Personal Development
FREEDOM, Commitment and Optimistic Spirit
Friday, July 01, 2011 20:29

Tags: practice management

Think back to a time in your life when you gave everything you had to the accomplishing of a goal and felt absolutely exhausted and satisfied, even exhilarated. Think of the camaraderie between all on your team.

How far back did you have to go? I’ll bet that for a lot of people this brought them back to some type of athletic event as a participant. It did for me. I think back to my time as a football coach at Cal State Fullerton.

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Our staff and team had several things in common. First, we faced adversity. It was us, the little guys from a small school versus the big guys from the big conferences with the big budges and facilities. It became an US versus THEM scenario.
I can remember all of the hard work, time and effort that we all gave to our program. I can also remember the love and tight inclusive camaraderie between the players and staff. This is the result of an “all in” effort towards the accomplishment of a shared goal.
You just don’t find this in businesses today. Somehow people have become independent, out for themselves without regard for the total picture. Businesses have evolved to an environment where the US versus THEM might be the employees versus management rather than the company versus the outside elements.
Whatever happened to maximum effort in a “whatever it takes” commitment? Whatever happened to an individual’s intense desire to grow, improve and learn? Benjamin Barber, an eminent sociologist, once said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures…I divide the world into learners and nonlearners.”
What on earth would make someone lose their intense desire to compete, to grow, to have passion for their life? Everyone is born with an intense drive to learn and improve. Infants are examples of this. They are stretching their boundaries daily. They never decide that learning to walk and talk is just too hard and not worth the effort.
Babies don’t worry about making mistakes or humiliating themselves. They walk, they fall, they get up. They just keep on keeping on.
What could put an end to this exuberant passion for learning and improvement? It’s language. As soon as children become able to evaluate themselves and to express themselves with language then the decline begins. It’s the stories we tell ourselves that either creates or denies access to behavior.
I’m writing this on the 4th of July weekend. The 4th is an American celebration of freedom. This freedom we many times take for granted. The past few months have accentuated the difference between our democracy and every other form of governance.
Our police don’t shoot protesters. Our news reporters don’t disappear when they are critical of the current administration. Our elections, scandal free for the most part, reflect the true will of the people. In short, we are free.
Every person has the opportunity to create their own mindset, their own set of circumstances and then apply enough energy to turn their desires into reality. Our economy is not perfect and never will be. There have always been cycles of the ups and downs. However, in the end, the freedom to make choices in business, the freedom to reinvent, change direction, whatever it takes, has always gotten us through. Not only that, times like these have made our country stronger.
Einstein gave us the answer to our problems when he declared E equals MC squared. This means that if you put enough energy into the system then you will create mass or in this case business results.
Prior to Einstein Charles Darwin made a significant contribution when he said that nature selects those organisms that are able to adapt to changes in a way that favors survival.
What adaptations do you need to make? Do you need to learn and sell a new product? Do you need to develop relationships with other experts and serve each others clients? Do you need to upgrade your education, certifications and licensing? What adaptations to the changing marketplace do you need to make?
If you can work your way out of a problem then you don’t have a problem. You have the freedom to control your focus, your preparation and your effort. Or, you can give that freedom away to others and allow them to dictate your state of mind for you.
I hope you take the time in your celebration of the Fourth of July to remember that at your business, your home, at the ballot box, you are free to make choices. There are not many in the world who can say that!
High Performance Training, Inc.
Bob Davies, M.Ed. Psychology, Springfield College, B.S. Health, Rutgers University MCC Master Certified Coach International Coach Federation
Doctoral Candidate, Ed.D Organizational Leadership, Pepperdine University.
20992 Ashley Lane, Lake Forest, CA 92630-5865
949-830-9192 fax 949-830-9492 Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Website: On-Line coaching
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Bob Davies, named in the top 100 greatest minds of personal development world-wide by Excellence Magazine.
Permission granted to publish this article with Resource information included: Bob Davies High Performance Training, Inc. 949-830-9192 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Permission also granted to edit this article.
Bob Davies
High Performance Training, Inc.
20992 Ashley Lane
Lake Forest, Ca 92630
A Tribute To The Legacy Of Professor Luther P. Jackson, Jr.,The Most Influential Educator Of My Professional Life
Sunday, May 22, 2011 14:26

The late Professor Luther P. Jackson, Jr., who tortured me in grad school with stinging criticism of my writing and reporting, was honored earlier this year with an endowed scholarship.

The Black Alumni Network, in reporting that Jackson’s legacy is being honored with the endowment, notes prominently that Jackson was The School’s first black professor.


“Being the first of anything is not easy,” says Reginald Stuart, a former reporter at The New York Times who wrote the article about the endowment.   
Indeed, Jackson was a black pioneer, and made an important contribution to society in that regard.
For the record, though, I’m white and Jewish and Prof. Jackson has been a huge influence on my professional life.
Jackson was my professor for Reporting & Writing I, which back in 1979 was held three times weekly. It was the toughest class I ever took.
In a weekly meeting to critique my work, Jackson once looked at me and said, “Gluck, you’re a great writer, but I don’t know that you will ever be a great reporter.”
He would criticize me—and other students—in just the right way to get under our skin. That’s why I want to point out that Prof. Jackson was way more than skin deep.
I’ve spent many years trying to prove Jackson wrong about me and trying to live up to the standards he set.
Jackson didn’t care that I was white and I didn’t care that he was black. Luther P. Jackson, Jr., was simply a man to respect. I feared him, and I desperately wanted his approval.
Jackson graded me with a “P” back in 1979, but I don’t think I’ve ever stopped trying to live up to the standards he set. Endowing a scholarship acknowledging Jackson’s contributions is an honor well deserved.


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What's The One Thing You Know Would Make The Biggest Impact In Your Business?
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 15:37

The first quarter of 2011 is well behind us.  We are smack in the middle of Q2.  So, how are those goals coming along?  What about those New Year's resolutions from way back in January?

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If you're like many Advisors, the day-to-day running of your business has you running all over the place.  If business is bad, you may feel like you have to work extra hard to make up for it.  And if business is good, you may feel like you have to work hard to make hay while the sun is shining.

Either way, by now your longer term goals may be getting pushed into the background,
and you may never seem to be able to move your business ahead and take it to the next level.  If this describes you, fear not.  There's still hope...  


Rather than focusing on all the goals you aren't even close to accomplishing, consider this: What's the ONE THING you KNOW if you did, would make a significant (perhaps the biggest) impact on your business or in your life?  Be specific here.  Make it measurable.


Then, put it on your Ideal Daily Schedule.  Make a specific time each day you will work on your ONE THING, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.  For example, just 15 minutes of phone calling, perhaps making just two calls per day, will amount to 10 per week, 40 a month or 400 calls per year.  I guarantee you this activity will generate more business for you.


Two more quick examples: Can’t find the time to work out?  Start with just 15 minutes daily. It doesn’t have to be strenuous.  A quick walk or some pushups, sit ups, stretching or dancing will do. Want to get more rest?  Go to bed just 15 minutes earlier starting tonight.  You’ll notice a difference.


If your ONE THING is too big to take on, break it down into smaller, more manageable parts. See if you can “chunk it down” into 15 minute segments to your overall project or goal.  We’re simply replacing an old habit with a moreuseful or healthier one.  Continue to make small improvements in your business, health, relationships and every area of your life. 


Where will you find the time?  Think quality not quantity.  It’s not how much you accomplish, it’s a matter of whether the activity you’re currently engaged in is really adding to the quality of your life.  Start by delegating or eliminating those activities that “only take 15 minutes to do, so I might as well do it myself.”  You may find that eliminating just 15 minutes a day of gossip, complaining or criticizing will give you both the time and energy you’re looking for.


Very quickly you’ll notice something funny happening.  Success starts to reinforce itself naturally, without any more effort on your part.  It’s like building a muscle; each day you do it you get stronger, which makes it easier to keep doing it, which, of course, breeds more success.  Pretty soon you’ll be proactively looking for ways to sneak in more and more “Success Time.”


Compete Against Depression!
Monday, April 25, 2011 07:57

You just delivered a proposal of a life time to the Chamber of commerce. Not one of your competitors had the staff and infrastructure to handle their group business as competently as you.


You receive an email to discover that they went with another advisor but thanks for your interest and hard work. 

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You're partnering with another advisor that specializes in large premium finance insurance cases. You bring in an elite asset protection estate planning attorney and together you combine for a terrific plan that will involve a super freeze offshore tax compliant trust and the taxes will be funded by the insurance leaving quite a large estate for the family. The client agrees and just wants to have his accountant look it over. You get a call from the clients' office to cancel everything.


Your wife tells you she's not happy. She's not leaving you, or threatening to do so, she just says you have "disappeared" and she's just not happy. You attempt to explain how you've got to generate business but it's so unfulfilling you're not even convinced yourself.


You go back to your office and notice, I'm depressed!


Depression may be described as feeling sad, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods. True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger or frustration interfere with everyday life for a long period of time.1


The human brain with its over 140 billion neurons is an electrical chemical organ. It takes a thought, which is an electrical burst and turns it into a chemical, which is a release of neurotransmitters.


It is your thinking that causes the chemical imbalances in your brain. It's not what happens to you, it's your thinking about it and the interpretation that you give to what happens to you. Your thinking causes every situation in your life.


I don't need to give you the symptoms but I will. If you're depressed, you're going to know it. At any rate:

  • Agitation, restlessness, irritability.
  • Dramatic change in appetite, either weight gain or weight loss.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Fatigue and lack of energy.
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
  • Feelings of guilt.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Inactivity and withdrawal from social activities. (avoidance)
  • Trouble sleeping.


Anti depressants may be called for in severe cases. These are selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the most common are Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Lexapro. This has to do with the neurotransmitters that I previously mentioned. That is how your brain cells communicate with each other by taking the electrical impulse and releasing chemicals. These chemicals are then received by the uptake neuron.


When there are not enough of certain chemicals in the spaces between the nerve cells then the pills will block the uptake of the released chemicals so more are available to be received. This helps you to feel better.


An over the counter herb called St. John's wort may help some people.


Talk Therapy, also called cognitive behavioral therapy works just as well as medication in many cases. This treatment teaches depressed people ways of fighting negative thoughts.


I'm going to give you my tough love coaching on depression.


Here is the first preliminary step to take.

Set a time for a pity party. That's right. Pick Thursday, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. No feeling sorry for yourself until that time and then let it loose. The world sucks (gravity is a myth), everything is against you, life is horrible, poor me, you name it. Let it all out for one hour. That's it. Now you're done. Now you are ready to compete.


Here are the steps.

  1. Identify the worse case that could happen to you in your life. Go to the bottom line. If everything failed where would you be?
  2. Can you recover from the worse case scenario? If no, you're going to need medical treatment. If yes, come up with your precise "recovery" plan. Answer the following questions:
    1. What do I want? What am I building?
    2. What do I need to do to have what I want?
    3. What do I need to do this week?
    4. What will I do this week? (Necessary Required Actions)
    5. Make a behavioral contract with commitments and accountability-consequences for non performance.
  3. Get M.A.D. Make a decision that there is only one end result, your success, period. Control your attitude. You can assign another one hour period of time to go victim, otherwise it's a positive attitude period.

    Your thinking influences which area of your brain is being electrically active. I won't go into detail other than to say that you can change the receptor cites for the opium like drug endorphins by the way that you think. You must control your thinking. You must only allow positive thoughts. There is a science behind this and that will be the topic of another article, I promise.

  4. Identify your STAND. Who do you need to be to reach your goals? Who are you? What great service or problem do you solve? Keep that in mind as the stand you need to take. Orient from that stand when you don't feel like executing the necessary required actions.
  5. Exercise. Make a commitment to your physical health and exercise. Make sure that you are eating frequently, small meals, and get enough exercise, minimum four times a week.


This is a great start to compete against depression. Let me know how you do. Send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . I'll also hold you accountable to execute your plan via email as well.


You can do this. I BELIEVE IN YOU!

Fava M. Cassano, Mood disorders: Major depressive disorder. Mass General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. 2008 chap. 29.
Advisors On The Move Need Financial Planning More Than Anyone
Wednesday, April 06, 2011 20:49

Tags: business planning | practice management

Your clients get a plan that will last them throughout their careers, so why are most advisors still focused on instant gratification?

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There’s a real sense in the wirehouses right now that with top-line transition packages trending at above 3 years production at the very high end, this is a chance in a lifetime for every advisor to call a recruiter, take the check, and retire three years early.


If those advisors were their own clients, we’d call that a case of letting short-term emotion -- pure greed -- interfere with long-term rationality.


Don’t get me wrong. I’m a real supporter of every advisor taking his or her talents to a business environment that rewards those talents to the fullest and supports a culture where that advisor and the clients can flourish.


If that environment is not where an advisor happens to be right now, he or she needs to move. It’s that simple, and a lot of my business is based on that principle. But too often, the move becomes all about chasing that transition check. That’s where a lot of advisors are getting into trouble.


For one thing, only the wirehouses are offering the really huge cash packages right now, which is why you mostly see firms like Morgan Stanley and UBS hiring from each other. In these moves, the only thing that really changes for the advisor is the business cards, but at least he or she’s gotten the chance to cash in, right?


The rep who moves from wirehouse to wirehouse is still an employee and still giving the firm maybe 60% of all the fees and commissions that come in. Going independent brings a whole new set of challenges and opportunities, but at the end of the day the signing check is smaller and the advisor only has to pass on maybe 15% of production.


Say you’re a 55-year-old advisor bringing down $2 million a year for the wirehouse. UBS wants to give you 250% of that production as a signing bonus. One of the independents can scrape up a package worth 25% of your production. Given one check for $5 million and another for $500,000, which do you take?


If you were your own client, you’d tell yourself to do the math and see what makes sense.


SCENARIO ONE. Assuming that your production and payouts remain steady and the tax situation is a wash, the independent grid will beat the UBS bonus in Year 5. After that, the independent career path keeps booking roughly double the gross income and theoretically retires at age 65 having earned $4.3 million more than what the UBS career can offer -- and as a bonus, your book is now worth $3 million more when it’s time to sell.



SCENARIO TWO. Now say you’re a 40-year-old hotshot producing $500,000 for the wirehouse. The checks are going to be a lot smaller, but the breakaway strategy still pulls ahead in Year 5 and by Year 25, the independent adds over $5 million to his or her career earnings.


It’s a very simplified comparison, but it gets advisors I talk to thinking beyond instant gratification and focused on how today’s decisions amortize over the course of an entire career.


And like these advisors always tell their clients, the younger you can start thinking seriously about these issues, the more years you have to let today’s decisions pay off.

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