I came across a quote recently that was both wonderfully reductive and powerfully frustrating at the same time. Shane Parrish says, “Ninety percent of success can be boiled down to consistently doing the obvious thing for an uncommonly long period of time without convincing yourself that you’re smarter than you are.” Oh my.
Words like ‘obvious’, ‘consistently’, and ‘uncommonly long period’ are so tough to read, let alone abide by. If you’re like me, you enjoy learning, experimenting, and innovating. You like to envision your practice as a place that ten years from now looks nothing like it does today; its success so massive that it doesn’t even resemble what you see now. How is that even possible if I’m to be doing obvious things consistently for an uncommonly long period of time? That sounds excruciating if we’re being honest here. I’ll be bored out of my mind!
Before we abandon Shane’s words, let’s consider something very simple. If our business is fundamentally a business that helps people meet their objectives, can we learn, experiment, and innovate ways in which to do that in new, fresh, and exciting ways? And as we’re doing this, we might actually meet or exceed simple client objectives over an uncommonly long period of time. And if we do these things, we’ll find massive success? I think it’s quite possible.
In the end, our goal should be to learn, experiment, and innovate to our heart’s content without forgetting what we’re actually doing and why we’re doing it. That is, we remain steadfastly committed to helping our clients meet their objectives while having a lot of fun doing it! It’s this commitment to the client and to our own need for professional fulfillment that can form the sweet spot in a career that offers endless challenges and opportunities. We just need to be cautious to not forget this by convincing ourselves we’re smarter than we are.
What a great time in history to be an advisor and what a great time to remain committed to what we do best, serve the clients who trust us with their hopes, dreams, and life savings.