When James Cameron, world famous movie director, was starting the revolutionary AVATAR movie project he had t–shirts made up for his crew:
Hope is not a strategy.
Luck is not a factor.
Fear is not an option.
He was trying to instill a number of things to his team.
You can HOPE that things will get done and everything will work out fine, or you can take control and make things happen and initiate change.
LUCK can never be counted on to be in your favor when you are creating something that’s never really been done before.
FEAR is a debilitating feeling that can flat out stop you dead in your tracks. In creating a new way to look at making movies, the fear of the unknown, potential failure or many other potential fears just couldn’t be an option if they were to succeed.
How did it work out for AVATAR? Read to the end to find out.
All these same things can be said about the dealings with the regulatory changes facing the financial services industry and the DOL fiduciary rule.
HOPE has been the strategy for many insurance companies, distributors, and sales people.
“The new administration will repeal this in 30 days.”
“We’re going to get a delay for 2 years . . 90 days . . .180 days.”
All based on the HOPE that someone else will fix the problem for them. Hope is not a strategy.
LUCK may not have entered into the DOL as a significant contributing factor, other than Trump winning the election!!!!
FEAR . . .now fear has definitely entered into the equation.
What the DOL has proposed has not been done before to the extent its being proposed. (Yes, WAYYY too far reaching in my opinion.)
What I can say with a fair amount of certainty . . . we WILL have some new fiduciary standards and you darn well better set whatever fears you have aside and deal with it.
Yes mistakes are going to be made, but that’s OK and it’s how we learn.
Yes, there will be significant opportunities if you develop a plan to “where the puck is going,” NOT HOPING things will come back to the way they once were.
Here’s to you being able to capture the opportunity that exists during these tumultuous times.
Whether it’s creating a ground breaking movie like AVATAR or changing the financial services industry, the same t–shirt fits.
Oh . . . How did it work out for AVATAR? Pretty well . . . highest grossing movie of all time at $2.8 billion worldwide.
AALU and NAILBA have been engaged in an important partnership for over two years – through which AALU provides government affairs support for NAILBA and its membership, and NAILBA has been central in AALU’s efforts to engage more leaders from the independent distribution community. We both recognize that, during these challenging times, associations representing distribution need to come together to drive more value, more efficiently. It is also imperative that we continue to actively communicate with our membership on issues like the DOL rule—knowing that any changes like the recent Executive Order—will affect how we work with our clients.
On Thursday, February 9, 2017 we held a joint webinar to address the many questions surrounding the DOL and our industry’s future. Please take some time to listen to the call by clicking on the image below and then press the play button.
69% of Americans say they’ve discussed their will and estate plans with their children, however, 52% of children say that is not the case. (Source: Fidelity Investments)
Seems to be a little gap here.
Parents say they told their kids . . . .
Kids say . . . .not so much.
Talking about money has never been easy. Seems one of those “personal” topics that has always been neglected, like politics, religion and sex. For someone in financial services for over 35 years, I marvel how even people in our industry don’t like to ask certain tough questions of their clients.
Their client’s health apparently being a big “no no”. How can you talk about estate planning and NOT take someone’s health into consideration?
“I’m going to leave you all my assets, son, and good luck.”
As an advisor, are you planning for 10, 20, or 30 years? Does the client have longevity in his family, or is he 200 lbs overweight and ready for his second heart attack? Does it make a difference?
DUH . . . .a . . .YEAH!
Like anything else, the first time doing something new is the toughest. Get yourself prepared . . . a list of questions . . . .and what you want to say.
- The emotional ones are oftentimes felt to be the toughest, but the most important.
- “Tell me about your parents. Are they still alive? If not, when did they pass away and what from? Any genetic concerns we need to consider planning for?”
- “What would you REALLY like to see happen to your assets for your kids and how can I help?”
- Are they concerned that their kids might NOT be able to handle a large sum of money? Trusts can be a potential answer.
- Wills (64% of Americans DON’T have a simple will!) Don’t take it for granted that they do . . .ASK!
- Power of Attorney for financial matters and health care
- “Do you have someone picked out should you need to pass on your power of attorney to execute financial matters on your behalf?”
- “Health care power of attorney is often times overlooked. Have you decided on issues should you become sick? Is resuscitation something you want the family to do or not do for you? Answer those questions now, while you can, so your children aren’t forced into it later.”
- Spending time with the children so they get to know YOU. Not just as their “parent’s financial advisor,” but someone THEY can trust and want to continue to work with after their parents are gone!
Ask the tough questions and your clients, their kids, and their kids’ kids will thank you!!
Ok . . . so I know I’ve created this problem–getting consensus in decision making–but I want to try to fix it.
Here’s what I’m talking about.
My executive assistant, Barb, did a nice job taking the bull by the horns on a project. She sent it out for approval to three people from our team.
Total time to review and respond to Barb with the thumbs up, figure 2.5 min from each.
Follow the math with me:
2.5 min x 3 people = 7.5 min x 2 times a day this kind of thing happens = 15 min day x 5 days per week = 75 min per week x 52 weeks = 3900 min divided by 60 min in an hour = 65 hours
65 HOURS of non-productive time wasted on a topic where only one person needed to be involved in decision making, not four.
Like I said, I created this MONSTER time waster by trying to build consensus on our team.
It works on major issues, but on relatively minor projects: educate – delegate and trust your team to do the right thing.
If you need an opinion–another set of eyes–ask ONE PERSON. If you get agreement from that one person validating your position, run with the decision you’ve been given to carry out. If you disagree and can’t get agreement on something you deem IMPORTANT, then get one more involved.
Now the only question is, “What am I going to do with the 65 hours we saved?”
Make it a GREAT week. Go out and change somebody’s life today, and sell something!
This year I am thankful to have been in business for 37 years, and I might just have something to share that will make a difference in the lives of others. NAILBA 35 is now in the books and I have much to reflect on. The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies is an organization that’s responsible for about 50% of all life insurance sales in the country. I’m honored to be taking over the Chairman’s role at NAILBA in 2017. We are facing a lot of challenges in the financial services business and I like to think I’m up for those challenges for both FSFG and NAILBA.
Here are a few takeaways from the annual conference that I hope will enlighten you:
Erik Wahl – graffiti artist, author, and speaker – was a great inspiration. He brings art and its correlation to creativity and business to the forefront. Seeing his passion and sheer joy for what he DOES is what inspired me. Passion is a difference maker in life. Make it part of YOUR life and check out Erik on YouTube.
Ted Koppel – noted television journalist and author – talked about global issues facing our country and, of course, the recent election. Becoming a “student of the game,” whether YOUR game is elections, global affairs, or selling insurance, is important for gaining differing perspectives on far reaching topics and expanding your horizons. Become a lifetime learner.
Relevancy. Whether you’re part of a leading association like NAILBA, an insurance company, or a distribution company like FSFG, we all need to focus on our relevancy in a quickly changing economic environment. Focus on providing VALUE to your customers on a non-commoditized basis and you will WIN!
Finally, let’s talk about having FUN. At the conference, AIG sponsored a “competition” on PlayStation – a NASCAR driving simulator. I’m not a gamer, but I quickly understood the attraction to this type of activity. And yes, there were prizes for the three fastest times, BUT that wasn’t the motivation for me. Having FUN and winning was (although I finished out of the money by less than a second)! The life lesson here is…Don’t take yourself too seriously, and always make time to smile, laugh, and have FUN.
Make it a GREAT week. Go out and change somebody’s life today, and sell something!
So what’s your guess?
Would you rather have created the Star Wars movie franchise and their 6 movies . . . OR . . . sold the merchandise?
I’ll wait a minute as you think about it . . . . and the winner is . . . .
More than $32 billion worth of Star Wars merchandise has been sold since 1977, dwarfing the $4.5 billion earned by the six box office films. -The Telegraph, May 29, 2015
WOW! 7 times more money made selling the stuff or a by product of the movie!
This doesn’t include the new movie just out and all the merchandising associated with it.
Takeaways? Just a few that come to mind for the entrepreneur:
- Branding– creating your own is great. Playing off someone else’s to provide your products and services works too.
- Strategic partnerships– merchandising certainly makes sense. Connections with the actors – the story – I’m sure there’s other ideas here.
- Applications within other industries– how can you “hitch your wagon” to a rising star? Who has the hot product – concept – technology – brand – that you can help enhance with your product – service or idea?
Our firm is doing that by providing solutions to existing needs that the financial services industry has by adding simpler processes to sell our insurance based products with iPipeline and unique value added tools like BizEquity, the worlds largest business valuation company.
Happy to discuss the concept further with those interested and help change the industry.