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Archive for August, 2012

Monday Morning Jump Start #19; The Process

Posted By Michael Roby | Monday, August 27th, 2012

An article in the August 20, 2012 issue of Sports Illustrated Magazine focused on “The Process” used by University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban to build consistently winning teams. This post is the first in a series about The Process of building a professional services practice.

A professional services practice is an “Ultimate Small Cap Business™” – a business requiring professional expertise, education, and the investment of “Sweat Equity,” while not necessarily requiring the investment of financial equity (outside of professional education.) Sweat Equity is the planning and hard work put into a business that often takes years to monetize. This hard work, focused on filling  needs by using professional expertise, often requires time to turn into tangible results. If that Sweat Equity is to be monetized, it must be focused upon goals and objectives – a “Big Vision.”

The Process starts with goals, and a Big Vision. What is your Big Vision? If we were to meet one, five, ten years from now, what must happen for you to consider your efforts wildly successful? Describe your Perfect World™.  Take time to write down a recap of your Big Vision for the future, then ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the CHALLENGES that you face in realizing that Perfect World?
  • What are the OPPORTUNITIES you have in pursuing the Big Vision and your Perfect World?
  • What are the RESOURCES you will need to make it happen?
  • What are the first steps you need to take in the EXECUTION of your efforts to attain the Perfect World?

This clarification of your Perfect World, including the Challenges, Opportunities, Resources, and Execution are called The CORE Method™ On a single sheet of paper, write out your vision of your Perfect World, and answer the CORE questions. Whether you are a new practicing professional or if you have 25 years of success behind you, this is a start to take today’s Big Vision of the future, and turn it into a Perfect World…for you!

What’s next? The seven steps in The Process.

Work Hard & Have Fun!™

Style Versus Substance

Posted By Michael Roby | Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Style or Substance; which is more important in selling?

Style: Relates to form. Can be a particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode of action or manner of selling. Style is consistent.

Substance: Relates to function. Technical competency. The the reality or actual makeup of recommendations, as opposed to the packaging or hype. Substance changes.

So which one trumps the other? What is the most important for financial advisors, wholesalers, bankers, and other professional service providers; Style or Substance?Screen Shot 2012-08-22 at 4.32.07 PM

One of the top wholesalers of the last 20 years lives in northern Wisconsin, and travels the entire state. In terms of substance, he KNOWS his products backward and forward, inside out. In addition, he knows his competitors products as well as his own. He is an industry expert, and has a solid, insightful grasp of economic issues and the complex relationships of market dynamics.

When it comes to style, he is an eloquent speaker, an adaptable teacher, and a top-shelf salesperson. His distinctive look makes him appear successful without being ostentatious. Others come to him as a mentor. He willingly gives his time and talents for professional and personal causes of significance.

So, in a word which matters most; the Style or the Substance?


His dedication to his art and his craft make him rise to the top of his peers and his industry. He has built $100 million dollar territories in multiple territories from scratch, and done so in different geographies. He proves the highest and best success come from Style AND Substance.

THE most important thing, as always, is EVERYTHING. Thanks for the inspiration, Eric.

Monday Morning Jump Start #18: Alabama Football & Financial Advisory Practice

Posted By Michael Roby | Monday, August 20th, 2012

The August 20, 2012 issue of Sports Illustrated features an article about “The Process”; Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban’s “term for concentrating on the steps to success rather than worrying about the the end result.” The desired end result is pretty simple: A National Championship. However, no stone is left unturned, no detail too small, no step omitted in crafting “The Process.”

The Process demands clarity. It is not a system or a scheme. The Process is simply a philosophy dedicated to the end result. Every aspect of Alabama Football is analyzed and evaluated for effectiveness, and great is never good enough. Perfection, fleeting and unattainable, remains the objective that will carry the Crimson Tide to it’s desired result.

Building your practice is no different than building a championship football team. You set clear goals; crystal clear. Then you build The Process. Never easy, but remarkably simple. In addition, Saban readily admits he does not know everything, and he surrounds himself with subject matter experts as part of The Process.

What are the steps in your process? The Essential Seven™ are:

  • Business Planning
  • Client Experience
  • Distribution
  • Client Service
  • Staffing
  • Training
  • Administration

In the coming weeks and months, expect this blog to discuss the steps in “The Process” in detail, but for now consider the following three questions:

  1. What Is Your Process?
  2. Have You Defined Every Part?
  3. What Do You Need To Maximize The Effectiveness Of Your Process, And Who Can Help You?

Work Hard & Have Fun!™