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The Success Mindset – What Financial Planners Can Learn From Steve Martin

Feeling betrayed by the final episode of Lucifer series 3 (still so cranky), I wandered the internet looking for inspiration.

“Learn from the world’s best” took my eye. It’s the buy-line of a site called Some 80+ household names share their stories — Gordon Ramsay and cooking, Ron Howard and film directing, Steve Martin and comedy, the list goes on.

Getting that good

Being a fan of Steve Martin, I immediately clicked on his course. Something he said in the very first lesson got my attention …

“I was talking to some comedy students and they were asking things like “how do I get an agent?” and “where do I get my headshots done?” … and I just thought shouldn’t you first be thinking about: how do I be … good?”

It really got me thinking.

In our line of work there is a lot of attention paid to having the best financial planning software and on really getting the SoA process down as efficient as possible and operating the most sophisticated investment platform … plus dozens of other absolutely necessary tools that help us do our job.

As useful as they are, the recipe for success calls for something more – a genuine hunger to be great at what you do.

Measuring greatness in your own career

Be ‘great’, sure, but not as measured by the score you got in your FASEA exam, by the address of your firm, or by the alphabet soup that goes after your name. I’m talking about your success in this career as a professional financial adviser as measured by the way your clients talk about the relationship they have with you – the confidence and trust they have in your work with them and the exceptional value it delivers them. And … also as measured by the fees you command (who wants to be a pauper?) in exchange for the value you deliver.

To be great at what you do is to be consciously competent – to have a deep understanding of the how and why of your own performance. But conscious competence doesn’t have to wait for when you’re a veteran in 20 years’ time. It’s available to anyone who safeguards and reinforces a mindset that will foster success.

Rebooting your success mindset

Getting great doesn’t happen by accident. You’ve got to start down that path sometime. But there are lots of distractions preventing us from concentrating on the bigger picture. As financial planners we have been going through a pretty bruisey period – scandal & controversy, covid & market crazies, new reforms & new standards – with no end in sight.

So much noise. Don’t get me wrong – you’d be making a mistake to bury your head in the sand. But the noise does make a success mindset difficult to keep ‘front of mind’.

To help you reboot your mindset, the Profession of Independent Financial Advisers has brought together three thought leaders who will share with you the essential strategies you can use to recapture a mindset that will propel you towards where you want to be in this, your profession.

To learn more go to