My guest today is Stephanie Bogan. Stephanie she is the CEO and Founder of Educe Inc. and Limitless Advisor, an organization that helps advisors create wildly successful businesses — and a life they love.
In Stephanie’s typical manner, the conversation gets deep quickly as we jump into the big questions. What does the future look like for the Fiduciary Advisor? What does Artificial Intelligence mean for this industry — and how might it expose the importance of human connection?
Stephanie also shares what she has learned about success through the lens of scientific research, and why understanding your mindset and belief systems will increase your lifestyle gains, positively impact your client relationships, and boost your success.
Don’t miss one of our favorite moments, when Stephanie talks about the importance of reframing, and how this powerful practice can take your view of sales from “smarmy” to being of service to others. We hope you will find some practical ideas to try — and walk away inspired.
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Patrick: 00:21 Hey Model FA's, thanks for tuning in. My guest today is Stephanie Bogan. And if you've been around the advisory world for any amount of time, I'm certain Stephanie's tremendous success has crossed your path, and you may even have taken some steps to implement a concept or two that she has introduced to our industry.
Patrick: 00:39 Our conversation today is about mindset. Now before you hit pause or close out the podcast all together, listen to me. The information that Stephanie shares on this episode will blow your mind, literally. When we practice what she lays out for us, I know from personal experience that we'll all see an increase in performance, positive impact in client relationships, and as she puts it, "Rocket fuel added to our business trajectories."
Patrick: 01:05 Our team has enjoyed creating podcast for you and we are excited for the feedback that we're receiving. Please take a moment to rate and review the show. This really helps the podcast be seen by more people looking to learn about how to become a better fiduciary financial advisor. Make sure you share it with your team and your friends too.
Patrick: 01:22 All right. Here's my conversation with Stephanie Bogan.
Patrick: 01:24 Stephanie Bogan, welcome to the Model FA podcast. We're so excited to have you on Stephanie. If you don't know her, her background is illustrious. She built a pretty big consulting firm years ago, ended up selling that to Genworth, then went to work for United Capital, was one of the senior folks over there, helping them build out their client experience and other cool stuff that advisors still use. And she has recently started a consulting firm that has been hugely successful from the beaches of Costa Rica, where she is tanned all the time, and the rest of us are just pasty white folks.
Patrick: 01:56 So Stephanie, thank you so much for coming on the podcast.
Stephanie Bogan: 01:58 It's my pleasure Patrick, thank you so much for the invitation.
Patrick: 02:00 Absolutely. I'm super excited for our conversation. I know that we're gonna go and probably cover pretty much everything in the industry in today's talk.
Patrick: 02:07 So, to kick it off, I'm curious, where do you think the advice industry is going? We've got a lot of competition entering the market, we've got robo-advisors, we've got huge RIA's that are cropping up, it seems like everywhere, with advisors breaking away from the wirehouse and broker dealers. Where do you think the industry is going, and are you positive as far as the outlook for financial advice, kind of negative, where do you fall on that spectrum?
Stephanie Bogan: 02:33 Obviously there's a ton of talk, there has been for a decade or so about consolidation, right, with Hurley and to Burgin and others. And, the truth is, I'm seeing that trend live and in person right now. Half of the phone calls that I get are, "I'm two million plus, I've been doing this for 20 plus years. I'm having a struggle around the successor issue. I've gotta solve for that. I never really thought I would wanna do it a different way, but maybe a merger or an acquisition," right?
Stephanie Bogan: 03:01 So we're really starting to see sort of that consolidation trend start to hit. That said, I tell everyone, "Don't panic." Right? In general if you look at other professional service industries, right, if you look at architecture or accounting or legal, yes absolutely, 80% of the business is held by 20% of the firms. That will undoubtedly be true for financial services.
Stephanie Bogan: 03:23 And yet, there is a cottage industry from, right, the guy who's a CPA in his house to a little office to a five person firm, to a 20 person firm. So in that model there's still room for everyone in our industry because of what I call the accelerating pace of change and complexity and cost and compliance and fee compression, which I don't think it's so much fee compression as much as you're just having to work harder for the value. That creates issues around the business efficacy and systems and scale, which is as you know not advisor super powers.
Stephanie Bogan: 03:57 And so, all of this I think is converging, but I don't think ... That's the trend that everyone talks about. And I pretty much think that that's kind of like dust [crosstalk 00:04:06].
Patrick: 04:05 Okay.
Stephanie Bogan: 04:06 And what I mean by that is, yes it's happening, yes it's gonna continue, but I don't think that's the trend that's really gonna change everything. I think the trend that's gonna fundamentally change our industry is AI.
Patrick: 04:16 Ooh, okay.
Stephanie Bogan: 04:17 And I don't ... So that's where when people talk about consolidation I go, "Okay, that's great." And they go, "Oh." You know, accountants have little offices, and lawyers have little offices, and what I think is that all professional service firms are gonna be affected by this trend.
Patrick: 04:31 So, with the introduction of AI and let's say as it starts to develop out and become mainstream, where do you think it could potentially disintermediate financial advisors? Is it on the actual client communication side, is it more on the mid-office, back office and, you know, those types of functions? Where do you see AI really changing the industry?
Stephanie Bogan: 04:53 I don't think any of us can predict really. I mean probably some futurist could tell you. I read some really cool stuff, half of it will probably come true, half of it won't.
Patrick: 05:01 For sure.
Stephanie Bogan: 05:02 But here's what I think is very, very likely, if you look around is that, right, we talk about investments as commodities now, because the reality is they're commodities, right? If you're positioning yourself based on alpha, right, that's a very narrow slice of the profession. And it doesn't usually work out great in the long term.
Stephanie Bogan: 05:20 Right before I retired, I gave a presentation at Schwab IMPACT and I talked about what I thought was the coming commoditization of financial planning.
Patrick: 05:28 Okay.
Stephanie Bogan: 05:29 And people were looking at me funny in the audience, and I said, "Look. At the end of the day I can go online, I can put in my basic data, it's a calculation and I can get cashflow projections, I can get a budget, I can get all of these basic things."
Patrick: 05:42 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 05:42 So you can't tell me that fast forward 10 years, I'm not gonna be able to go online and do that, and lo and behold, fast forward 10 years, you can.
Patrick: 05:49 Here we are.
Stephanie Bogan: 05:50 Here's where I think there's an opportunity in that. And here's where ... I go to McDonald's in the airports now, and there aren't people, there are kiosks. Right? Literally you go up, you push the little buttons, and so, that trend is happening. I think the next 10 years are gonna be huge in terms of how that shows up. And again, I don't think anyone can predict it.
Stephanie Bogan: 06:08 So here's where I draw the line, because I don't have a crystal ball. At the end of the day the work that advisors do, the work that I do is focused on the externals, but the value's on the internals. And what I mean by that is we talk about our business, you know, we get a map, we've got vision and goals, we've got methods, right practice management systems, operations, marketing, right, digital media. Those are all methods, momentum, right, how you actually show up, the pace and intensity and velocity with which you, right, attack your life and your business.
Stephanie Bogan: 06:38 But at the end of the day, it's really about sort of the mindset piece, which is when people come into an office to talk about their money, they're never really talking about their money.
Patrick: 06:48 No.
Stephanie Bogan: 06:48 They're talking about what it means to them. If someone says to you, "I want this rate of return," it's because it means something to them. If someone says, "I grew up in the great depression, and I know I can buy a new car, but I'm not going to," it's because they have sort of a story around money and the meaning that it gives them. And there's something that they need, right? Safety or security or something else.
Stephanie Bogan: 07:09 And I think the highest quality advisors recognize that.
Patrick: 07:12 Okay.
Stephanie Bogan: 07:13 And they tap into it. And I was thinking about this lady, I was actually in Ron Carson's office last week and we were talking, you know, right? We love to have big conversations about-
Patrick: 07:21 Nice.
Stephanie Bogan: 07:21 Where it's all going, and this was the same conversation that we had, which is here is where I think advisors are really safe, but it's not going to be every advisor.
Patrick: 07:31 What do you think separates the advisors who will survive this, let's call it shift, and the ones that let's say struggle to adopt that type of a trend?
Stephanie Bogan: 07:39 And truly, irrespective of whether AI takes hold in a year or two years or 10 years, I think all of the commoditization and the consolidation are pushing it this way regardless. I think AI will likely accelerate it when bigger companies and enterprises figure out how to use it the same way that they are in the tax world.
Stephanie Bogan: 07:57 The difference is, and I think it's critical that advisors understand this, is, at the end of the day you can commoditize data, and what to do with it. You can, anything transactional you can commoditize.
Patrick: 08:10 Yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 08:11 You can scale it. But, what advisors do is really about emotion. It's about feeling. It's about the meaning that people give their money. And I've yet to find a computer that can crack that. That when a client says, "Here's my fear," right? The system can tell you what you should do.
Patrick: 08:31 Yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 08:31 But, we're talking about behavioral-
Patrick: 08:33 Irrational human beings with-
Stephanie Bogan: 08:34 Yeah. We're talking about emotion and behavior, and that is something that you cannot transact. And that's where I think advisors have a huge opportunity, which is the more transactional the world becomes, what are people going to be more desperately seeking?
Patrick: 08:49 Human connection.
Stephanie Bogan: 08:49 Human connection.
Patrick: 08:50 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 08:51 And that's the one thing that I think ... And that's where I think some firms are really, the firms that get this, whether they're a small lifestyle practice or a mega firm, I think are gonna be the firms that do well, because that's the value that people are willing to pay for. They're willing to pay for two things: advice and experience.
Patrick: 09:09 How do you scale human connection? Is it something where you train your advisors to be able to identify these motivations you create? Let's say marketing and communications strategies to peak people's interest, to get their attention, and then the advisor's essentially a facilitator of human connection at this point, who plugs into a larger client experience, or can they build their own client experience to compete with some of these bigger firms in this regard?
Stephanie Bogan: 09:33 Yeah it's funny. I'll have like mid sized or smaller firms, you know, a million or two million which, to some people is really huge, right? But when you've got a 15 or 20 or $30 million dollar firm, it's different by comparison. Is at the end of the day, anyone can do it. But the issue's gonna be, how much you can charge for it and how much you can scale it.
Patrick: 09:51 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 09:51 And I think honestly, smaller firms are better able right now to deliver that quality of advice and connection, because the people that are doing it sort of naturally do it. It's just their nature and their style. Larger firms, firms like UC, firms like Carson's Group, and I think others who are sort of getting the behavioral component of finance, are recognizing that you have to, and this is something I've taught firms to do for decades is, the secret is in learning how to systematize what is ultimately a highly specialized experience.
Patrick: 10:21 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 10:22 How do you systematize client engagement, right? The ability to look a client in the eyeball and just intuit whether you can push or not. What question could you ask that will really get to the heart of the issue? And that's not really anything that's taught in CFP programs.
Patrick: 10:38 No. Not even close.
Stephanie Bogan: 10:38 Some people naturally lean that way, and so, sort of evolve it over time. Other people never ever go there.
Patrick: 10:44 Can you study that skill though? Is that a skill that you feel like can be studied out? Or is it something that you develop through interaction, through feedback? I feel like for me, when I honed, I've been working on that skill my whole life, but it comes through rejection, it comes through conversation, it comes through experience. How do you feel like you develop that skill set?
Stephanie Bogan: 11:03 So, everything really ... Success leaves clues.
Patrick: 11:07 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 11:07 So at the end of the day, one of the things that I've sort of figured out over the years that I'm pretty good at is synthesizing things and figuring out how to package them, right? Lots of advisors can sit down and have an amazing engaged conversation with a client.
Patrick: 11:20 Yes.
Stephanie Bogan: 11:21 But I'm all about scaling, influence and impact. So how do you do that in an organization like United Capital or at Carson Wealth, or just, you know, a $5 million dollar firm that wants to be a $25 million dollar firm, when it's one or two or three advisors and they're all culturally aligned, it's sort of their style.
Stephanie Bogan: 11:38 When you teach it at an organizational level, it has to become a skill, which means you have to teach the art of client engagement. And that's really a behavioral conversation that starts with mindset. It's the mindset of the advisor going into the conversation and it's the mindsets of the clients. And that is honestly an area that is the least, it's the area of least conversation and the most importance.
Patrick: 12:03 So, mindset, I think you and I agree on this. I think it's foundational probably one of the most important things, it's just the ability to commit to something and then just follow through and just know intrinsically that you're working towards a goal and that you're gonna move in different directions in order to get there. But ultimately you're kinda gonna push through, and there's obviously way more to the study of mindset and all this other stuff. So very simply put ... A lot of advisors when you start talking about mindset, their initial reaction is this feels like a little hokey, it's not tangible-
Stephanie Bogan: 12:33 Totally.
Patrick: 12:33 It's not, you know, I can't study it out in the CFP books, there's no direct ROI from a tax planning standpoint to mindset. How do you address that?
Stephanie Bogan: 12:44 So, neuroscience, right, is like, the research in neuroscience. So, when I retired to Costa Rica, I had a lot of free time on my hands. And really I was on truly a journey of, right, I had been successful by every measure. I started a firm at 24, I sold it at 36, right? Didn't need to work anymore, was in a really good situation. Had been on the cover of the magazines, named an industry influential, wrote the book, the columns, all of it. And yet, there was still something that I was, right, that was sort of eluding me. I refer to it as the invisible forces, right? What was it?
Stephanie Bogan: 13:16 And so, when I retired, I didn't really know what I was moving for, I just knew that I wasn't gonna find it where I was. So I had a lot of free time on my hands, and so I started setting sort of the happiness of science of success in leadership in Costa Rica. And so, that led me to sort of neuroscience, and that is where really my mind was utterly blown in terms about of what really drives success and happiness and wealth and well being.
Stephanie Bogan: 13:39 And here's what the science essentially says, is that success is basically driven by three factors: environment, skill and psychology or mindset. Okay. That makes perfect sense.
Patrick: 13:51 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 13:51 But here's the part that literally blew my mind: success and happiness is 80% driven by your mindset. And so, we have five senses, we have, right? Taste, touch, see, hear, smell, right, all of that. And those senses examine our outer world. And then it goes into our brain to process that and figure out what happens. There is no sense for the inner world. There is no sense that says, "I'm upset today, why is that? I have a partnership issue that I haven't addressed for three years. In spite of the fact that it's not working, in spite of the fact that it's uncomfortable, in spite of the fact that it's holding our business back three years in, we're still circling the wagons on this one. What is that about?" That is not a business issue.
Stephanie Bogan: 14:30 So 90% of the issues that advisors in firms bring to me aren't business issues.
Patrick: 14:34 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 14:35 The methodology for solving them ends up with a business issue, right?
Patrick: 14:39 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 14:39 You deal partnership, but the underlying issue is about who they are and how they're showing up as an advisor and as a leader. And to your point, that is a conversation that makes some people uncomfortable because it seems-
Patrick: 14:50 Yeah it does.
Stephanie Bogan: 14:50 Woo-woo, right? And so, I'm reading this and I'm like, "Oh science. I dig science. Science is fact." I can ... So I start studying this more and more and more, and what I found is it just becomes more and more true. So we started this coaching program last year which incorporates not just all the business methods and best practices, but mindset. The results are staggering.
Stephanie Bogan: 15:11 So we had this two day retreat where we had alumni come down and one of the guys after two days, comes up to me, his name is Brian, Brian won't mind if I share this, and he says, "That was a really powerful two days. I have to tell you something." And I said, "What?" He said, "I just want you to know that when I joined this group, I just did it because of all your experience and the best practices, and all Matt's great systems, and I just wanted to replicate that." He's like, "This mindset thing I just figured, eh, it's free of people, it's cool."
Patrick: 15:35 It's an add-on.
Stephanie Bogan: 15:36 Yeah. Whatever. I can ignore that.
Patrick: 15:38 I'll deal with it. "Yeah. I'll tolerate her talking about this stuff, 'cause like, I have to tell you, he said, "Stephanie, I had no idea how important it is." And we literally uncorked his entire situation with a junior advisor and the lack of performance and how he was dealing with that in 17 minutes over lunch, and he looked at me and he was like, "Holy heck, I had no idea that's what was going on."
Patrick: 16:04 The crazy thing is, if you get rid of those blocks in your mindset, you can address business problems so fast. It's like insane.
Stephanie Bogan: 16:10 It accelerate ... This is what I tell people, "If you don't like woo-woo, that's fine." I'm all about results. I'm all about high ... I wanna be happy, I wanna be healthy, and I wanna just throw down with high performing habits. So if I have to rub crystals together or dance around a campfire, I don't care, I am all about the result.
Stephanie Bogan: 16:26 Now the good news is, I don't rub crystals together.
Patrick: 16:29 Okay, that's good.
Stephanie Bogan: 16:29 We do have bonfires-
Patrick: 16:29 We might have diverged there a little.
Stephanie Bogan: 16:31 In fairness we do dance around the bonfires in Costa Rica, but that's purely recreational and we're all having a great time.
Patrick: 16:36 Cool.
Stephanie Bogan: 16:37 But at the end of the day ... So here's the way that I have come to explain it, because most people sort of get intellectually that this make sense, right? If you have a good attitude, and we all know the sayings, right?
Patrick: 16:49 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 16:50 If you think you can, you're right. And if you think you can't, you're right.
Patrick: 16:53 Positivity and mindset are somewhat different too as far as-
Stephanie Bogan: 16:55 Exactly.
Patrick: 16:55 Yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 16:55 The key here is, this isn't woo-woo, this is hard science. This is neurology and biology and epigenetics. It's really about how you function. So the way I look at this is, when you have a conversation in your head, we all have them. I tell people I have voices in my head. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one, right? So you have conversations in your head. Something happens in your office, the phone rings, you get a message that your largest client has called. What's the first thing that people think when they get that message?
Patrick: 17:25 They're unhappy, they're gonna be-
Stephanie Bogan: 17:26 Something's wrong. Right.
Patrick: 17:27 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 17:27 Why do you think that? Is there a precedent for that?
Patrick: 17:29 Human nature I guess.
Stephanie Bogan: 17:29 Right. Because your brain is hardwired to focus on the problem not the opportunity. So here's the actual science that was truly like, kinda opened my eyes to how this really practically applies to the reality and the success that we live and experience. Which is, at the end of the day, the way that it works is we have on average, we have about 60000 thoughts a day. 80% of thoughts are negative, and 95% of those run on a replay loop. And those thoughts are all framed in what neuroscientists call stories or beliefs or imprints, right? You call it whatever you want.
Stephanie Bogan: 18:02 And the idea is, right, when we grow up as children, our brains are essentially taking in all the information for the environment and creating a model for living that says, "This is the way that you live." Because your limbic system, the oldest, deepest part of your brain, from an evolutionary perspective, has one job.
Patrick: 18:16 Don't die.
Stephanie Bogan: 18:17 Don't die. That's it. Now here's the ... Okay, we get that, fight or flight, right?
Patrick: 18:23 Yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 18:24 When that message gets laid on your desk and you see that it's from your largest client, do you go, "Oh, I bet he's calling to tell me that he sold another company and he's got another two million dollars to invest."
Patrick: 18:35 No you do not.
Stephanie Bogan: 18:36 No. You go, "I'm gonna be eaten by a hungry tiger and I'm gonna die." Right? "He's got a problem, he's not gonna like me, he's gonna fire me. All my clients are gonna fire me. I'm gonna be eaten by a hungry tiger, and I'm gonna die."
Patrick: 18:47 "And I'm the worst advisor out there."
Stephanie Bogan: 18:48 Right? And literally, the phone hasn't even been picked up to have the conversation, and we're having a conversation in our head. Here's the question, for anyone that's doubting, the Brian's of the world, like this is woo-woo, it's not for me, here's what I would ask you: who in the hell are you having the conversation with?
Patrick: 19:05 Yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 19:06 Who are you having that conversation with? If I'm having a conversation with you, there are two parties to the interaction.
Patrick: 19:11 This is true.
Stephanie Bogan: 19:11 So when I'm having a conversation in my head, who am I having it with?
Patrick: 19:15 Yourself.
Stephanie Bogan: 19:15 I'm having it with my belief system, my BS. Right? Because 99% of the time, those voices are not my friend.
Patrick: 19:23 How long does it take down to break down someone's belief system in a positive way? So-
Stephanie Bogan: 19:27 If you're really good?
Patrick: 19:28 Yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 19:28 12 to 17 minutes.
Patrick: 19:29 Wow. And what type of-
Stephanie Bogan: 19:31 Which is why it's way better than therapy. Everyone's like, "Oh my God, it's like therapy." I'm like, "Oh God, I don't have the time or money for that. I'm not sending their kids to school. I'm all about results."
Patrick: 19:40 Do you notice that people start to kinda gradually drift back into old patterns though if they don't continue to address-
Stephanie Bogan: 19:46 Yes, because-
Patrick: 19:46 Core issues?
Stephanie Bogan: 19:47 And so, we could have like a four hour marathon on this.
Patrick: 19:49 On yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 19:49 And we won't.
Patrick: 19:50 'Cause I definitely drift. So ...
Stephanie Bogan: 19:53 But let me explain to you the science behind why. So, as children we develop belief systems, whether you agree with it or not, I promise you, every neuroscientist in the world is on board with the idea that you form models of the world. Some of our beliefs help us. I can do anything. Some of our beliefs hinder us. I'm not good enough for that. How many advisors? Here are common examples: I can't charge fees for financial planning. I can't increase my fees. I can't move to a retainer. I can't charge that. I can't change the service model that my clients are on. I must take every phone call personally.
Patrick: 20:27 I have to be the servicing advisor.
Stephanie Bogan: 20:28 I have to, I need to, anytime I have to, should, or must pops in, I'm gonna tell your right now, you're working in a story.
Patrick: 20:35 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 20:35 Because it's just not true. I've made all those changes a thousand times with great success, never had anyone call me in 22 years and say, "I took your advice and it didn't work." That's not 'cause I'm a genius, it's because best practices work. Strategies work. We just are so busy applying them to the external environment that we never stop to ask ourselves, "Why in God's name do we go to all these darn conferences, and come back and not change anything." Or it's so slow and incremental, that we're just like, "Oh my God."
Stephanie Bogan: 21:06 And so, when you kick the mindset piece on to your point, it accelerates it because there's no resistance between you and the goal. So what you have is this clarity about what you're doing and why you're doing it, and whether it's serving you or not. And one of my favorite quotes is, "When your vision is clear, your decision is easy."
Patrick: 21:26 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 21:27 But these beliefs basically show up in our life, and the science basically says that they are, by the time that you are 35 years old, you are 95% pre-programmed.
Patrick: 21:38 So I got like a year left-
Stephanie Bogan: 21:39 Those scripts-
Patrick: 21:40 Before I'm fully pre-programed.
Stephanie Bogan: 21:40 Yeah. You've got a year to break the cycle.
Patrick: 21:42 All right.
Stephanie Bogan: 21:42 Literally. And it doesn't mean it's all bad, it doesn't mean we're all broken, it just means-
Patrick: 21:47 I have a lot of adapted teen like behaviors.
Stephanie Bogan: 21:49 Well and here's the thing, I think people, men in particular if we're being honest, tend to think these conversations mean there's something, someone's going to tell me there's something wrong with me or something's broken, and therefore, it's a feeling conversation or it's woo-woo stuff.
Patrick: 22:02 I can't engage in this.
Stephanie Bogan: 22:02 I cannot engage with this. I-
Patrick: 22:04 I am the best.
Stephanie Bogan: 22:05 Yes. And so there's the thing-
Patrick: 22:06 I am a CFD.
Stephanie Bogan: 22:06 That's just what we tell ourselves because it makes us uncomfortable. At the end of the day, your thoughts either help you or they hinder you.
Patrick: 22:15 How does mindset relate to leadership? I found that a lot of specifically younger advisors are afraid to bring people on to their business and, you know, lead people. Do you feel like there could be a block that's stopping advisors from wanting to grow a larger company? 'Cause I found that your success in business is directly related to how big of a vision you have, and if you narrow the vision, you say, "I can't possibly lead anyone. I can't any employees or partners or anything like that." You could really limit your ability to grow.
Patrick: 22:45 Do you feel like there could be some underlying issues there, or do you think those two things, leadership and kinda mindset and performance are unrelated?
Stephanie Bogan: 22:52 I think they're like 100% correlated.
Patrick: 22:54 Okay.
Stephanie Bogan: 22:54 Like 100%.
Patrick: 22:56 I thought so too.
Stephanie Bogan: 22:56 And here's why, right? So, our brain's number one job is, stay alive, don't die. The problem is not dying is not the same as truly living. Our cognitive brain, right, our prefrontal cortex, 5% of the time is running the show. So the basic assumption is, is that we're all operating on auto pilot, and I can give you all the signs about why that is, but we're taking in 11 million bits of information a second and we need shortcuts.
Patrick: 23:20 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 23:20 So our brain goes, "If this, then this." And those scripts become a story, which over time become a personality, right? "Oh, he's angry." No he's not angry. Anger is a strategy that he learned to deal effectively with his-
Patrick: 23:33 Adapt.
Stephanie Bogan: 23:33 To adapt to a situation. And so, what happens is, some of these beliefs help us and some of them hinder us, but we never take the time to examine not what's just happening in our business, but the most powerful question I ask people is, not what's happening, but what's happening really.
Stephanie Bogan: 23:48 So let's take the partnership issue, right? So we have someone in our group right now and, like you could pick any issue. So let's talk about, what was the-
Patrick: 23:57 There's so many.
Stephanie Bogan: 23:58 Yeah. We were just talking about, you just gave me an example and I forgot about it.
Patrick: 24:04 An example of an advisor facing, like leadership.
Stephanie Bogan: 24:07 Yup, leadership. Okay.
Patrick: 24:07 So, so, wanting to stay on your own because you feel like if you bring other people on, it could either cause issues down the road, you don't wanna lead, you know, you're not sure if you're a good leader, you're not confident in the ability to grow the firm, to support more than you and your family, those types of things.
Stephanie Bogan: 24:22 So, that's almost always a mindset issue. Now some people don't like managing people, and that's where they stop the conversation. So we have an advisor in our group, we have a number of them from last year, who had that same situation.
Stephanie Bogan: 24:33 So what's happening is, they don't like managing people, so they're not growing because, okay, so that doesn't explain why they're not outsourcing.
Patrick: 24:40 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 24:41 Right. You're outsourcing. Well, it's a control issue, right? Also 100% correlated to mindset.
Patrick: 24:46 Correct.
Stephanie Bogan: 24:46 Here's what the real issue is: if at a fundamental level you believe that you're on your own and you can't trust anyone, how are you gonna be at managing people? [crosstalk 00:24:56] If at a fundamental level you have the underlying belief that you're alone and you can't trust anyone, how are you gonna be at delegating?
Stephanie Bogan: 25:03 Now, how many people are gonna sit here, look you in the eyeball and say, "I have a limiting belief that I'm on my own and I can't trust anyone."
Patrick: 25:12 Not very many.
Stephanie Bogan: 25:12 Pretty much nobody.
Patrick: 25:13 Yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 25:13 Unless they've done this work.
Patrick: 25:15 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 25:15 Now here's the thing, it's not, like when I go speaking, one of my favorite things now is, I always ask them to give me an advisor to do some pre-work with, and then we do a role play at the end of the session. So I spend 90 minutes with this person, getting their background, asking them what's holding them back, and then just doing some coaching with them and every single time at the end of it, they're like, "Holy heck. I had no idea."
Stephanie Bogan: 25:37 So then I go speak on mindset for an hour, then I bring them up and we do like a 15 minute role play version, so the audience can see how these beliefs are actually, like these mindset issues are showing up.
Patrick: 25:46 Yeah. In real life and in business.
Stephanie Bogan: 25:47 And the entire audience every time is like, "Holy hell. I had no idea."
Patrick: 25:51 Well 'cause usually at a conference you're just intoxicated and muted and you're just dealing with information that you really can't apply unless you clear out some stuff on the [crosstalk 00:26:00]
Stephanie Bogan: 26:00 And that's the thing, the reason that the people listening to this podcast aren't being, having, achieving and experiencing everything they know is possible, that's why they're listening to your podcast. "Hey, there's more information. It's gonna help me up level my experience." And that's the thing, you don't have to be broken, you don't even have, but you don't have had a horrible childhood, all it's about is up leveling your experience, which just says, "Wherever I am, I want to have, be, achieve or experience more."
Patrick: 26:23 Hey Model FA's, this podcast is all about helping you grown your business. So I wanted to share a new tool that we created to help you do just that. It's a webinar and it's gonna show you how to add two to three plus new clients to your practice, with consistency, and in some cases without even spending any money. You can check it out at get.brewerconsulting.co/webinar. Again it's get.brewerconsulting.co/webinar. We look forward to seeing you there.
Patrick: 26:55 What are your thoughts on people's kind of underlying skill sets? I found that there's different types of advisors and you've got kind of the architect advisor that really likes to build the plans, be kind of the financial expert, you got the, you know, the connector who goes out there in sales, they love networking. The visionary, let's say just loves to paint the picture, think about the future, thrives on increasing influence.
Patrick: 27:17 I mean, do you think those underlying kinda personality traits play a role in advisor success at all? Or do you think that building a really successful advisory firm is available to everybody?
Stephanie Bogan: 27:29 I think anybody who's committed can build an extraordinarily successful firm. But my definition of success is different than most people's. I don't think that bigger is ... One of my favorite sayings is, "More isn't better, better is better."
Patrick: 27:40 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 27:40 For some people, some people are what I call empire builders, right? I'm an empire builder, you're an empire ... I love scaling influence. I get an idea and I'm like, "Wow. I wanna share it with a million people." Other people are just so happy to just sit across from those clients, day after day, and just have that intimate connection and kind of do that for 10 ... And God love those people, the world needs them.
Patrick: 28:00 Yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 28:00 And so, at the end of the day, those are just general personality styles. What it's really about for me is, what's your definition of success? And what's holding you back from it? Because I genuinely believe and this is where the neuroscience really kicks in is, the neuroscientists, like Harvard now has a mind body institute, right? And everyone's coming to the same conclusion which is, the only limits that we have are the ones that we place on ourselves.
Stephanie Bogan: 28:26 So when you go into a situation with a partnership, wanting to build an empire firm, or just like a lot of the people in our coaching program are like, "Look. I just want an amazing lifestyle practice like you and Matt. Like you make seven figures a year, you work 20 hours a week from anywhere in the world, that's epic. I would like some of that." I'm like, "Great, we can get you that."
Stephanie Bogan: 28:43 And here's the funny thing, then we had all these people join that are like a million, a million and a half and larger, and I'm like, "You're already at a million, why are you joining?" And they're like, "'Cause we want all of the efficiency and the scale and then the freedom to do what we want with it. We can take more vacation or we can just build a bigger more successful firm."
Stephanie Bogan: 28:59 So the principles are the principles are the principles. When we ignore mindset, we're ignoring the very thing that gets us the ability to get where we wanna go, and yes we can eventually get there, but it is so much harder and longer and there's so much more struggle involved, and that's literally Patrick the reason that I un-retired. I was like, "It doesn't have to be this way."
Patrick: 29:21 A lot of advisors, they use information and workflows, operational processes to hide. I feel like the industry gives you a lot of opportunities to hide. I did a post on this a couple of weeks ago, and it got a lot of engagement, more than I was expecting. I just listed out all the ways that advisors will routinely try and hide in their business, instead of doing the things that maybe feel a little bit uncomfortable, that will actually produce 95% of the result.
Stephanie Bogan: 29:46 It's a brilliant insight on your part. So I'm writing, so I'm starting this new blog thing I committed, right?
Patrick: 29:50 Uh oh.
Stephanie Bogan: 29:50 I committed that I was gonna do-
Patrick: 29:51 All right. We're gonna watch, we're gonna make sure.
Stephanie Bogan: 29:53 I was committed that I was gonna do that. I might even thrown in some videos so I can [crosstalk 00:29:55] with one bird stone or whatever it's called.
Patrick: 29:58 Bird stone.
Stephanie Bogan: 29:58 Yeah. I know. My husband always tells me not to use analogies 'cause I-
Patrick: 30:02 All right. You're good. I'm terrible with analogies.
Stephanie Bogan: 30:04 They'll edit that out for me.
Stephanie Bogan: 30:06 So, here's a perfect example. So, I'm in San Diego yesterday, and I hop in my Uber car, and I cannot help but notice that there is a a little, literally a little old lady in the front seat. And I mean like older lady, like frail thin-
Patrick: 30:20 Like 85 plus.
Stephanie Bogan: 30:21 Pale, paper thin skin, she's 83 years old.
Patrick: 30:24 Wow.
Stephanie Bogan: 30:24 She's fashionable, she's in a hot pink velour jumpsuit, and, so she strikes up a conversation and her vibe is just lovely. She just is interesting and she asked me what I was doing, and I was like, "I'm speaking." She's like, "Oh, I was a professional speaker in the '80s on image." And I'm like, "Of course you were, even with that amazing hot pink velour jumpsuit." Right?
Stephanie Bogan: 30:44 And she's telling me, "I did TV and movies, I even have a small pension from The Screen Actors Guild."
Patrick: 30:48 Wow.
Stephanie Bogan: 30:48 I mean she's not like, it's not like regret, you can tell that she really enjoyed-
Patrick: 30:53 Lived a full life, yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 30:53 This time in her life. And she's like, "And then as I got older, I got into real estate and then I retired. And then 2008 happened and I lost everything. And I've been driving, you know, I did what I could with what I had saved, and I've been driving for Uber for three years." And I have to tell you something, one, I was incredibly humbled, just humbled, and then I was mad. I was mad. And here's why I was mad. God I love advisors, I love them to death, but I'm so frustrated at the inability to have a conversation and tell the story of the value of the work that is done, and 'I'm so tired of the excuses, to your point, it's hiding.
Stephanie Bogan: 31:32 Here is a woman who's 83 years old, driving an Uber car, because some advisor somewhere was sitting in his office, on his high and mighty going, "I don't wanna be a smarmy salesman. And so, I'm uncomfortable, I'm not going to do that."
Patrick: 31:47 Yeah. I'm just gonna do nothing.
Stephanie Bogan: 31:48 And yet, if you genuinely believe in the value of what you do, you're basically capitulating 'cause you know the smarmy salesman down the street does not have that issue, and he's hustling. And he got her money, and as a result-
Patrick: 32:01 She lost it.
Stephanie Bogan: 32:01 She's lost it all and gone to Uber. And when I know that there are really quality advisors out there who are hiding, it frustrates me to no end, because how many people need help, aren't getting it, because we are hiding behind or limiting beliefs, and we don't even know that we have them. We're just not willing to do the work. Which is entirely why I'm retired because I was like, "I have to change the conversation."
Patrick: 32:25 Yeah. We're trying to do similar things. I mean it's funny, in our program, we focus mainly on client communication, marketing sales, similar stuff, and I've actually hired in a bunch of people from Northwestern Mutual, some high end advisors who have been trained very specifically on going out and doing a lot of the front facing sales, lead generation stuff. So using the people in the industry who have been trained for bad, to help train the good people on some of those tactics as well.
Stephanie Bogan: 32:51 One other thing is, we get uncomfortable, right? So our brains are hardwired to avoid things that represent any form or risk, threat or danger.
Patrick: 32:59 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 32:59 Anything that is new or different is uncomfortable because if you have that level of uncertainty, your brain goes, "Oh wait, if we don't have that level of uncertainty, there's risk, threat or danger."
Patrick: 33:08 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 33:09 We can't do that.
Stephanie Bogan: 33:10 And so, we stop ourselves before we ever really understand why, and here's the tricky part, not just what it's costing the little old ladies, but what's it costing us? And so, when you're sitting in your office thinking, "I don't wanna be a shmarmy salesman, so I'm not going to do anything," what you're missing galactically is one, if you genuinely believe in the cause of calling and financial planning, that's not a strong position to stand on. And two, it's all about strategies. There is no correlation, there's no code book that says, "If you tell people what you do, you are 100% a smarmy salesman."
Stephanie Bogan: 33:42 It's a story. It's a belief that someone picked up.
Patrick: 33:46 It's also a reframing of what the advisors value proposition is. For so long the industry is told that your value proposition is related to the services that you deliver, whether that's financial planning, investments, tax, whatever it is. But the value proposition of an advisor is essentially, they're accumulated stories and belief system, all that they stand for, right? What is their personal and business philosophy? How do they help folks? Why do they do it? If they can share that in a way that feels organic and natural to the marketplace, that's not salesy at all, you know? That's just a reflection of how they do business and people will be attracted to that because as we said, what we're selling here is the human connection.
Stephanie Bogan: 34:22 What's funny, 'cause the logic just doesn't play out, right? So we're all very good at talking about the business case. There is no business case for staying at a partnership that's not working. There is no business case for serving clients in a way that's unprofitable and dilutes the performance of the firm. There is no business case for sitting on your hight and mighty saying you don't wanna be smarmy salesman knowing full well that the smarmy salesman is out there selling to ... Like there's no business case for it.
Stephanie Bogan: 34:44 Which means at the end of the day, it's about who you are and how you're showing up. And when you get that, again not at a therapy, I gotta lay on the couch and cry, like that's the difference between therapy and coaching. Therapy is like, "Let's go back into your past and heal." Coaching is, "Where are we and how do we up level our experience?" We do need to identify what beliefs are holding us back, what sort of stories are running in our heads. I can't tell you the number of clients I have that get successful-ish and then stop. And it turns out, every single time they have a money story.
Stephanie Bogan: 35:13 And here's what that money story is almost every single time, "I grew up in, right, with no money on the other side of town, and my parents or people around me talked negatively about people with money on the good side of town. And as a result, wow I hit this million dollars and I stopped and I couldn't figure out why." Well it's very simple when you break it down. That's happening is you plateaued, what's happening really is your subconscious, the autopilot that's running the show-
Patrick: 35:40 Sabotaging you.
Stephanie Bogan: 35:41 Is literally sabotaging you and going, "Hey wait a minute, if we get any more successful, we're gonna be one of those people. And that means we're bad, and if we're bad, we don't fit in the tribe. And if you get kicked out of the tribe, you're on your own and you'll get eaten by a hungry tiger and die."
Patrick: 35:54 Yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 35:55 And literally without your knowledge can center permission, your hard wiring is, your code is sort of running how you behave, how you respond, how you show up, how you respond in your relationships, how you respond as a parent, how you respond as an advisor, how you respond as a leader. And at the end of the day, it doesn't have to be like that. It's just strategies.
Stephanie Bogan: 36:14 One of the things that I get a lot of credit for is wordsmithing. Like wow, and I just call it reframing, right? You get whatever it is, if you go to someone and say, "Hey, would you like to come into my office and I'll tell you about our financial planning?" "Yeah, smarmy do not call me. That's creepy."
Patrick: 36:29 Yeah weird.
Stephanie Bogan: 36:29 Right? But if you're like, "Hey," right, and you reframe that conversation, and you just change that language a little bit, "Oh I can see that you have some questions, I'd be happy to sit down with you over coffee and just sort of kinda go over any pressing questions that you have and make sure that you feel confident as you move forward."
Patrick: 36:44 For sure.
Stephanie Bogan: 36:45 That's a credible conversation. So what I talk about it, so we don't talk about being sales people, although there is always obviously a moment when you are giving, right, there is a quote, 'sales transaction,' it's about showing up as a persuasive educator and selling with dignity.
Patrick: 37:00 Yeah. And the thing is, like sales doesn't have to a negative word. Sales is about service at the end of the day. It's about being of service and empowering yourself to be of service. So if you can do that, and you can do it in a way that works for the client, but also works for you, I mean you're just making the world a better place, as long as you're selling something that actually is of value.
Stephanie Bogan: 37:18 Right.
Patrick: 37:18 That's obviously a qualifier.
Stephanie Bogan: 37:18 And that's what I tell people. "Look, you have to use your powers for good instead of evil."
Patrick: 37:21 Exactly.
Stephanie Bogan: 37:21 That's sort of rule number one for me and my clients. If you are out to take advantage of someone or sell them a part, like then, then-
Patrick: 37:27 Yeah. No go.
Stephanie Bogan: 37:28 I'm not the girl for you. It's non negotiable. Those people fortunately don't call me.
Patrick: 37:32 Yeah. They don't call. They try and call me-
Stephanie Bogan: 37:33 Really good people-
Patrick: 37:33 But I just tell them no.
Stephanie Bogan: 37:34 Good people who wanna do great work or who really wanna up level their business or their life call me, it's sort of a self fulfilling prophecy, so it works out really good for me. But there are a lot of those people out there. And so, at the end of the day, if we can just ... The shifts are so simple. We had 19 people at this retreat, and on day two we sort of did a round table where based on the work we had done, everybody got like, it was sort of your time in the power seat as we call it, sort of like a hot seat.
Stephanie Bogan: 38:00 And so, and then another coach and I literally had them talk, and just ask them questions, and literally every single person, they each had in the span of it, 13 and a half minutes. And every single one of those people was able to ... What we call unpacking, is unpack. So they had their vision and their goals they had set up, they identified an issue that was really holding them back, and then we unpacked that issue.
Stephanie Bogan: 38:20 And in the span of 13 minutes, every single person there was like, "Wow. That had a profound impact, these two days on the way that I'm gonna show up at work." Because to your point, we're all hiding. At the end of the day, that program for most people is based on one key emotion: fear.
Patrick: 38:39 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 38:39 Avoid anything bad. If you raise your-
Patrick: 38:42 You don't wanna be exposed, you don't wanna be seen if someone was-
Stephanie Bogan: 38:44 Why do we discount our fees? Literally I have clients who have three, four, five million dollar practices, they have millions of dollars in the bank. They make 800 grand a year. And they'll still take a client below their minimum, a discounted fee, when I come in.
Stephanie Bogan: 38:59 And I'm like-
Patrick: 38:59 Stop doing that.
Stephanie Bogan: 39:00 There's no business case. And then some of my clients will say, "Well I wanna be able to help the smaller clients and I can." Great. I want you to make that decision from an informed basis and I want you to know the cost of it, and if you're okay with it, then you're okay with it. That's your right as a business owner.
Stephanie Bogan: 39:14 But what I want you to agree to do first is at least explore why we're taking those people. Because at the end of the day, that desire to serve is almost always driven by something else. And again, I'm not saying that we shouldn't serve those people. What I'm saying is we can't expect to be our best or give our best if we don't understand our own underlying motives and stories.
Stephanie Bogan: 39:33 And when you do that, to your point about acceleration, the shifts are profound. Like that's even in our ... It's a group coaching program, right? We have a massive amount of support, but it's not like my private client relationships where I'm like, I'm there every week talking to them, we're going deep. And the results are still staggering, because those little shifts are what allow you to sort of accelerate your success. For most advisors, gain back their time and freedom, right? So you start running the business instead of it running you.
Stephanie Bogan: 40:05 And then my favorite thing is, when you put all that together, you can build a wildly successful business and a life that you love. And it does not matter if you're a solo advisor, you know, working from your home office or a small office, or you're a mega firm, right? The principles of mapping, of mindset, of methods and momentum, they apply equally. And this is the part that compels me to wake up every day and do this work. Because people desperately want more. Whether a man is going to do the bar or the church, they wall want the same thing, which is a little bit larger slice of life. We all want a little more money, a little more time with our kids, a little more impact in our world, a little more happiness in our soul, right? A little more spring in our step.
Stephanie Bogan: 40:44 And, we wake up every day wanting that, yearning for that, and utterly unclear on how to get it. So we do the typical things that we think we're supposed to do. We go to conferences, we do this, we do that, and we apply like 5% of it. And when you apply it by the way, it works.
Patrick: 40:59 Yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 41:00 Right? All marketing works, all systems work, like, "Should I manage my time this way or that way?" There are differences in efficacy, but at then end of the day, systems generally work, pick one.
Patrick: 41:09 Yup.
Stephanie Bogan: 41:10 Why don't we follow a system? 'Cause, well, that's the issue isn't it, right?
Patrick: 41:14 Yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 41:14 And so, you can solve that.
Stephanie Bogan: 41:15 So, mindset is kind of the foundation of everything, but in the coaching work we talk about it a lot in the beginning for a brief period of time, and then sort of intermittently throughout. But the rest of the conversation is around methods, which is, when we have clarity of where we wanna go, when we know what's holding us back really, wow, it is though the training wheels have come off and we've put rocket fuel in this thing, and all of a sudden the ability to shift our service model ... Like so many advisors last year picked their niche in our group program, raised their fees, transitioned client ... I mean all of the things that they kind of knew they maybe needed to do, they fundamentally were able to kind of unpack their stuff and then do it. And the results are, they're staggering.
Patrick: 42:01 Yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 42:01 Like they're even better in a group environment, they're like even better than I thought they were gonna be. And that really goes to the fourth point which is momentum, which is, you can't be lazy, you can't procrastinate, you can't say that you want it and then ... So I believe in energy and momentum, which is I believe that the energy and effort you put out is pretty much what you're gonna be matched with.
Patrick: 42:19 Yeah. Agreed.
Stephanie Bogan: 42:19 So if you spend 10 minutes a day doing something, you're gonna get 10 minutes of result. And if you spend three hours a day doing something, you're gonna get three hours of result. The problem is, is because most people haven't done the first three areas, that three hours a day still yields them 10 minutes of result.
Patrick: 42:33 Yeah. 'Cause they're out of alignment.
Stephanie Bogan: 42:34 So it's a lot of effort and it's a lot of struggle 'cause they're out of alignment. When you align your vision of what you want, your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions, holy heck, it is like putting rocket fuel in the car, decisions are made, things get done, and like advisor after advisor is like, "Wow. I had no idea." And then you start showing up, and I'm really big, this is the last year for me, is really on high performing habits. I've really been studying what are the high performing habits of people that operate most of the time in a success state.
Stephanie Bogan: 43:04 Everybody has stress states, I have them, right? I had bad days, I'm like, "Oh my God, this [inaudible 00:43:09]" But the difference is, I don't let those stories stick in my head, I go, "Oh, wait, that little voice, that little-"
Patrick: 43:15 Yeah. Brush it off.
Stephanie Bogan: 43:17 Brush it off. And I can reframe it for myself in an instant and go, "Oh, the largest client called. I wonder what's up? I wonder if they have a question? Well I should get back to them right away because I so love talking to my clients. Right? Like I don't have ... One of my calls, I literally have not an ounce of worry because I'm coming into it with a completely different confidence and mindset, and I know my value. If the client suddenly woke up and hates me and they quit tomorrow, "Okay, I'm just fine."
Patrick: 43:42 Yeah.
Stephanie Bogan: 43:43 Like that doesn't happen, but at the end of the day, I don't have that moment of, "Oh my God," that so many advisors have. So when you put those four pieces together, total game changer.
Patrick: 43:53 Stephanie, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I really enjoyed your explanation around mindset and habits that advisors need to adopt in order to build a transformative practice, and I'm looking forward to future discussions. So thanks again for coming in.
Stephanie Bogan: 44:06 It's been my pleasure.
Patrick: 44:07 All right. Talk to you soon.
Stephanie Bogan: 44:08 Take care.