founding principal of
Financial Group, LLC
REAL RETURNS LifeHealthPro.com/author/adam-cufr
How are you tackling
business in the
New Year? Go to
and find out how other
advisors are planning
Here we are, at the outset of another year. Each New Year is full of prom- ise, hope, and maybe even some fear
of the unknown. While we all share the same
mixture of feelings, we all would like this
year to be our best. So how can we do our
best to start 2016 in the right mindset for
growth? My advice is to choose a theme.
There are scores of approaches to goal-setting and countless tracks to run on,
but I have found the best way to harness
productive power is by setting each year to a
theme. We can then focus our thoughts and
actions in very specific ways. Here are a few
At the end of 2011, the pace of technological change and the growth of our business
had me feeling very disorganized and out-of-control. We had messy client files and therefore, a messy client experience. So heading
into 2012, we chose to implement a yearlong
focus on operational excellence. In fact, we
named it “OE12.” We printed and hung signs
around the office and included OE12 discussions in all of our weekly meetings. The
result was a commitment to getting the business organized and streamlined in a way that
I know we wouldn’t have, had we not made it
an overarching priority that year. We moved
from paper files to paperless, implemented a
new CRM and organized clients’ information
in a fashion that has transformed our operations to this day. Once we did this, organization oozed into all areas of the business.
In other years, we focused on turning
financial planning into an art-form. Not only
did we begin delivering truly holistic financial plans to our clients, but we charged for
them and made them into works of art, with
the help of a graphic designer. The benefits
of each annual theme and commitment to
excellence is enduring and compounding.
In order to get started on choosing your
New Year, new theme,
annual theme, consider the following steps:
massive productivity gains
What problem keeps you up at night?
If you’re tired of feeling disorganized, make
operational organization your theme. Do your
finances feel out of control? Make 2016 the year
of financial excellence.
What’s at stake?
If you were to focus on a particular theme for
2016, what might the benefits look like? Conversely, by not working on your problem area,
what could the cost be? Determine what’s at
stake and you’ll find great power in sticking to
Who can help me?
Let’s face it, if you’re kept up at night by an ongoing and persistent challenge in your business
— that has high stakes — you may not be the
best person to lead the charge. It’s likely not in
your unique ability. Enlisting the help of others
may be a staggeringly meaningful investment to
make toward your future success. Write down
names and schedule conversations with these
people to enlist their help.
Choose your actions.
Now that you have the theme and team deter-
mined, make an action plan for carrying out the
improvement process. You know the drill: be
specific, choose measurable tasks and get to it.
Admittedly, I’m awful at this. But you don’t
have to be. When you see improvement in your
chosen theme, high-five, buy pizza, throw a
party, whatever it takes to stay excited about the
progress you’re making.
So, what’s your theme going to be for 2016?
We all know industry change is coming so the
stakes have never been higher for taking control
of your business and not allowing the winds to
carry you where you’re not inclined to go. Make
the 2016 the year that changes everything for
you. New year, new theme, new results. RA