Stop holding yourself back
Financial Advisors: How to Hold Yourself Accountable and Eliminate Self-Defeating Behaviors. If you’re not getting the results and success you want as a financial advisor, it’s easy for you to blame outside factors. But in many cases, you may be the one hindering your own success. Is that a surprise to you? I have been coaching financial advisors since 2004 and I know the lies we tell ourselves to avoid doing what we need to do.
To learn more about how to get rid of self-defeating behaviors and hold yourself accountable, continue reading below.
What Is Accountability?
Accountability refers to accepting and taking responsibility for your actions – or even your lack of actions.
In other words, accountability refers to how willing you are to objectively assess your actions and do what you’re supposed to do.
Since accountability is an abstract concept, it may be easier for you to understand it with the help of some concrete examples.
What Are Examples of Holding Yourself Accountable?
For example, in the context of a corporation, a company is accountable to its shareholders for its performance. Internally, the employees of the company hold themselves accountable to the company by showing up to work prepared for the day and by engaging in the tasks they’re supposed to perform.
As a financial advisor, you’re accountable to your clients and must provide your services to them to the best of your ability. You’re also accountable to yourself and must ensure you’re not holding yourself back.
Self-defeating behaviors are actions you take that stop you from achieving your goals and desired outcomes.
What Are Self-Defeating Behaviors That Keep You From Achieving Your Goals?
Self-defeating behavior prevents, reduces, or limits your ability to achieve your desired outcome. For example, you may know that you have an onboarding meeting with a client tomorrow but fail to prepare for it because you procrastinate. Aside from procrastination, self-defeating behaviors also take the following forms:
As a Financial Advisor, How Can You Hold Yourself Accountable?
If you’ve been engaging in self-defeating behavior and have been holding yourself back, you can counter these by holding yourself accountable. Here’s how.
Ask Yourself if This Activity Is Contributing to the Growth of Your Practice
When you find yourself performing an activity, it helps to consider whether that activity brings you closer to your goals. If it doesn’t, drop it. If it does, consider whether the growth you get out of the activity is significant enough in proportion to the time you spend. You may find that you can grow your practice more effectively by spending your time doing other things.
Tie Completion of Activities to Taking Time Off
It’s essential to take breaks throughout the day; however, if you find yourself slacking the whole day, you won’t get much done. So, to hold yourself accountable, you may wish only to allow yourself to take a break after accomplishing a certain number of tasks or working for a certain amount of time.
Adjust Your Mindset
You may consider to focus on the positive aspects of your career and your personal life. Doing so will allow you to make any necessary adjustments by finding ways to enhance even further the good things in your professional life and personal life and will prevent you from entertaining self-defeating thoughts.
You may start your self-assessment by writing journal entries. Think about how your decisions in your past currently impact your life, and be sure to jot down how you were able to create favorable situations for yourself.
Establish a Long-Term Goal
Establishing a long-term goal will help keep you accountable. When you think about what you should or shouldn’t be doing right now, you can easily filter out unnecessary tasks by considering whether it’s aligned with your goal.
Your long-term goal is yours, and you can choose whether you want it to be a broad objective or a specific one. Once you’ve chosen one, you should promise yourself you’re going to take whatever actions are necessary to achieve your goal. To support your efforts, you should create actionable tasks that bring you closer to this goal.
Define Your Values
Another tip to help keep yourself accountable is to review your values and consider what motivates you to succeed. Through this process of reflection, you may increase your enthusiasm for what you do and the long-term goal that you set.
To make things more concrete, write a couple of memorable and actionable tasks that define one aspect of your value system that you want to hone in on. Don’t overthink it. Just write what comes to mind, and adjust it later if needed.
Set a Timeline
Without a timeline, keeping yourself accountable can be difficult. Making a clear schedule or timeline will let you know precisely what you need to be doing and when.
Although it may be tempting to fill your schedule up in order to be as productive as possible, you’re going to want to be realistic about what you can finish each day. Being realistic with your schedule allows you to stick to the plan and come up with high-quality results.
If you’re new to creating a timeline or schedule, you may start by typing all your responsibilities into a blank document. Then, it would be best if you prioritized these responsibilities based on importance and urgency. Finally, assign these tasks to specific dates and times.
Closely related to the previous tip, it would help if you would create lists. You can use a spreadsheet application or a pen and paper to do so.
Since there are many tasks involved in running your financial advisory firm, you may wish to create several lists organized by category. For example, you may create a separate list for marketing activities and another for accounting work. You may also opt to create separate lists for each of your clients.
Finish One Task Before You Start Another
When you start a task, make it a point to finish that task before moving on or switching to another one. If a task is too big for you to finish in one go, break it down into smaller sub-tasks.
Track Your Progress
To hold yourself accountable, you’re going to want to act as your own supervisor and track your progress. You can do so by reviewing your work habits and output each month. For example, you can check whether you’ve met your goals for the month.
If you find that your progress isn’t satisfactory, take this time to figure out how you can improve and do better next month.
Create a Reward System
If you find yourself consistently achieving what you’ve set out to do, it would be best to reward yourself.
You can match the size of the reward to the significance of the goal you’ve met. For example, you can give yourself a small reward each time you gain a new client for whom you provide financial advisory services. If you achieve your annual income goal, then it’s off to Puerto Vallarta for you!
Ask Contacts for Feedback
Contact someone you respect and ask them for feedback on your work conduct, strengths, and skills. This could be another financial advisor you’ve worked with in the past or any trusted contact.
It’s important to ask for an objective opinion since honest feedback can help you discover new areas you can improve on in the future.
Hold Someone Else Accountable
Make it a point to meet with a friend or a professional contact and take time to set mutual accountability goals, as well as check-in days. Although it would be best to find someone who has similar goals as yourself, you don’t necessarily have to find someone who works in the finance industry.
The point of this exercise is to find someone who can check in with you and make sure you’re on track. You’ll be providing helpful pressure and support to one another.
Prepare Yourself for a Successful Day
Make it as easy as possible for you to succeed each day. Be sure you organize your desk and your digital folders to ensure it’s easy for you to find and use whatever tools or documents you need at any given time. Having everything set before you start your day reduces the time and energy it takes to start a task.
For example, if you’re meeting with a client tomorrow, take time the night before to sort out all relevant documents you’ll need to ensure the meeting goes smoothly. When you meet with your client, you can spend the bulk of the time productively rather than sifting through documents.
Use an Accountability Application
There are dozens of mobile applications you can download for free to help you stay accountable to yourself. Depending on which app you choose, the app may help you track your goals, stick to good habits, or manage your time. Choose the app that works best for you and your situation.
Design a Vision Board
Some may not think it’s useful, but I highly recommend creating your own vision board. This vision board will serve as a poster with photos and phrases to keep you motivated to achieve your goals. Having this visual representation of your goals that you can see every day may help reinforce your enthusiasm regarding your work.
There are no strict rules when it comes to making your own vision board; however, you may wish to make use of magazine clippings, images from the internet, and personal photos to stick to a large poster board or sheet of paper.
We sometimes forget that we’re more in control of our success than we may believe. A simple change in mindset to get rid of self-defeating thoughts and behaviors, as well as the implementation of a few accountability systems, can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals as a financial advisor.
Should you need more tips, check out the other articles on my blog or book a consultation with me today for more specialized help.