Get it Out of Your Head – 2 of 3

The Take 5 Strategic Planning Process to Ensure You Are:

  • Unlocking Your Full Profitability and Equity Value
  • Positioned for Anything the World Throws at You

The days are long but the years are short.”  - Gretchen Rubin

take 5 logoWhen was the last time you had a 3rd party help you think things through to get your vision out of your head and mapped out on paper?  Having an expert help you step back to scrutinize your current approach and define your ideal life with an actionable plan can be incredibly liberating.  Pareto Systems’ co-founders Duncan MacPherson linkedin mini icon and David Miller linkedin mini icon  have developed and refined a process called The Take 5 Approach that helps advisors rise above the day-to-day, kick their own tires, and look to the future with a sense of anticipation and clarity.  Using a 5-step process including a series of three telephone consultations, Duncan or David will methodically help you identify untapped opportunities and overlooked vulnerabilities that exist within your business and set you on a trajectory to your ideal life.  

Your investment to participate in this 1:1 process is $1,450 and unfolds as follows:

To learn more, please contact Ken at 1.877.359.8020 or at

Of all the focal points we identify when conducting a strategic planning process with a financial advisor, one of the most important is helping our client fully understand what it is they really get paid to do, and then create a structure and environment so that’s all that they do on an on-going basis.  Experience has shown that with the benefits of laser focus and continual compounding, those activities will bring the advisor to their productivity goals.

The legendary business philosopher Jim Rohn said it best, “It’s ok to be busy as long as you aren’t mistaking movement for achievement.”  We’re all busy.  The question is busy doing what?  As every month goes by, distractions and various other forces attempt to lure you away from your focus.  If you take the bait you run the risk of drifting away from your goals.

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.  It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
- Mark Twain

Stepping back and assessing your current approach, and then creating a strategic plan is an often overlooked but non-optional component to continual progress in business.  And to avoid sounding preachy, this is a lot easier to talk about than it is to do.  Like the old expression about the cobbler’s children having no shoes, as business consultants, we often find ourselves helping our clients on their strategic plans and neglecting our own.  And sure enough it comes back to bite us.  Ironically this usually occurs when we are swamped and “too busy” to step back and make refinements and plan for the future.  Hindsight is very effective at identifying errors in judgment.  Strategic planning helps to minimize the miscues and maximize the opportunities.

“How did I end up here?”

financial advisor wrong wayIf you are like most people we work with, five years ago you had a vision for where you would be today.  Have you arrived at that place?  It’s not uncommon, with all the forces pulling at you, to drift into a pattern that becomes a bit of a blur without realizing it until you later reflect on things.  Perhaps you said that you would start taking Fridays off.  Maybe you said that you would transition to a fee-for-service model.  Right-sizing might have been something you’ve been considering.  And fair enough.  Chances are life is still pretty good even if it hasn’t played out exactly as you envisioned.  Looking forward though, you have to ask yourself, “What does my ideal life look like in the next five years and how am I going to get there?”

Terry Gronbeck-Jones linkedin mini icon, a long-time and extremely results-oriented coach of ours, reminded me of this powerful quote during a recent conversation about strategic planning:

You don’t really know someone until you’ve spent some time with them on paper.”

Having a third party get everything out of your head and put it all on paper forces clarity of thought, and creates a more deliberate attempt to document what is really important.  It serves as a blueprint to help you see past short-term obstacles while tuning out more of life’s distortion and noise.  As you embark on your business journey, your strategic plan acts as a GPS enabling you to make mid-course corrections early before they force you too far off-track.  Keep in mind, the further off-track you become, the further you are away from your goals and ideal life.

Make it Actionable

The sun will set whether you watch it or not.” 
- Lesson of Tao

Now ultimately a strategic plan is only helpful if the ideas identified can be translated into results.  Undoubtedly you want your business legacy to reflect your commitment to helping people face the future with anticipation and to be an action-oriented implementer.  Strategic planning isn’t just about crystallizing your thoughts on paper, it’s about the application of appropriate strategies that will propel you forward.

An Ideal Life Primer

Here are a few of the things advisors have opened up to us about as it relates to resetting their approach:

Photo courtesy Lavish Cards

I want to restore liberation and order to my life.  I’m tired of fire-fighting, micro-managing and downright babysitting.  Sure you want to run the business so that it’s not running you.  But it has to be more than a goal, you have to apply a process that forces everyone to get the business out of their heads and into a playbook.  It’s no mystery as to how that’s done.  It’s a 90-day process to turn your book into a business rather than having just a book of business.

I don’t want any dead branches in my business.  It’s time to prune the high maintenance clients but I’m not sure where to start.  You’ve heard the expression that there are only so many seats on the plane and you have to respect that capacity.  Right-sizing needs to be done professionally and respectfully though – based on mutual fit – and if done properly, you can create capacity for more first-class passengers while creating an environment that affluent clients aspire to belong to.

I want to transition to a fee-for-service model but I’m nervous about how my clients will respond.  If clearly communicated as an upgrade with tangible improvements to your client service model, your clients will focus on what you’re worth to them rather than what you cost them.

I want to stop trading my time for money and start building more equity value in my business.  Not unlike forced-savings, when you de-personalize your business by going beyond just talent and instead focusing on on-going and progressive process, you can evolve from just a production mindset to that of an asset mindset.  Your business can be worth far more than it is today.  Consider our Take 5 Approach and let us show you how to unlock your full productivity and equity potential.

Continued success!
Photo credit: Sunset Photo – Lavish Fine Art Cards

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