How to Separate Yourself from the Competition

By Dr. Jack Singer

Many veteran advisors contact me with the following questions:

  • “I make a nice living in my career, but others seem to make much more?”
  • “ What are they doing differently?”
  • “Why am I so much more stressed than they seem to be?”
  • “Maybe they are more cut out for this career than I am?”

In my 33 years of consulting with Olympic, World Champion, and professional athletes, and comparing them to elite athletes who never reach those heights, I have come to a major conclusion:

       Everyone is gifted, but most people need

       help ”unwrapping their gifts,” because those

       gifts sit dormant, buried under layers of

       self-doubt, fear of failure, and feeling like

      they really don’t have what it takes to

      make a lifelong career of financial advising.

Once advisors recognize and believe in their special “gifts,” they can literally separate themselves from the competition.

Helping advisors to uncover their true “gifts” requires understanding the cause of their insecurity and planning game-changing alternative thinking habits.

What Causes Your Insecurity and Keeps Your “Gift” Buried?

In earlier blogs, I have discussed the “Impostor Fear,” very common among advisors at various stages in their careers.  Many advisors, like many elite athletes, feel like impostors, having much less belief in their ability than their managers, parents, colleagues and spouses have in them. These advisors attribute their current “success” to luck and in their heart of hearts believe that sooner or later the bottom will fall out when these people realize that their “hero” really is inadequate.

Eliminating Your “Impostor Fear:”

The fastest way to eradicate this fear is to recognize the thinking patterns that develop it in the first place, and then changing your thinking to healthier habits.  Here are examples of thought patterns that lead to insecurity and the “Impostor Fear:”

  • “I am not nearly as successful an advisor as the others in my company, so I am not a good advisor.”
  • “My future as an advisor is probably bleak.”
  • “I have no control over my destiny. It’s only a matter of time before I embarrass myself with my clients.” 

Understand that those thoughts are self-sabotaging and are not usually based on rational conclusions, but instead on irrational fears about what might happen in the future.

Whenever you catch yourself thinking negative, self-defeating thoughts about your career, stop those thoughts dead in their tracks by snapping a rubber band (e.g., the fat kind that come in the mail) on your wrist, while saying to yourself:  “Stop this silly thinking right now.”

Next, substitute more rational thoughts such as the following:

  • “I have helped many clients have the peace of mind that my wealth management plan has provided for them and their families.”
  • “I have special skills that make me a real asset as an advisor.”
  • “All advisors make mistakes, and no one is perfect. Certainly none of us can accurately predict the market and economy. I can forgive myself for not being perfect as I continue to elevate my skills and serve my clients to the best of my ability.”

Once you practice eliminating the negative, self-sabotaging thoughts that have kept your true “gifts” buried, and replace those thoughts with healthy, rational, positive thoughts about your success, you will begin to separate yourself from the competition, build your book of business and flourish in your advising career!

Action Plan:

  • Make a list of the negative, self-destructive thoughts that go through your mind about your career. Be honest with yourself and write them all down.
  • Have a written list of positive, rational thoughts about your career (as in the examples above).
  • Discover the variety of thought stopping techniques that can be found in my book, “The Financial Advisor’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide,” and practice them daily. It’s really easy!