The Legends Are Only Human

AdvisorBlast – Quick Tips to Accelerate Your Practice
In this issue: Don’t be intimidated by your competition.


How do you measure up against your competition? It can be easy to assume others in the industry are working more effectively than you because they are more well-known, have more employees, or seem to have more assets. We can quickly believe others are delivering a far superior service to us. But, don’t rush to feeling intimidated!

While it can be helpful and even fun to use industry peers as benchmarks for your own practice and desire to grow to their size and scope, don’t assume you’re not as good as them right now.

I’ll never forget seeing the New Zealand National Swim Team train in my home pool when I was young. They had assembled from all over the country before flying out to the USA. I was excited about seeing these legends in person and watching how they did everything. From their warming up, to training, to completing their workout, my goal was to absorb everything and learn. I was particularly interested in watching the top backstroker, since backstroke was my main event; I’d heard so much about this guy and was eager to see him in the flesh! Even though I was only a skinny 13 year-old, I knew the next year I’d be competing against him and the rest of the “men” at national level. 

To my surprise, when I saw him come on pool deck, he looked tired, like he didn’t really even care about what he was doing. He didn’t stretch, was the last in the pool, and, as soon as he dove in, stood up and whined about the temperature. I couldn’t believe it: here was someone going off to represent their country and face some tough competition moaning that the water wasn’t warm enough! As I continued to watch, he drifted into the walls, turning sloppily and not maximizing everything he could from each push-off. Later when the team was instructed to go down to the far end and get ready for some timed sprints, he got out, went to the bathroom, and came back after everyone had already completed their timed swims. He drifted back into the “pack” to remain out of sight, began loosening down with the group, then climbed out and was done. 

While a part of me was deflated that the top backstroker in New Zealand approached training like this, another part was elated: if this was how he trained, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I’d be the number one backstroker in the country.

The take-aways from this for your business are: 
  • Just because someone is bigger than you now, don’t assume you can’t reach and surpass that point. Focus on your strengths and continue using them most consistently to repeat your successes more frequently.
  • Just because people and companies have reputations that sound formidable, don’t be daunted. We rarely know exactly all that’s going on inside another business and would be surprised, even shocked sometimes, to learn all the details.
  • Just because the top companies might do things a certain way, don’t think you have to imitate them. Consider what you need to do for where you’re at right now and commit to taking care of those details that are most relevant and beneficial to you.
While you should always be most focused on your own businesses and not get carried away with comparing and measuring against others, it can be helpful to look at successful companies, noticing if they’re doing things that can be useful to copy and seeing if your approach is as professional as theirs. However, don’t be too hasty to assume you’re not doing an even better job than what they’re doing. If you commit to maintaining the key deliverables that your clients and employees enjoy, it’ll only be time before you become the industry benchmark in your area. 
Be confident and courageous, 

Copyright Paul Kingsman 2013

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 advisor, Paul understands how to stay focused over the long haul, as well as the unique business challenges faced by advisors. 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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