Life Is More Than a Highlight Reel

AdviserBlast – Quick Tips to Accelerate Your Practice

In this issue: When we treat the routine details as "boring," we can miss the big opportunities we're looking for.


While playing golf last week, we got talking about the soccer World Cup. One guy said that he just watches the highlights on the news because they show the main action and you can see exactly what happens at the key parts of the match. "The rest is just boring," he said.

That got me thinking that we can end up looking at life that way, sometimes. We keep looking for the "big moments," like a huge deal to close or high net-worth clients to sign over everything to us. We start to measure our success by the size of highlight.

And these moments ARE great – unfortunately we can also start to treat everything in between as mundane or "just boring." We get so focused on finding the big moments, we take the smaller details for granted and perhaps even treat them as irrelevant.

The problem is that when we dismiss the more routine details as unworthy of our attention or best efforts, just because they are not very exciting, the frequency of the big moments wanes. By consistently doing the routine things well, we actually set ourselves up for bigger and more frequent highlights.

While I'm not saying every single thought and action must be approached with distinct purpose and gusto, I am advocating you understand that your approach will determine the quality of all your performances, whether in the more mundane details or in the events that will make the "highlight reel."

From the moment of the soccer goalie's initial first pass to the defender, each player must play his position with the next goal in mind. The ball is not just kicked up the field recklessly and with no regard to the desired outcome. Even when there are eleven opposing players in the way and the potential for team members to make mistakes, each player must think through his actions and move on purpose to earn the opportunity for the team to score a stunning goal, potentially the one that wins the game.

The goal is simply the end result of making each encounter count.

Are there areas of your business you are taking for granted and not giving the attention they need because they have become mundane and boring? When prospecting, we can get lax and start to use a weary tone, instead of treating our conversation like the first step toward landing a dream client it could be. Or, we get to the next stage, but don't follow up with sending out material as fast as we said we would. Maybe we justify our relaxed attitude, thinking that we have been here before and know how things go, but in reality we get sloppy, and opportunities drift by because we didn't respond as sharply as we could.

To effectively address the mundane things that set the opportunity for the highlights:

  1. Assess exactly why you're doing these activities in the first place – If they truly are irrelevant, eradicate them. If they're important, give them the focus they need.
  2. Take pride in doing the small steps well – Do them thoroughly, and performing excellently in both small and big things will become a welcome habit.
  3. Make every step count – Don't wait for the big "goal scoring" opportunities to arise to put forth your best because they won't come unless the smaller, seemingly unseen things are taken care of properly and professionally.

Instead of waiting for the highlights to happen, learn to seize every opportunity and respond in such a way as to make a new, exciting highlight addition every day.

Make your practice count!

Copyright Paul Kingsman 2010


As a motivational speaker and executive coach, Paul Kingsman helps financial services professionals keep fueled-up so they can overcome distractions and stay focused to get the money they need, clients they want, and time to do what they love. Combining his experiences as an Olympic medalist and his background as an adviser for Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, Paul understands how to stay focused over the long haul, as well as the unique business challenges faced by advisers, and equips them to build the businesses they desire.

To find out more about how he can equip you or your team to achieve your own Split Second Success® through his presentations or executive coaching, visit or email him at

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