The Greatest Asset: Mastering Your Practice with Thomas Droge
At TIFIN Wealth, our “why” is solving for any challenge advisors may experience in their practices and creating solutions to help you grow your business. In our The Greatest Asset series, TIFIN’s Chief Mindfulness Officer Thomas Droge shares how advisors can implement strategies to maximize their impact and wellbeing in their businesses – and in their lives. In this post, Thomas shares three steps advisors can take to reset and reinvigorate in the new year.
TIFIN Wealth: Why is it important to take the time to review the past year? What’s the most effective way to start doing so?
Reviewing the past year and setting a clear and focused intention for the year to come is a powerful tool to move your goals forward. The impact on the new year is amplified when you ask the tough questions and recognize the wins from the previous year. Doing this allows you to face the new year with clarity and resolve.
My recommendation is to journal or use a similar recording tool to take stock. Do it in a quiet, private place with some time set aside so you can be thoughtful and sincere. Neuroscience indicates that writing things down not only helps you remember more clearly, but also helps you focus on what matters.
Like all tools of this nature, you get out of it as much as you put into it. But one element that often limits people from incorporating this type of exercise into their practice is that they sometimes forget that it’s ok to have fun with it.
I recommend that advisors start with recording their successes, wins and achievements, no matter how small. It’s been a tough year between market volatility, inflation, the lingering effects of COVID and the conflict in Europe. So acknowledging how you did well throughout the turbulence is key. Acknowledge the wisdom and comfort you brought clients as you shepherded them through 2022. Studies on gratitude show that it can become a positive feedback loop and make you happier in the long-run.
Once you’ve had a chance to acknowledge those, then move into the harder journaling: failures, disappointments or lingering upsets. Did you lose clients and wish you’d said the one thing that they really wanted to hear? Did you not take the time to increase efficiencies in your practice or do the prospecting outreach out wanted? Be objective, but also be compassionate with yourself. The goal of looking at your shortcomings is to learn from them and evolve your practice.
After you’ve reviewed those, consider what breakthroughs, beginning and endings you had in your practice and in your life? What insights did each experience help you gain?
Finally, think about where you may still be stuck or what you’re still feeling and where you want to grow. Write it down.
TIFIN Wealth: So once you’ve taken stock, what next?
You’ve experienced, created, and allowed many noteworthy things this past year. So at this point in the process, acknowledge that you have become “more.” It’s now time to expand your fields of ownership, recognition and acknowledgment. This will help you build your goals for the next year.
Here are some prompts that can help you do this:
- What makes me the most proud, thrilled, satisfied? What deserves celebration and savoring?
- What am I “owning” this year across my gifts and talents, my power, my value, my impact?
- What makes me dissatisfied? What requires more attention or needs more cultivating?
- What am I avoiding, putting off, or even pretending I don’t see?
- What scares me out of my boots and excites me at the same time?
- What is one old pattern I’m ready and willing to break?
- What is one new pattern I’m ready and willing to forge?
- What am I ready and willing to accept, embrace and/or forgive in myself (or others) so that I may continue to resolve, transform, and evolve?
TIFIN Wealth: So you’ve done the hard work, now how does that inform a more successful 2023?
Now that you’ve gone deep into what has happened and how you are taking ownership, it’s time to list your intentions for 2023. I encourage people to do it not just for their business, but for their lives as well – including relationships, mental health, and creative expression.
Then set some goals. What new skills do you want to pursue? Is it time to finally add some new tech to your practice, or dive into a new area where you can help clients, like incorporating charitable giving into your practice? What fabulous new adventures do you plan on taking? Is it time to finally attend that conference you’ve always been interested in but were worried about spending too much time away? Or to sign up for that charity golf tournament that you thought was out of your budget, but could lead to new business?
Ask who you’d like to get to know better. Is there a mentor you can reach out to, or an invigorating younger teammate you can take to lunch and get their ideas on how to freshen up your practice? A coach or spiritual leader that can help you stay grounded?
Finally, what boundaries do you need to set? Not checking your email during dinner with your family? Making time to see your friends more consistently by joining their book club or bowling league?
Then, take some time to define what actions will help you get there. Write the steps required to achieve each goal. Breaking challenges into small pieces makes them feel more manageable and helps you enjoy each win.
Finally, it’s now time to choose and commit to one overarching agenda for the next year. Know that what you’re going for is something intrinsic or intangible versus something material or tangible. This exercise is more about the “why” versus the “what.” For example, instead of saying I want to grow my practice by 15%, say what you’re really doing which is to, “make a greater impact and help people through new relationships.” And the goal of new relationships can help guide your actions to reach those more concrete goals.
The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
– Marcus Aurelius, Philosopher
In summary, leadership is about taking action. We often avoid looking at our failures because we think it will deflate us, diminish drive and create apathy. Marcus Aurelius taught us that when we come up against something difficult or fail to achieve our goals, what’s hidden inside the opposition is the answer to succeed. When your mind is open to the truth of a situation, what stands in the way becomes the way.
Thomas Droge is one of today’s leading teachers in the field of meditation and conscious leadership. His methods focus on the tools he has coalesced over the past 40 years from the disciplines of meditation, medicine, movement, and neuroscience. He has degrees in integrative East Asian medicine from the US and China, and is a graduate from Harvard’s Mind Body Medicine program.