It’s time to sing a better song Planning and taking consistent action toward what you’ve planned often makes the difference between success and failure—growth and stagnation. But many people won’t plan, don’t plan, and create dozens of excuses instead. Right? You see this in your retail or institutional clients. I see it in in my advisor clients, too! Clients who get to the point where they’re ready to sit down and plan change the tune they sing. Something happens in their lives or to someone they love and they decide to kick excuses to the curb and develop a no-excuses mentality. They stop reliving the negative and move forward. They sing a new song of victory! 18 Notes RIA-CEOs Use To Sing a Better Song In a nutshell: plan, execute, measure, and adjust when necessary. Below are my “notes” for creating a better song. 1.--Speak the truth, especially about your personal and professional visions. 2.--Be ready for a new level of your destiny. 3.--Be open to new ideas as well as executing ideas differently. 4.--Change your mindset from being an advisor with a practice to being a CEO running a business. 5.--Get rid of the excuses that are holding you back by finding and trying on A, B and C solutions. 6.--Give yourself quality time to learn, read and have fun. 7.--Keep an Activity Audit for 3 months (list of each task/projects of where your time is spent). 8.--Assess your firm, target market, and pricing.
During your journey as a business owner, there will be business operations and circumstances that are tougher to navigate than others. I've listed 17 areas in which independent advisors commonly get stuck. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and as such you'll find areas that earn you a Hurrah! and areas that need your attention. Print the list and place a checkmark near 3 important areas to start working on now. If you find that you have more than 3 areas that need help, know that you’re not alone! These situations can be made more manageable with laser-focused consultative coaching. Living a full-filling life AND running a viable business at the same time Leading and retaining a growing team and client services Managing your time so that you don’t end up burnt out Deciding when to delegate the operations and/or management of your business Turning strangers into profitable and happy clients Getting referrals from ideal clients to other ideal clients Determining which clients to work with and which to send elsewhere Deciding when it’s time to retire or partially retire (succession planning) Learning when to delegate tasks and when to dump them Figuring out the best ways to sell, market, and network Determining which social networking sites to use, for how long, and for what reasons How to become a better leader Developing and/or introducing new products and services for your clients Deciding what technology to use and when to buy it Figuring out when to
You may have unclaimed money from a state or the federal government due you. So may your family members, relatives and/or clients True! It never ceases to amaze me which state or government might owe me my own money! The amazing part is that 95% of the time that I've found this money, I'm still living at the same address as stated on the unclaimed property file. Go figure. So, if you haven't checked your own name, it's time. Personally, I usually do it myself, yearly, much closer to the New Year than now, but, you know, Covid has had a way to keep us off our mark. start the year off checking for your "found money". Even if you’ve lived at the same address for “a zillion years”, check the “missing money” websites for any state you've ever lived in. Most of the money I've found is from insurance companies, health companies, electric companies and department stores – I’m perplexed as to why! With one exception, I still lived at the exact address they listed on in their database. Every year, I also search on behalf of my relatives, friends, and clients. Last year, I sent notices to 6 of them letting them know that NYS was holding their money which totals nearly $600. So far, no one has found more than a $300 at a time but that's found money that can go to self-care, debt reduction or even, yes, investments! Every dollar does count!
This article first appeared on RIA Biz Did you become an independent financial advisor to manage the nitty-gritty of your entire practice? Or was your real mission to serve clients "the right way" and safeguard their wealth? Way too often, the "busy-ness" of business gets in the way of an advisory firm owner's best intentions of growing a practice. The secret is to catch yourself at the point where you begin to wear too many hats. If you don't, client services, your bottom line, and your personal life are sure to suffer. An Honest Look If a business owner isn't careful, your business model may resemble a job with very long hours and a paycheck rather than a business. When this happens you'll end up working "in" your business, instead of "on" your business as a boss. Often advisor-owners will be heard saying, "I'm overwhelmed, working 60+ hours a week, trying to service my current clients the right way, and I don't have time to do much else -- let alone bring on more clients." You'll never hear them say, "I'm not coming in today, I decided to take the day off!" or "I'm going on vacation for the month. My team can handle it!" This is because when they take any time off, their firm makes no money. Nada, not a penny. If you've been running a solo practice for a while or are responsible for your own book of business, chances are that your practice
Just an IRS alert: For many years, we used 1099-Misc to report payment to nonemployee compensation (money we paid another individual or company) most often for services they provided above $600. That's changed this year and I am providing some resources to you to learn more. Unfortunatly, the IRS has not changed the process by which we complete NEC or the MISC form. So remember: you need an original copy of a form, available free to order at IRS website or buy in your local Office Supply store, etc. Do not find a form and then print it from an online source. Beginning with Tax Year 2020, you must use Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation, to report payments of nonemployee compensation (NEC) previously reported in box 7 on Form 1099-MISC. Do not order Form 1099-MISC for reporting NEC. The separate instructions for filers/issuers for Form 1099-NEC are available in the 2020 Instructions for Forms 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC. To learn more about 1099 NEC and the change To order free 1099 NEC forms and instructions NOTE: I am not a Tax Advisor. I am providing this information FYI. Please consult your CPA, Accountant, EA, or tax advisor before using any of the information provided above. Upwards and onwards, Coach Maria
Women Financial Advisors… What if you could: Attract more ideal clients to your business with targeted marketing? Uplevel your team and align everyone with your business vision and purpose? Transform your mindset and eliminate the limiting beliefs holding you back? Spend MORE time working with clients and less time hunting for prospects? Join the ranks of the industry’s top advisors whose secret is “niching rich”? Would any ONE of these improvements help your business take off in 2021? Hello, my name is Maria Marsala. I’m here to introduce you to the profitable reality of creating a niche for your financial firm. It won’t cost you a penny. It’s all in an on-demand, ready-to-play 45-minute training video where I walk you through the exact steps for defining your niche. And in case you thought niching your business is too restrictive or leaves money on the table: “Specializing in a particular type of client is a recipe for huge success. [emphasis mine] Consider that a full 70 percent of top financial advisors—those earning at least $1 million annually—focus on a particular niche, according to CEG Worldwide research. In stark contrast, just 35.1 percent of financial advisors earning less than $150,000 a year have a niche focus. The message couldn’t be clearer: To emulate the success of today’s elite financial advisors, you need to find the right niche for yourself and your practice.” - Jonathan Powell, Managing Principal, CEG Worldwide, LLC, San Martin, CA Register for the
I’m sure it’s been as challenging a year for you, as it has been for me. Extremely challenging! Our mindset is everything in life. I've thought much about mindset this year as I do my best to keep positive and moving forward even when I rather just go back to bed and get under the covers. The truth is, that how we react to facts, circumstances, and even our feelings makes such a big difference between success and failure. Our mindset influences how we do everything. I have found that when a business can’t get to the next level, it isn’t the business that needs fixing first, instead it's the mindset of the owner that needs adjusting or change! Where to start? Step 1 of course. Remove Tolerations. Get what you’re tolerating about yourself, your business, your life, and others written on paper so you can get rid of your tolerations. In other words, get what’s in your head (and heart) down on paper where you can do something about it. I’ll give you the link to more about tolerations and the form I complete below or if you're reading this on my blog, join my newsletter where you can ask me for the link. Getting rid of the baggage -- large and small – sometimes takes physical action and other times it takes the action of deciding to let it go. The main thing is that before you jump into growing your business in 2021, take
Improving your local online visibility is a very simple process. You achieve this primarily by filling out a profile for your business on various online directories. Some directories, like Google My Business, will even send you a monthly email to let you know how many times people viewed your profile and clicked to your site. You’ll have extra chances to be seen by people who currently don’t know you when they search for your business type. So, don’t forget to include your niche on each directory, when applicable. To register, simply go online, fill in your business information, and then wait for an approval email or postcard in the mail to verify that you are who you say you are. Both Google and Bing have business pages, which help get your business found. Social networking sites often have company pages. Even Nextdoor.com, a very local social personal website, started a business/company section that’s currently free. Below are a few places where I recommend that you post your business information. If you’re a financial advisor, lawyer, etc., check with your compliance people or regulatory agencies before you add your business to these directories, to learn which parts of these sites are allowable (or not) for your business. Maria’s Recommended Business Directory Sites: Google Business: https://www.google.com/business/ Bing Business: https://www.bingplaces.com/ LinkedIn Company Page: https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/linkedin-pages Next Door: http://www.NextDoor.com Facebook: Article on how to set up a page https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/309107 Alignable: A local networking site. https://www.alignable.com/ And in case you want to go nuts putting your business online, here’s a list I found from a
Track “lessons learned.” As you grow your business, some ideas will work–and some will fail miserably. Many who came before us failed before they found success. RH Macy failed at 7 stores before he founded Macy’s. Einstein was expelled from school. Edison had more than 1000 failures. What they had in common, at a minimum, is that they learned from their mistakes and were persistent. Create a Lessons Learned Sheet to record the institutional knowledge you collect on projects, new forms, new processes, etc. Did a marketing idea tank? A meeting with a prospect go astray? Record the situation in detail on paper or in a database–as well as your analysis of why it didn’t work–and share the information with team to get their feedback, too. Now if you want to stop learning most of your lessons AFTER a failure or costly mistakes, create Lessons Learned reports after successes, too. This way, you’ll have a record of what you did that worked and next time you do the same thing, you’ll take what you did to the next level. Nothing worse to stymie success than being complacent too long! Before you create your business operations and marketing plan for the next year, take out some blank Lessons Learned reports and look at your wins and failures of the past year. Be in peace with what happened — the good, the bad, and the ugly — and move into this year with a clearer head and heart.
I don't usually mention AVON Products, but today I am. I was an Avon Representative, for almost 2 years, when I was 12 years old! My mom had to sign me up since I was too young to legally complete a contract. But I ended up my best client because I couldn't get enough adults -- including my own family -- to believe in me. I swore that some day I would sell AVON again, and in August 2007, I took kept my promise to my younger self. While it's not my main business, and I don't spend too much time on it, it has been fun. And an opportunity to meet other women. AVON sells some personal care items you might be needing now including antibacterial gel cleansers. Below are the links to those products or click this link and start here with our body defense favorites. View the entire Catalog online here Hand cream including a brand nurses often use as it has little to no fragrance called Moisture Therapy. Silicone glove is great is you work with water, in the garden, etc. And of course there is Skin So Soft hand creams. https://www.avon.com/search/hand%20cream?rep=mmarsala Face Masks https://www.avon.com/search/face%20mask?rep=mmarsala Deodorant (mens and women's, including "no scent") https://www.avon.com/search/deoder?rep=mmarsala Soap https://www.avon.com/search/soap?rep=mmarsala Antibacterial Hand Gel https://www.avon.com/search/hand%20gel?rep=mmarsala Shampoo and Conditioner https://www.avon.com/search/shampoo_and_conditioner?cel_id=shampoo%20and%20conditioner%7CT_shampoo_and_conditioner&rep=mmarsala Cleaning your house? Check out these cleaning products https://www.avon.com/search/cleaners?rep=mmarsala And yes, AVON still sells Skin So Soft products, makeup, children's items, and men's products, too.