Recently I shared a statistic that I found somewhat disturbing. Our research uncovered that only a third of advisors feel that they’re exactly on track to achieve the vision they set for their businesses.
I do, of course, understand how this happens. Life gets in the way of our goals shift, and either one can knock us off course. The disturbing part is that so few of those who are off track are taking steps to get back on track. They are, in some ways, settling for good over great.
If two thirds of advisors are off course, it suggests they believe there’s something ‘more’ out there – something better or bigger or different. I get it and I’ve lived it. You probably have as well. And I often wonder if settling has become acceptable because the alternative – transformation – is confusing or difficult or provocative.
In this blog (and anywhere I get the chance) I talk about transformation – about allowing personal vision to drive business vision. I talk about the need to be more heroic or (dare I say) more vulnerable and open to what we really want to create. And I talk about the stunning impact that doing just that can have on your business and your life.
And yet I realize that these are just words. For that reason, in my book I shared stories of those who had taken action – real life examples of Absolute Engagement.
One of those stories was about Jason Butler and today I want to put him in the spotlight to examine what it really means to transform your business – the good, the bad and the ugly. And I want to look at transformation in Jason’s words, not mine.
Below you’ll find clips of our interview as we walk through the transformation. However, you can also access the full 45-minute interview at the end of this post. I think it’s worth a listen.
The Path From There to Here
Today, Jason is a speaker, author and start-up investor. Not long ago, however, he was a founding partner at a successful wealth management firm in London, drawing on 25 years of industry experience.
The real story is about the space between here (where he is) and there (where he was) and these are the bits we often skip over. My interview with Jason highlights the journey from a niggling thought that there could be something more, to selling a business, to redefining himself inside (and outside) the industry.
Transformation Can Be Subtle (Or Not)
In sharing this interview with Jason, I feel bound to provide a caveat. His transformation was quite dramatic and resulted in selling his share of a thriving business. Of course change doesn’t have to be quite so dramatic. Pursuing something bigger or better might just require a tweak.
Hear Jason talk about his transformation, but also his experience in making smaller changes that had a significant impact on how he approached his business and his life.
Step 1: A Niggling Thought
Transformation often starts small, with a niggling thought that many of us push to the side for days, weeks or years. The thought may be a fleeting glimpse of the business that you would love to have, or it may be a realization that you aren’t fully satisfied. (See the research on ‘crystalization of discontent’. It’s cool.) Jason’s daughter was one of the catalysts that forced him to consider change.
Dad, you said to me, life is like an orange. You can decide how much juice you squeeze out of it, and your job is to make sure there’s no juice left when you take the last breath.
Jason shares the moment he knew things had to change.
Step 2: The Internal Fight
A funny thing happens to successful people who begin to think about a new path. They wonder if they have the right to even think those thoughts, the right to want something different. And they wonder if sharing their thoughts and questions will make them look indecisive, vulnerable or weak. Jason shares how difficult these decisions can be, even when they’re the right things to do.
I felt a bit guilty at the time because I thought I didn’t have a right to feel like this.
Hear Jason on how he began to think about change and the impact that had.
Step 3: Accept the Possibility of Something Different
For some reason, one of the most difficult things to do is to accept the possibility that the future might not look like the past. So often we edit ourselves before we even give ourselves the opportunity to dream a little differently. Jason knew that he had to ask himself some fundamentally different questions.
If you don’t ask the ‘what if’, then don’t expect any differences in your life.
Jason shares the process (and challenges) he went through to help him think about a different future.
Step 4: Evaluate Your Options
Sometimes the feeling that we want to transform precedes a clear plan. When that happens we need to give ourselves the time and space to consider the options in a structured way. Jason shares how he went about brainstorming his own future.
I think the first thing you’ve got to do is be honest to yourself about how you’re feeling, first and foremost. Secondly, just brainstorm with yourself and get it all on a bit of paper, even if you end up burning it afterwards because you never want anyone to see it.
Jason shares a simple tactic to help you evaluate your options:
Step 5: Get Comfortable in the Messy Middle
As soon as you begin think about change – real change – you’ll find yourself without concrete answers for some time. It’s an uncomfortable place to be, for many of us. Jason needed to clear the decks in order to create space for new opportunities. It’s a leap that many of us would find terrifying.
I knew I had to leave the firm and then I could write my new script.
Jason shares how he created space for new opportunities and took a leap of faith.
Step 6: Commit
Transformation is uncomfortable and it’s difficult and it can lead to an extraordinary business (or life, or both). It’s not for everyone and that’s o.k.. But for those who’ve had a fleeting glimpse of something more, I hope you give yourself the opportunity to see where it will lead.
Jason shared so many insights in our 45-minute call and you can access the entire interview below.
You can find Jason at:
Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/personal-finance/the-wealth-man
Thanks for stopping by,