Do you remember when professional football player Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg and was ultimately sentenced to 2 years in prison? Did you say something to yourself like, "What an idiot!" Maybe that was followed by a thought like, "How could anyone squander such a great opportunity by doing something so stupid!?"
To refresh your memory, in March of 2005 the free-agent wide receiver signed a 6-year, $28.5 million dollar deal to play for the NY Giants. He caught the winning touchdown pass in their 2008 Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots. As far as we know, he has no other opportunity to make this much money in some other line of work. He'll be almost 34 when he's released from prison.
Mr. Burress lost his substantial income, his freedom for a period of time, and jeopardized his best opportunity for lifetime financial independence. Not to mention, the embarrassment of the situation. I guess that's why the mantra of NFL coaches is "nothing good happens after midnight."
I don't have an axe to grind with Mr. Burress. I hope he returns to play in the NFL at a very high level. I'm interested in the lesson for the rest of us.
What is the relevance for you? What is your opportunity? Among other things, you have the opportunity to create your Ideal Life in Four Years or Less, by building an Ideal Client Community, by referral only, using the Values-Based Financial Planning™ turn-key business model. This industry affords you the opportunity to earn high six-figures, or seven-figures, of business revenue, hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal income, help people achieve their goals and fulfill their life values, enjoy significant personal freedom, live a great life, etc. etc. etc. But most financial advisors are almost certainly doing some things just as dumb as Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg. It's just not making headlines… thank goodness.
The situation with Mr. Burress illustrates that some things are monumentally dumb. What about the more subtly stupid behaviors and day-to-day choices that may be having just as devastating of an effect on your success? Do the small dumb mistakes add up to have a larger total effect? You may not be doing the business equivalent of shooting yourself in the leg, but your smaller, more subtle, poor choices could be having an equivalent and negative cumulative impact on your success and quality of life.
Reflection is healthy. My advice is that every time you read a headline about somebody else doing something really stupid, reap the rewards of that situation by reflecting on your own behavior. Ask yourself a few good questions:
· What dumb things am I doing to squander my opportunity?
· How much is it costing me in terms of time, money, and happiness?
· What is the corresponding opposite behavior that would have a positive impact on my life instead of detracting from it?
It's so easy to see why everyone else is an idiot, isn't it? But we can learn lessons from other people's dumb behavior. Their stupidity can be our springboard to success!
Here are a few more great self-examination questions:
· Could I spend less time in low pay-off activities?
· Could I be investing more time every day and week asking for referrals, making follow-up calls, effectively engaging prospective clients I was referred to in compelling phone conversations about what matters to them, doing more initial client interviews, and delivering truly comprehensive financial services?
· Could I eat better and exercise more consistently?
· Could I be more productive at work so I can spend more time with the people I love?
Make it another great month on your way to your best year ever.