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Transform yourself and build better relationships when you change your mindset

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Working from a growth mindset, removing barriers and secrets about high-net-worth clients.

By Kent Bridgeman

You can deepen relationships with your clients, gain more clients and ultimately increase your bottom line — all without spending a dime or working more hours — if you’re willing to change your mindset.

It’s possible you’re limiting your potential by asking yourself the wrong questions and locking in place a mindset that stops growth. In the classic text “Change Your Questions, Change Your Life,” Marilee Adams, Ph.D., demonstrates how to ask questions that will move you out of a fixed mindset and into a growth mindset. Here’s how those principles work.

Fixed mindset vs. growth mindset

“We don’t have much control over what happens, but we can choose how we relate to what happens,” Adams writes.

We tend to construct narratives about our lives as they are happening. Standing in line at the post office, we might think to ourselves, “What’s taking so long?”

This is what Adams refers to as a “judging” or “judger” question. These types of questions lead to a fixed mindset in which we tend to see things one way and as unchangeable. But we can change the type of story we are telling ourselves by changing how we ask questions of ourselves and others.

While waiting in line at the post office, we might instead ask ourselves a “learning” or “learner” question, such as, “How can I make the best use of this time?”

Recognizing judging questions

Judging questions seek to create a narrative of blame. They’re automatic responses and can lead us into a pit of despair. Because they are automatic, they can often be hard to spot. A clue can be tension in the body or a feeling of stress.

When the “judger” part of the mind can’t find an external source, it often turns on itself with questions such as, “What’s wrong with me?” or “Why can’t I do anything right?”

Fortunately, once you learn to recognize the judging questions, you can move into a learning mindset by using what Adams refers to as “switching questions.” By asking “What can I learn from this?” or “What assumptions am I making?” you open your mind to a more receptive state.

Removing barriers to reach your next level of success

By Steven A. Plewes, CLU, ChFC

There are many factors involved in discovering how to break through barriers to achieve success. First, ask yourself: Do I really want success, and what does that mean to me?

Here are two more questions to consider:

Who are you?

Think about what would make you feel successful. To define this properly, we have to consider our values. We tend to think of ourselves as our role — as financial advisors or a father or a mother. Instead, think about your core values.

When we know exactly who we are, what we do, what we’re willing to accept and what our boundaries are, we can become very focused and overcome obstacles.

What do you want?

Once you know who you are, then you have to talk about what it is that you really want. Whatever your goal is, define it.

Write down a couple of things that would be important to you in your life, in the short term, mid term or long term.

Steven Plewes is a 33-year MDRT member from Naples, Florida, USA. Contact him at

3 surprising secrets about high-net-worth clients

By Antoinette Tuscano

Not everything is what it seems to be from the outside when working with high-net-worth clients. It’s what you don’t expect about the demographic that may keep you from working with wealthy clients.

Here are some of the common realities about wealthy clients:

1. They can appear average

“My clients don’t view themselves as wealthy, including one client who is in the top 1% income bracket,” said 33-year MDRT member Brent R. Kimball, CFP, ChFC, of Pembroke, New Hampshire, USA. Often, the most private millionaires live in average houses in average neighborhoods. They tend to be self-made successes who came from humble beginnings.

“The high-net-worth can be very private,” agreed 17-year MDRT member Matthew Charles Collins from Mona Vale, New South Wales, Australia. “The wealthiest guy I deal with drives a Camry, and not even his kids know what he’s worth. He doesn’t want his kids growing up acting entitled.”

2. They sometimes experience cash flow problems

Some wealthy clients have their money tied up in businesses or assets that aren’t easy to convert to cash. And, like anyone, the wealthy can live beyond their means. The lack of cash flow, said 12-year MDRT member David Travis Wyatt II, of Greenville, South Carolina, USA, “can cause lots
of stresses and strains.”

In areas where even modest housing is expensive, clients may have much of their wealth tied up in their homes. “Sydney is expensive,” Collins said. “The average house price is well in excess of $1 million. But a client might not be high-net-worth because it’s not like you can sell off a bedroom if you need cash.”

Eight-year MDRT member Renyu Xu, of LaSalle, Quebec, Canada, who focuses on clients with more than $10 million in assets, agrees. “They can have the assets but not a lot of cash flow,” she said. “That’s the problem we solve for them.”

3. They may lack financial education

Just because the high-net-worth client makes or inherited a lot of money, it doesn’t mean they understand investments, protecting wealth, taxes or cash flow for businesses. It would be a mistake to think you can skip educating wealthy clients.

“We need to spend more time educating them,” Xu said.

Understanding the high-net-worth can help advisors work better with this demographic and attract more clients like them.



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