In December of 2022, Melanie Fine interviewed ten business leaders for her article in Forbes. I am grateful and humbled to be among them.
You can read the full Forbes article here. Ms. Fine asked “What worked for your business in 2022, and how are you preparing for 2023?” My full answer to that two-part question is below.
What worked well in 2022?
With admiring acknowledgment to the late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, and a sprinkling of Atomic Habits author James Clear and others, they remind us that we are each today what we will be in five years, but for …
- The people we meet
- The books we read (or listen to)
- The webinars – seminars – courses we attend, and
- The compounding effects of our daily habits
By God’s grace and our focused efforts, 2022 was the seventh record year in a row financially, which I attribute in large part to the following seven things:
1. Having a clear understanding of what ultimately matters most in life. Living a life full-out, rich with experiences to age 147 is just one of my lifetime goals. That said, life on earth is just a momentary stop. I not only know who I am, but as noted One-Minute Manager and legendary leader, Ken Blanchard says, “I know Whose I am.” As a follower of Jesus, I have a foundation for the here and now that extends far beyond my lifetime.
Pastor and multiple best-selling author, Joel Osteen, observes that any setbacks we have experienced in 2022 or prior are merely “set-ups” for our best life here on earth – for those people of faith, in heaven later. This knowledge gives me great peace and confidence in my daily life, no matter what momentary discouragements might come, that there is a purpose and plan greater than anything I might see now.
2. A small but mighty “tribe” of exceptionally talented individuals filling specific, written roles at WLG, Inc.
3. An outstanding business coach, Max Bolka, along with valuable input when asked from other business and life mentors. (This includes my wife, who has uncommonly good sense, for which I am very grateful – at least most of the time!)
4. Doing what only 3% of Americans actually do – setting specific, written goals reviewed on a near-daily basis. The resulting goal list is broken into 90-day “sprints” with no more than 7-10 goals for the year, 2-3 per 90-day sprint. It embraces the 10 “life domains” using NY Times best-selling author/coach Michael Hyatt’s “LifeScore” as a checklist for balance
If legendary speaker/writer/coach Brian Tracy is correct that “every minute you spend in planning, saves 10 minutes in execution” … how much more time and energy is saved in a year and over a lifetime by focusing our efforts only on the goals that matter most to us? Quoting Ken Blanchard again, by being clear on my “Why?” and “What?” goals, the “How?” can come … and best for them to come in that order.
5. Staying hungry for knowledge gained through books, audio programs, training courses, and conferences (my goal for this year was 48) and meeting extraordinary people (unlimited!)
6. Continuously adding business and personal skills to benefit clients, family, and others through attaining additional professional designations and certifications. (In 2022, I added the Wealth Management Certified Professional designation. Difficult but, as always, so valuable in adding knowledge that could be directly applied to assisting clients with their planning needs, which also provides additional revenue.)
7. Adding specific investments and strategies to our tool chest, which provides substantially increased income to clients on a tax-favored basis. By helping to address this underserved market need for clients and prospective clients, it has become an economically meaningful new profit center for us. Clients and prospective clients are very receptive to strategies such as this, and it requires little additional due diligence beyond what we are already applying for our clients.
How are we preparing for 2023?
Planning! By the time this article is published, we will have identified our 7-10 major goals for the year, which include:
- Identifying conferences we will be attending and speaking for – where we can update and add new skillsets for tax, estate, investment, insurance, regulatory, family legacy, and philanthropic issues
- Selecting our days out of the office and significant travel adventures
- Surveying specific clients to measure expectations and determine their needs and required services (What are we doing right? How can we improve? What else can we bring to the relationship directly or indirectly?)
- Identifying and increasing lines of dependent, yet mutually supportive products/services
We are also:
- Continuing professional and/or faith-based groups for accountability and growth
- Adding to and replenishing our inventory of tax-favored income streams for clients
- Increasing our “bench strength” by adding members to our tribe, which will, in turn, allow me greater flexibility to concentrate on more complex transactions with greater potential profits
Whew! That was a lot! We are looking forward to a great 2023 with you and hope you have some great SMARTER goals to make it your best year yet as well…“Imagine That™!”
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R. J. Kelly, Wealth Legacy Group®, Inc. – January 2023
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