the image on the blog post is from him. CLICK HERE to learn more about him.)
9. Execution. The last 99%. Tom Peters
If you don’t get to the execution part then everything else that comes before it is worthless. This is a lesson that I continue to learn. You have to execute. You have to have a sense of urgency. In fact, my three words for this year, the first word is launch. And I’m happy to say I did have one launch a couple months ago (A Retirement Coaching Training Program) and I have a much bigger one coming later this year.
When it comes to execution, I would much rather see you take action and make a mistake then err on the side of doing a lot of thinking and planning but not nearly as much executing.
In a similar fashion, Herb Kelleher, the founder and longime CEO of Southwest Airlines said, “We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things.” There’s a book called Nuts, that I read a long time ago about Kelleher and Southwest Airlines and I highly recommend it. Buy it here.
10. When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. George Washington Carver
This is exactly what Starbucks has done. They took the idea of a cup of coffee, they wrapped it in a brand experience, then they doubled or tripled the price and made you glad to pay it. A lot of financial advisors may think that they are in an unbranded business, that all financial advisors do pretty much the same thing. I think that is a false assumption. There are many opportunities for financial advisors to carveout a brand to identify what makes them uniquely remarkable, to find ways to do common things in an uncommon way as George Washington Carver said.
What quotes inspire you? Please share them in the comments section below.
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