Act Before You Think

AdviserBlast – Quick Tips to Accelerate Your Practice

In this issue: Don't think twice! Put yourself on auto-pilot, and get the job done!


Sometimes we need to act more and think less!

Recently an adviser mentioned to me that while she does a great job meeting new people at various networking functions, following up immediately after an event is tough. When she gets back to her office, she's faced with issues that need her consideration. She begins thinking about these things, and they end up pulling her focus away from following through to take the next step with new acquaintances.  She knows contacting those people is important, but other things become more urgent, demanding her attention.

It can be easy to make what's directly in front of us top priority. We find ourselves devoting our energy to the issue immediately facing us, often at the expense of what we had planned to do.

Even if what we planned is important and actually a quick task – like writing a short email note to a new contact to set up a meeting over coffee to talk further – it can get shoved to the back burner, delaying it until it becomes irrelevant or even gets completely forgotten.

This is where developing a habit can really help! While developing new habits initially takes conscious effort and determined discipline, once we have established the habit, we can operate on "auto-pilot," without much thought.

The adviser determined that after attending an event she would take the first 15 minutes of her day to write follow up emails to people from whom she had collected business cards the evening before: no thinking about it or considering what might have come in overnight and permitting that to be more urgent. She resolved to come in, sit down, and begin the job at hand.

By making a habit of taking action on the less interesting administrative steps right away, put yourself on autopilot and go through the necessary process until that objective is completed. After all, you are the one who has said getting the activity done is important.

It really doesn't matter what the task is – writing and sending emails to new prospects, entering notes into your database after phone calls, or completing paperwork to initiate an ACAT after a client meeting – doing it right away will benefit how your business runs. Determine that NOTHING else will get done until you have completed that task. Giving ANY other activity a second thought will only distract you from what you really need to be doing.

If you allow yourself to be sidetracked once, you subconsciously give yourself permission to do it again, forming bad habits. Maybe you're just going to answer one email, or make one more phone call, but then some other issue arises from the email or call, demanding your immediate attention…then it's almost lunchtime and you need a break… One diversion too easily leads to another distraction and another interruption, until your great plans have gone out the window!

Don't get caught up in considering reasons to delay the job – even if the excuses seem valid and justify the redirection of your focus. Don't think about it; just automatically do it! Even when you don't particularly feel like it, forge ahead, knowing you are doing the best thing at that moment.

To Do:

  • Automate your actions: Develop a process where one step is automatically followed by the next step, without delay. Getting a prospect's business card automatically triggers your sending them a follow up email – no second thoughts, ifs, buts, or maybes. Just send the note!
  • React more. Think less: This is counter-intuitive to most business advice we hear today. But there are times when you know exactly what you need to do and stopping to think about it is a cop out. You just need to move and take action immediately.

Keep focused on the next step, and do it!

Copyright Paul Kingsman 2011


As a motivational speaker and executive coach, Paul Kingsman helps financial services professionals successfully grow their businesses by taking practical daily steps to achieve outstanding long-term results. Combining his experiences as an Olympic medalist and his background as an adviser, Paul understands how to stay focused over the long haul, as well as the unique business challenges faced by advisers. Through his professional speaking and executive coaching he equips them to overcome distractions so they can get the money they need, the clients they want, and the time to do what they love.

To find out more about how Paul can equip you or your team to achieve outstanding results, visit or email him at

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