Advisor Today - September/October 2015 - (Page 16)

practice specialties MANAGING YOUR PRACTICE By Michael J. Flynn, Jr., LUTCF Why You Need a Mentor Here are three ways in which a mentor can help accelerate your success. T he summit of Mount Everest stands 29,029 feet above the valley floor, earning it the title of the "earth's highest mountain." Many adventurers invest tens of thousands of dollars on an expedition to this mountain. They train for months and, in some cases, years in advance of attempting to summit. They exchange the comfort and luxury of home for the unpredictable and often extreme conditions hurled at them-avalanches, frostbite, altitude sickness and even death. Those fortunate enough to summit consider it a pinnacle moment in their climbing careers. Most of the time, they are pictured on the summit with their fellow mountaineers and one of the locals, commonly known as a Sherpa. When it comes to high altitude climbing, many mountaineers look to the skills and expertise of the Sherpa. He knows the mountains. He knows the conditions. He understands the threats and opportunities. After all, it is his home. The right Sherpa enhances the probability of successfully reaching the summit, and more importantly, surviving the descent. As a result, the most important relationship the climbers develop while on this expedition is with their Sherpa. Sherpas and mentors It is not a coincidence that people often equate a business mentor with a kind of Sherpa. After all, a mentor can help bridge the gap from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow by sharing with you her experiences of success and failure. We all have dreams of elevating our business and careers to the next level. And while no one will be successful for us, a relationship with an experienced mentor can go a long way in producing exponential results for our business. 16 ADVISOR TODAY | September/October 2015 A trusted mentor can help you quickly adjust your plans when the environment demands a change. How mentors help Here are three simple ways a mentor can accelerate your success: * Show you the path. This is undoubtedly the most significant way a mentor can accelerate your success. She is an expert at her craft, knows what she is doing, and understands what you are attempting to achieve. It is likely that she has accomplished a goal that is similar to yours more than once. * Help you understand the environment. A seemingly beautiful day on Everest may erupt into an avalanche, requiring adventurers to think on their feet and adapt their plans to the new environment. Similarly, operating a successful financial-services business requires one to be constantly aware of the changing environment. A trusted mentor can help you quickly adjust your plans when the environment demands a change. This understanding will not only enhance your success in life and business, it may also let you avoid game-changing pitfalls along the way. * Help to quickly identify opportunities and threats. The fact that your mentor knows the path and understands the environment enables her to give invaluable feedback that directly addresses areas where you have opportunities for growth. On Mount Everest, for example, it might be making sure your oxygen tank works properly or the ladders that span the fissures in the ice are secured. In our business, it might be helping you refine your sales process, improve the language used to describe solutions, integrate new technology into your practice or introduce you to resources you can use to continue your professional education. It has been said that successful people make a habit of doing the things unsuccessful people will not do. This includes finding and building a relationship with a mentor. Give yourself permission to seek the experience of someone who might see the untapped potential you possess. She will genuinely be concerned about your long-term success and will generously share her wisdom, knowledge and expertise. Zig Ziglar said it best: "A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else believed they could." Your mentor is simply paying it forward! Michael J. Flynn, Jr., LUTCF, is a second-generation financial advisor with Flynn Wealth Strategies and Insurance Solutions, Inc., in Capitola, CA. Flynn is a top producer in the greater Silicon Valley where he spends most of his time helping successful professionals and business owners grow, protect, enjoy and distribute their wealth by helping them make smart, strategic financial decisions. For more information, visit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advisor Today - September/October 2015

Why You Need a Mentor
The Key Attributes of Top Performers
Success Tips from a Golden Gloves Boxer
How I Use Social Media to Build my Practice
Getting Started on LinkedIn
Discussing Your Client’s LTC Needs in Retirement
How to Boost Your LTCI Production
¿Habla Español?
Providing a Retirement Safety Net
Ongoing Challenges, New Solutions
Four Under Forty
NAIFA’s 125th Anniversary
Demystifying CPA Alliances
Building Your Natural Audience
Holding Workshops?
Ideas to Help You Sell More
Special-Needs Planning
Planning for Divorced or Widowed Women

Advisor Today - September/October 2015