Maximize Your Most Undervalued Success Tool

AdvisorBlast – Quick Tips to Accelerate Your Practice 
In this issue: Build your business with the power of focused, strategic thinking.

do_not_disturbIt’s easy to focus on key tasks you need to accomplish to effectively build your business. We’re often on the lookout for checklists or tips about actions to take. But one of the most powerful activities successful people do can seem rather passive in comparison: they make quiet time to think.

We can get so busy “doing,” that the specific thinking to plan and evaluate gets shoved aside. However, if you’re truly passionate about achieving your objectives for this year or for the next 5 years, you need to make consistent, specific, quality time to bring mental pictures of your aspirations and your actions into focus.

This is your time each day alone, typically in the same quiet space, to think clearly about your dreams and goals. You don’t have to focus for long, but you do need to be consistent.

My focused thinking primarily happens in one of two places, usually twice each day: early in the morning when I walk my dog, and late in the afternoon on the elliptical trainer.

Very early morning is my favorite time of day (a hangover from my many years of getting up for morning training when I swam), and I walk when most of my neighborhood is still asleep (not even the paper delivery guy is out yet).

After spending the first moments of my walk in prayer, I mentally review what I saw on my calendar for the day when I reviewed it before leaving the office the prior evening. I vividly picture the outcomes I desire from various tasks I have planned for the day and evaluate how my activities relate to my overarching objectives.

If I have client meetings, I picture myself listening carefully, not interjecting with a well-thought-through, yet inappropriately-timed question. I imagine being relaxed and my client feeling comfortable and confidently trusting me to help them pursue their dreams and financial goals.

If I am giving a keynote presentation to a group of advisors later that day, I mentally rehearse my opening and see the audience totally engaged and eagerly listening.

At the other end of the day, in the late afternoon or early evening when I’m in the gym, about half way through my workout, I can settle my mind from all that happened during the day, and start reviewing the day’s activities. How did what actually unfolded compare to what I pictured in the morning? What went well and why? What could I have done more effectively? What are the next best steps, such as following up with a client, or sending a prospect an article of interest, or what to include on the handout I’m emailing a meeting planner for an upcoming event?

Without deliberately making this quality mental processing time, significant, strategic thinking will get neglected amid the busyness of daily activity.

Bring your long-term objectives into your day-to-day reality through thinking.

  1. Find a place and time to commit to thinking. It might be a time-blocked walk around the block each day at 1:00pm, or a 15 minute quiet time in your office with the door shut before you begin your day.

  2. Clearly picture your ideal outcome. Consistently develop specific pictures of what you want to happen.

  3. Think to identify specific actions you will take to move you toward your goal. Practice what you will say, mentally picture yourself with the attitude and behavior you plan to take.

Routinely thinking deeply about your key business and life objectives will keep you focused. You’ll see where and how to make improvements in what you do. You’ll be prepared to take the best actions each day.

Where you do your best creative and focused goal-oriented thinking? Add your comments below.

Be thoughtful,


Paul KingsmanSpeaker and executive coach Paul Kingsman helps financial services professionals overcome distractions to achieve success sooner. 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 helps his clients successfully grow their businesses by taking practical daily steps to achieve outstanding long-term results. He is the author of the forthcoming book,
The Distraction-Proof Advisor: Get the money you need, the clients you want, and more time to do what you love.

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

2 Responses to “Maximize Your Most Undervalued Success Tool”

  • Angus says:

    First, I love your website and find the guidance extremely valuable. Thanks for sharing it.

    Any business and certainly ours as advisors, will accomplish more faster by preceding action with careful planning. For example, planning one’s day, I think the number I heard is the return on spending 10 – 12 minutes planning tomorrow will yield one to two hours of time saved. Not many people will argue planning is a wast of time, but often we fail to invest the time in proper prior planning.

    I think the reason people fail to plan is not having made it a habit. Our brains are wired to react quickly to information and we do it well (at least well enough that our ancient ancestors were not all eaten by predators!). So reacting is instinctive, but planning is not, and this post is a great reminder to me to work on the habit of planning and quietly thinking in advance of what we want to happen. It also reminds me what is IMPORTANT is never URGENT, so we must take time to schedule what is IMPORTANT so the less important URGENT stuff doesn’t crowd out what is IMPORTANT.

    • Thanks for your positive feedback on my website and glad to hear you find these posts helpful.
      You’re correct about the importance of forming habits. Forming habits, in a round-about way, becomes habit-forming in and of itself. The more we form them around completing seemingly smaller tasks, the easier it becomes to keep building them for the bigger issues.

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