Michael Hyatt Coach-ability
DAVID SCRANTON: Welcome back to the Income Generation. The show where we provide valuable financial information for that critical period in life when you’re either in or approaching retirement. I’m David Scranton your host.
We all assume a lot of different roles over the course of our lives student, employee, parent, teacher, boss, and so many others. For me the role that I probably take the most pride in and had the most success with is the role of coach, as a financial advisor, I coach not just my own clients but also other advisors on how to best serve the needs of their clients. And if there’s one important thing I’ve learned early on in my career it’s that for any kind of coaching to really succeed it needs to be a partnership.
Why being coach-able is essential to achieving your retirement goals
In other words, I never could have become successful as a coach if I hadn’t first learned the importance of being coachable. And to this day I stressed that lesson with every new client and every new advisor with whom I work. So, what you’re going to learn on today’s show is why being coachable is so essential to achieving your financial goals in retirement. So what do I mean exactly by the word coachable? Well, when most of us hear the term coach we automatically think of sports and most of us probably had a sports coach at one time or another. Who really had some influence over our lives, a coach who made us a better player maybe even a better person and taught us lessons that perhaps we still live by to this day. And if you had a coach like that think back to your relationship with him or her. Where you stubborn at times and resistant to his or her training?
Where you skeptical of his strategies and unwilling to commit to them? Or did you trust in that coach’s expertise and allow yourself to be guided by it? Did you work hard to apply his methods and ask questions when you didn’t understand his advice instead of ignoring it? In other words, in a word were you coachable? If you were, it means you worked in partnership with your coach and trusted that you both shared a common goal and that is to make you the best player that you could possibly be. The thing that’s tricky is that most people probably automatically think of themselves as being coachable, but in my experience, it’s not a trait that’s naturally ingrained in most people. It has to be a conscious decision that takes priority over things like pride, ego and stubbornness and a lot of other traits that actually are hardwired in most people to one extent or another. And to make matters worse many of these traits actually increase in people over time as people get older, these are important lessons to keep in mind when you think about financial planning. Even if you don’t have a financial coach in the form of a broker or advisor you still need to be coachable when it comes to your strategies and decision making. For example, are you willing to change direction when you read something that makes a solid argument perhaps against your existing beliefs? Or are you willing to take the road less traveled when you come across evidence that it might just be the best road for you?
A financial advisor or financial coach?
Those are crucial questions because the fact is, a good leader, a good coach is one who is able to recognize those times and situations when the road less traveled is the right one. And he’s courageous enough to lead his followers in that direction but he’s also willing and able to educate them to explain his rationale and to provide evidence to support it. So when it comes down to it, the issue with coaching is twofold you need to be coachable but you also need to have the right coach or coaches. Whether you’re a do it yourselfer or whether you have a financial advisor, I think some people mistakenly believe that the best coaches are the ones who are firmly set in their ways. Who have a game plan from which they never strike and kind of an attitude of my way or the highway. A lot of them may seem that way but in reality, the best coaches walk a fine line, the best coaches are the ones who are firm in their devotion to certain philosophies and certain principles. But also smart enough to adjust their game plans and teach new strategies when the situation calls for it. Even though they are coaches, they also remain always coachable. Again, even if you yourself were once very receptive to coaching and guidance that can change with age. We all have a tendency to become set in our ways to a certain extent that’s why it’s so incredibly important to do an honest self-analysis to determine whether you have the right level of coachability to effectively manage your own money in today’s financial markets. By the same token, if you have a financial advisor it’s just as crucial to determine if he or she is coachable and willing to take the road less traveled when the situation calls for it. You’ll learn exactly how to go about all that later on today’s show, you’ll also learn more about the value of good coaching from a man who certainly ought to know. Our special guest today, but first, here’s market breakdown.
If you’re not using someone who’s well trained in fixed income and you’re born before nineteen sixty-six, it may just be time for you to break up with that advisor and move on. I would suggest someone who will care for you through these important years of your life. If you need help finding someone call or write us. I’d also like to remind you of the special report entitled The Income Generation, this available free to you our loyal viewers online. If you haven’t downloaded your report pick it up after the show.
Financial planning for those born 1966
If you’re near or in retirement head over to The Income Generation dot com and download your special report written specifically for the needs of the Income Generation. Again, those born before nineteen sixty-six. I’m David Scranton and you’ve been watching the Income Generation, we’ll see you all next Sunday. I’d like to take a moment to think back over the past sixteen years or so on your financial life. During that time we went from a thriving economy and a thriving stock market to a major collapse in a recession triggered by the bursting of the technology bubble. Then we rebounded from that, but then, we plunged into yet another even worse market collapse and the historic Great Recession as it’s called set off by the collapse of the housing market. Think back to only eight or nine years ago and remember how frightening it was, the Dow had peaked at fourteen thousand ninety-three points in October of two thousand and seven. By March of two thousand and nine just seventeen months later it had plunged to six thousand, six hundred and twenty-six, companies folded, millions lost jobs, lost homes and many other things. And if you had a fair amount of money in the stock market at that time you probably also lost a lot of that money that you were saving for retirement or perhaps even college education for children. Potentially sixty to seventy percent of it if you stayed in the markets for the entire duration.
Were you coachable during financial crisis?
Now, as you look back on all of this here are some important questions to consider. First, were you managing your own money throughout these crises? And if so were you coachable? Were you willing to change direction when you read something that made a solid argument? Were you willing to take the road less traveled when you discovered evidence that it might just be your best option? Now if you had a financial advisor during all that stock market and economic turmoil did he do a good job guiding you? Be honest, did he advise you to zig while others were zagging? Did he ignored the voice of the stock market cheerleaders and guide you out of the markets before your portfolio suffered major damage from either of these two major market drops? Did he educate you and show you evidence that the road less traveled could be a better way for you at that time? Or instead did he advised you to stay the course and try to console you with phrases like well, you know the market always rebounds? And you really can’t time the market and of course, my all-time favorite well we are all in this together aren’t we? If any of that sounds familiar to you that it means that your advisor wasn’t as coachable as he needs to be. It means that he was so committed to his one game plan, so married to his business model that he ignored evidence that the game was changing. And that he probably needed a new strategy to protect your money, I’ve talked a lot on past shows about that evidence which a lot of uncoachable advisors continue to ignore even to this day. Since the year two thousand, this evidence has not diminished it’s only gotten more compelling and it’s easier to find before that I had to go digging for it. Before the year two thousand Wall Street and the financial media were better equipped to bury or conceal information about these long term secular market cycles. Cycles in which the stock market experiences ten to twenty years of growth followed by twenty years or more of zero growth accompanied by a lot of volatility. But with the rise of the internet and with all the turmoil created by our current secular bear market it’s been harder for Wall Street cheerleaders to keep a lid on all the evidence. I myself, published a book in two thousand and eleven called Stop Financial Insanity, which detailed my own research into the repeatability of secular market cycles throughout history. In fact, it was that research that led me to change my own business model just prior to the first major market collapse in the year two thousand. Some clients question my wanting to lead them down a new less traveled road, but I was able to explain my decision I was able to back it up with significant historic data. My coachable clients were open to that education and continue to be open to it as this secular bear market cycle rolls on. They know that based upon the lessons of stock market history three things are likely to happen before we can reasonably assume this zero growth cycle has ended. And thus given way to the next secular bull market cycle. The first thing, is that price earnings ratios have to shrink back down into the single digits and right now corporate earnings are nearly where they need to be for that to happen. Second, more time has to pass, long term secular bear markets typically last twenty years or more and since the stock market returned to its previous peak in two thousand and thirteen. It would mean that if we don’t experience another major market drop, the current cycle ran its course in just thirteen years. Which would make it the shortest secular bear market in recorded history. Third and most importantly for today, is that history clearly shows that this cycle is due to experience at least one more major sustain market drop which according to history could just end up being even bigger than the ones that begin in the year two thousand and again in two thousand and seven. More immediate evidence suggests that this drop might not be far off in the future. Now I’ve argued that the only reason it probably didn’t begin two or three years ago is due to the influence of quantitative easing. The Fed’s unprecedented use and over use of artificial stimulus measures following the financial crisis.
These measures managed to keep the markets artificially inflated for a prolonged period of time but all that came to a halt shortly after Q E three the third tranche of quantitative easing ended in late two thousand and fourteen. Since then, the markets have been primarily flat and occasionally rocked by record levels of volatility in fact, you probably remember that four day flash crash that occurred last August and culminated with the Dow dropping one thousand points in the middle of a single day. Every rebound since then has been tenuous and this year actually started with the worst January in Wall Street’s history. All of this gets to the core of why it’s so vital for investors or at or near retirement as well as their advisors to be coachable in today’s market. Personally, I might be able to understand and forgive an advisor who didn’t become coachable following the two thousand through two thousand and three market collapse. And clung hopefully to his old business model. Face it, it’s a lot of work to change and it takes courage to lead your followers down a new path especially when it isn’t the most popular path. But I simply cannot give a pass to anyone who didn’t make changes after the two thousand and seven to two thousand and nine market crash. It created even more compelling evidence for the reality of long term, secular bear market cycles and that evidence is now abundant and very easy to find. Wall Street simply can’t hide it any longer so if you have or just know a broker or advisor who dismisses all that evidence and cling stubbornly to his Wall Street business model after all we’ve gone through the last sixteen years, he’s definitely not coachable. In fact, I’d go so far as to say he’s got his head buried in the sand. Earlier I spoke about the fact that I coached not only clients but other financial advisors about how to best serve their own clients, in fact, over the last sixteen years in the midst of all the market turmoil and uncertainty that we’ve experienced. The number of advisors who sought me out as a coach has increased dramatically, the bottom line is that coachable advisors today know how crucial it is to be willing and able to change direction and modify strategies on behalf of their clients. In coachable clients and coachable do it yourselfer’s recognize the potential need for alternatives to the old, buy and hold investment model that can be so treacherous in a long term secular bear market. A market like the one we’ve been in for the past sixteen years and a market that history indicates we’re likely to be in for many years yet to come. I’ll be right back in a moment with today’s special guy.
I’m happy now to welcome to the show, Michael Hyatt. Michael is the former chairman and C.E.O. of Thomas Nelson publishers and these days he’s an extremely busy author, blogger, and speaker. His latest bestselling book is the critically acclaimed Living forward, a proven plan to stop drifting and get the life you want. Which is co-written with business and life coach Daniel Harkavey. Thanks so much for being here Michael, it’s great to have you.
MICHAEL HYATT: Thanks David, great to be on with you.
DAVID SCRANTON: Our show today is about coachability and at some point, I want to talk to you a little bit about your experiences as a business coach and a life coach in trying to distinguish you know some examples, perhaps of people who have been very coachable and gotten great results. And maybe some who haven’t been so coachable and haven’t gotten great results, but before we do that let’s talk about your most recent book.
MICHAEL HYATT: Okay.
DAVID SCRANTON: But tell me… just tell me first of all what motivated you to write this book about living the life you want?
MICHAEL HYATT: Well, I realized that a lot of people drift through life and rather than designing their life and when my wife and I had been married about ten years, we went on a vacation to Hawaii and we couldn’t afford to do much. But we took some free snorkeling lessons at the hotel which we loved and we realized that we could rent snorkeling gear for about ten dollars for the week. So we went out the next day after we’d been checked out and went to the lagoon, it was crystal clear, totally calm and we started paddling around and it was like an aquarium under the water. And so we were totally mesmerized, captivated and distracted and the next time we looked up about forty-five minutes later. We had been caught by a rip tide and drifted far out to sea and the hotel looked like a postage stamp in the distance. Fortunately, we had a boogie board and we swam like crazy to get to the shore and we haven’t been snorkeling since. Until last fall, but it really taught me an important lesson and that is that most people drift like that through life you know whether it is in their health or their marriage or their career. They’re not designing the outcomes they want but they’re drifting to destinations they would not have chosen and so I think it’s really important to design our futures and designer life. And that was the genesis of the book.
DAVID SCRANTON: The Hawaii story is an incredible metaphor. You’re absolutely correct but what percentage of the population…? Let’s just say middle-class America, what percentage of middle-class America would you say falls into this trap of drifting through life as opposed to designing the life they want?
MICHAEL HYATT: Yeah, honestly I would say about ninety-nine percent. You know most people are not intentional, they’re just taking one day at a time and again they’re ended up in destinations they would not have chosen.
DAVID SCRANTON: Now why does this happen?
MICHAEL HYATT: Well, I think of a lot of reasons. I think for one, people get distracted you know life is coming at us faster than we can process. Most of us are overwhelmed with our careers, with family life, with all the different things that we have to be responsible for. And so it’s very hard to get out in front of that and actually take some time to think about it and one of the things that we advocate in the book is taking one day to create a written life plan. Not some you know big strategic plan like we’ve all created in corporate America and then put on the shelf and never look at again, but a simple twelve to fifteen-page document that really becomes a compass for us and guides us. But one day, you know the average bride spends twenty-one days planning a wedding, the average person spends five hours on the internet researching a new car they’re going to buy. And all we’re asking is for one day to really plan out your life and decide where you want to go in all the major categories of your life.
DAVID SCRANTON: Now would you say that’s the first step? I mean the first step is actually realizing that you’ve caught… you’ve fallen into the trap of drifting. Is the next step really putting together this one-page plan?
MICHAEL HYATT: Yeah. Well the next step is really to set aside a day and get that on your calendar what gets scheduled is what gets done but set aside a day and then we guide you step by step through the process. And really creating a life plan is this simple as answering three powerful questions and so the whole thing is framed around these questions. Let me just give you one and then we can see if you want to go further than that but the first one is, how do you want to be remembered? Kind of the myth of our culture is that we’re going to live forever, you know there’s always going to be time to do what’s important and for whatever reason we never get to it. But the truth is we’re all going to die, sounds kind of morbid but we take you through an exercise where you visualize your own funeral. Imagine if you were an invisible guest at your own funeral and there on the front row your family, your friends, your loved ones, the people you work with. And then one by one they come up and talk about what you meant in their life and for most people they realize there’s a gap, you know that they haven’t spent as much time with the people that they love or they haven’t really given themselves to their career in a way that’s moving the needle. And the good news though is you’re not dead yet you know you still got time and so we take you through a series of legacy statements where you begin. Start with the end in mind and talk about how do you want to be remembered when you’re dead, you know. And to engineer those conversations now the way that people will talk about you and live a life that you can really be proud of.
DAVID SCRANTON: That’s great, in essence writing your own eulogy in advance. So give me another one.
MICHAEL HYATT: Yes. So another one, the second question is what matters most to you? You know most of us know what’s important to our boss, to our spouse, to our parents, to culture in general. But this is really a question about priorities, what’s important to you? First, second, third, fourth and so on and this could become a very practical filter for learning to say no to the things that are not important so we can say yes to the things that are truly important. You know back during the recession this was about two thousand and nine, I was the C.E.O. Thomas Nelson publishers. And it was hand to hand combat just to survive and deal with the market downturn and I went on a very much needed vacation. Or at least I started to go on this vacation, I had the clearance of my board to do it but we were going to Colorado to spend some time deep in the mountains. Then we stopped in Dallas to change planes my wife and I and I made the mistake of checking my email and there was an email from the chairman of my board. And he said we’d like you back in Nashville on Monday, we’ve got some issues that we need to deal with and my heart sank. We needed this vacation, we’d planned for it, I needed the rest, and we needed the time to connect as a couple. And so I showed it to my wife, her heart sank as well and she said honey do whatever you need to do, I’m totally with you and so based on my priorities because for me work came about fourth or fifth after my wife, after my kids, after taking care of myself. And I just wrote him back and I said you know my staff will be glad to take care of you, I’m going on this vacation as we discussed I’ll talk to you when we get back. And it was hard it took some courage to do that but priorities gave me courage in the moment, now the funny thing about it was when I got back to Nashville I asked my C.F.O. I said how did that meeting go when they came down? And he said you know honestly it was a nonevent, I don’t even remember what we talked about but it totally could have been handled by e-mail. And I almost scuttled a much needed vacation and a time to connect with my wife and if I hadn’t had a clear set of defined priorities, I probably would have.
DAVID SCRANTON: Yeah, and that happens all the time you know work is really your fourth priority on the list. But yet you spend more time there than with your other priority so, we need to take a quick break and I’m going to tell our viewers here that you know you have two very good tips. If you want the third tip then you need to go out and buy Michael Hyatt’s book called Living forward, a proven plan to stop drifting and get the like you want. We’ll be right back with more with myself and Michael in just a minute stay with us. We’re here today with Michael Hyatt the author of Living forward, a proven plan to stop drifting to get the life that you want. Michael thanks for your insight, before the break on the book I think you’ve given me some motivation to actually go home and do some of the things myself. Like you it’s interesting…
MICHAEL HYATT: Fantastic.
DAVID SCRANTON: Work might be fourth on the list but yet if you followed me through my day you might think it’s actually first. But I want to talk to you a bit about coaching and coachability because I know that you also work as a life coach, which is really what this book is about and what it entails. And you know you… talk for a minute if you don’t mind about the importance that you find of being coachable. I’m sure you have people who hire you as a life coach so they want the coaching but then they don’t want to accept that they’re not as coachable as they need to be.
MICHAEL HYATT: Well we actually screen for that in clients, we don’t want to work with anybody that’s not coachable. Coaching is something that will take you further, faster if you just listen and one of the things I’ve tried to do in my life is find people that are successful and then model their behavior. So one of the fastest ways to learn it’s one of the fastest ways to grow, I had a client, this was several years ago now who had a big goal for… a revenue goal for a specific month in his business and he missed it you know and so we were having a discussion as we were processing what had happened. And I said what happened? And he started blaming everything you know it was the economy, it was his sales manager, you know it was all kinds of things and I listened to him carefully. And then I finally just took a deep breath and I said okay I get that, I understand that but what was it about your leadership that led to that result? He got very defensive and he said what do you mean my leadership? It’s the economy, it’s all the stuff that’s happening around me and I said I get that, those are factors definitely. But as long as you keep blaming that stuff you can’t really… you can’t change it, you can’t affect it you’re giving away your power and your agency and he finally dialed into that and got it and it changed everything. And I said what would you have changed if you could do it again? And he said well I probably would have met with a sales manager more often you know I would have made sure the product shipped more on time. I said so, it really was about your leadership and all of a sudden the power came back to him and all of a sudden he could affect a different result. So that kind of coachability even though sometimes for most of us we’re defensive when we’re confronted but that kind of coachability is the difference between success and failure.
DAVID SCRANTON: That’s a great victory for you, where you took somebody who started off being somewhat uncoachable and you got them to be more coachable. In general of ten people, ten middle class Americans how many of those ten would you say are as coachable as they really should be in optimal scenario? What’s your best guess?
MICHAEL HYATT: Yeah, I would probably say twenty percent maybe even less.
DAVID SCRANTON: Now, how many of the remaining eighty do you think with the right coaching can become coachable versus how many of those just will never be coachable maybe they’re too stubborn?
MICHAEL HYATT: Yeah, well look I think a lot of people being a victim serves them well they’re getting something out of it you know they don’t have to take responsibility, they don’t have to change anything. They can just point to the world and just say you know look my circumstances are my circumstances, those people are difficult to help but again we screen for those people. We don’t want to coach those people because we can’t help them at the end of the day, it’s something external to them that they’re blaming and it’s really something internal that will change all that around. I think for other people, I think if they can be encouraged if you can have empathy and then point them to a better way and also model it for yourself as a coach. I want to model coachability myself and so I, you know I struggle with it like anybody else does my wife’s one of my best coaches. But I’ve got a lot of people that coach me and I try to be coachable because again, I know I can go further, faster and get the results faster if I just listen and take the advice of people that love me and are concerned about the outcomes that I’m concerned about.
DAVID SCRANTON: So one out of five are naturally coachable and a good portion of the others can learn to become coachable if they’re open minded enough and I agree totally. You told us about a business success story how about a personal success story where you coach someone on… With their personal life goals and maybe they start off not being so coachable and then they open up their mind and all of a sudden their life change for the positive.
MICHAEL HYATT: You know I can think of a woman that I coached that was very overweight and wanted to lose about eighty pounds and you could tell it was all emotionally wrapped up in how she thought about the problem. And you know for her initially, it was just you know I’m big boned, I can’t change, this is just in my DNA and so I was able to see that you know you may not be able to look like you go on the cover of Glamour magazine. But you can get to a position where you’re really healthy and where you feel proud of how you look and that’s really the objective not to be you know some model. But to be somebody who feels good about themselves and so we kind of had to move through some of those things and dig deep into what made her think the way she thought. And as it turned out for her there were a lot of things that had happened in her past that she had to get resolved, but I really think this whole idea David of what’s in our thinking is what creates the actions, that create the outcomes in the world. And we’ve got to get back to the thinking and we’ve got to help people see that their thinking is affecting that the way they behave and the outcomes they’re getting. So in that case, that was just kind of peeling back the onion one layer at a time till we got kind of to the seed and she could confront it for what it was and begin to move forward and become future focused and not driven by her past.
DAVID SCRANTON: Well it’s great because you know what I’m hearing you say basically is what we’ve been talking about in this particular series of shows. Is that it’s even in the investing world everybody thinks it’s about the outside game, when really it’s about the inside game. And I’m so happy to have you here today because you’re really teaching people to focus on the inside game which is where it all starts so Michael thank you again for being on our show today it was a pleasure. Time flies unfortunately.
MICHAEL HYATT: Thank you David.
DAVID SCRANTON: So we’re here with Michael Hyatt, author of Living forward, a proven plan to stop drifting and to get the life you want. I have to confess I haven’t read it yet. But I’m going to go out and buy it and I’m going to read it so stay with us we’ll be right back to talk more about the importance of coachability when it comes to your own financial decision. We’ll be right back.
MORGAN THOMPSON: Welcome back to the Income Generation. Today we’re talking about coachability and you know David this really reminds me of one of my favorite coaches. My gymnastic coach Michel used to make us do all these crazy drills, where you do pushups and running had nothing to do with gymnastics. And I would always bulk and complain why? Like why do we have to do this? Can’t we just do you know practice (unclear 30:40) and what we’re meant to do but I think that she had a bigger plan. So I listened to her and I took her advice but you know like when do you follow a coach or just use your own advice?
DAVID SCRANTON: So it sounds like back then you actually were coachable. Maybe you had a little bit of pushback and then you ended up being coachable, is that correct?
MORGAN THOMPSON: Yes, well I trusted her you know and I knew she had experience, I knew she knew what she was doing and there was a bigger picture that maybe I wasn’t seeing. So I think I was coachable because I did listen and I did follow instructions and it paid off.
DAVID SCRANTON: And it was high school or pre-high school?
MORGAN THOMPSON: High school.
DAVID SCRANTON: You see and when we’re younger we always are more coachable, grammar school or high school although as you get into high school sometimes that coachability starts to wane just a little bit.
MORGAN THOMPSON: So it changes with age is what you’re saying?
DAVID SCRANTON: Yes, it does you know I find that most people tend to get a little bit less coachable with age whether we like to admit it or not and you know with the old saying about being set in your ways. Some people try to oftentimes or put a situation where they are starting an interpersonal relationship later in years and you always hear that well he or she is too set in their ways. But at least at that point in high school yeah it’s a lot easier to be coachable, that’s great.
MORGAN THOMPSON: So when you get older and we have experience, we think we know better.
DAVID SCRANTON: That’s right, that’s right.
MORGAN THOMPSON: And not necessarily true. So, in your book, Return on Principle you offer some tips for determining whether you’re really as coachable as you should be because most people probably never even asked themselves that question. Is that something we really think about?
DAVID SCRANTON: Correct, correct and it’s because I really do know what I’m talking about for real, I’m just kidding.
MORGAN THOMPSON: Are you coachable?
DAVID SCRANTON: So trust me, listen to me.
MORGAN THOMPSON: Hey, I’m not as young as I used to be but still coachable I hope.
DAVID SCRANTON: Sounds good.
MORGAN THOMPSON: So let’s get into it.
DAVID SCRANTON: Sure let’s do it.
MORGAN THOMPSON: Let’s go to your tips you have in the book and so we talk about tips to know if you personally are coachable and also you’re an advisor.
DAVID SCRANTON: Sure.
MORGAN THOMPSON: Okay, so let’s get into you personally are you coachable, things you should ask yourself.
DAVID SCRANTON: Okay, let’s do it sounds good to me.
MORGAN THOMPSON: Well the first thing you should ask yourself when someone suggests to you that there might be a better way of doing things do you get a little defensive.
DAVID SCRANTON: You know…
MORGAN THOMPSON: This feels a little personal, doesn’t it?
DAVID SCRANTON: Well it is personal and that’s a great question but you know what the reality of it is a lot of us do get defensive. I think maybe I should have rewarded the question in the book to say if you get defensive but then you catch yourself right away, you know I personally take pride in being coachable in every area of life that I can. But recently I had a situation where I wasn’t coachable you know I’ve mentioned before on the show how we have financial advisors that we coach and training and mentor that part of our group nationally. And the interesting thing is just recently one of our advisors had actually sent a message to someone else in my office, something that he thought that wasn’t a strength of mine and my first reaction, the male ego is to say what? What does he know? And I immediately caught myself after about thirty seconds and I said you know what this is something where I can actually learn by listening. You know there’s a reason God gave us two ears and one mouth so I finally called him up on the telephone. I actually blew the whistle on myself, I shared the story and how I… my first reaction he kind of laughed, he said yeah I figured out your reaction and then when I listened to him I really learned why he was saying what he was saying. So it’s so important for investors to do that because at the end of the day if somebody comes to you occasionally with something that is new, that makes sense and your too busy trying to defend what you’ve always believed to be true. Then you know you could end up going on a straight path when the road is curving to the right and you’re going straight and you’re driving right off the side of the financial road. And that’s the big mistake that I want to help people avoid when we talk about coachability.
MORGAN THOMPSON: So coachablility and really self-reflection?
DAVID SCRANTON: That’s right.
MORGAN THOMPSON: Is key as well.
DAVID SCRANTON: Of course.
MORGAN THOMPSON: Okay, so let’s go on to the next. So have you ever read a self-help book or attended a course with a goal of changing the way you do something but then after you do that you come home and you slide back into your old habits?
DAVID SCRANTON: This is one of my favorites because everyone does this at one time in their life or another think about it? You go to a class, you hear a lecture or you take notes, you get all excited and then you come back and you put in a pile of papers and you just forget about it. My goal is when you read my book that you don’t do that with the book, that you use it as a true self help guide because that’s what it’s meant to be and you know a personal example that I have recently. Was you know I went out and I decided one day on a whim I wanted to learn Spanish and this is about three years ago. So I went out and got some books and I put them aside for a couple days, I didn’t get to them and finally I caught myself I said no, no you’re not going to let yourself fall in that trap. And I went back actually signed up for a class and started studying Spanish and I said…
MORGAN THOMPSON: (Speaking Spanish 35:27)?
DAVID SCRANTON: (Speaking Spanish 35:28).
MORGAN THOMPSON: So you did learn?
DAVID SCRANTON: So that’s a good personal example of where I said you know I wasn’t going to be like that I was going to take that course and I was going to actually learn it.
MORGAN THOMPSON: You know and going back to your book. I think you read something and you’re right you digest it and then when you kind of put it aside. It’s important I think also to highlight it and really keep referring back to it. So read your book but also go back a month later or six months later, a year later and really referred it or refresh it.
DAVID SCRANTON: When I say keep it as a self-help guide that’s exactly what I was referring to.
MORGAN THOMPSON: Okay. So moving on to the next question you should ask yourself as far as being coachable. Would people describe you as being set in your ways? This also feels very personal but…
DAVID SCRANTON: It was very personal and the reason I love this question so much is because what it does is it takes you out of what I call the first person you know if I were to ask you are you set in your ways you’re probably going to say well no, I’m open minded. But when you take yourself out of the first person and go into what I call the third person that’s when you’re saying okay, if I were my own best friend what would I say about Dave Scranton? And in this case you’ll get the true answer and I love it because sometimes we don’t see ourselves the way others see us and it’s always helpful to ask the question. How would the people closest to you answer the question for you? And that to me that tells a lot when I’m trying to coach an individual perspective client.
MORGAN THOMPSON: Well that is a very important thought, we’re going to leave you with because we have to go to a break right now. But don’t go anywhere because when we come back we’ll be talking about coachability questions you should ask your advicor. Welcome back to the Income Generation with David Scranton. Today we’re talking about coachability and earlier in the show we talked about questions you should ask yourself to determine if you’re coachable. And now we’re going to discuss things you should ask your financial advisor to determine if they are coachable. So the first question I want to ask is a two parter and that is who is your mentor in the financial industry? And what have you learned from him or her?
DAVID SCRANTON: Well that question as well as these others are really what I’m looking for as a quick answer. If somebody’s hems and haws or has to think too long then they may be trying to give you the answer that they think you want verses giving you the truth. And of course, when you’re interviewing a financial advisor you want to get the truth and what I have found is that as a mentor to many financial advisors, I will tell you that some of the financial advisors that get the best results for their clients are indeed the ones that have a mentor. I’ve had mentors on and off for most of my career in fact, you know in my case I would share with that the most important thing that I got from one of my mentors was back in the late ninety’s. When I was starting to change my business model from the stock market model to the more conservative model. So I knew we were going to a secular bear market, I started having second thoughts and my business mentor kept me aligned, he kept me focused and he said no, you’ve done the evidence this is true you know what you believe stick with your gut, follow your gut.
MORGAN THOMPSON: Trust your judgement.
DAVID SCRANTON: And if it weren’t for him I may have just… I may not have had the courage to make that change. So mentors are very valuable and you want to see that an advisor has a mentor because if he doesn’t it means he’s probably not coachable.
MORGAN THOMPSON: I never think you know it all of course.
DAVID SCRANTON: Of course, that’s right.
MORGAN THOMPSON: So the next question is also a two parter and how many financial books have you read in an average year other than what’s required for your credits? So what percentage of those affects you’re thinking, money management, and style. I guess the point is do you do outside research and how much?
DAVID SCRANTON: Right and again a trick question because if an advisor has the attitude well I’ve learned everything I need to know I’m a financial advisor. I don’t have to study any more then that’s a person who’s closed his or her mind down to new ideas and we’re living in a dynamic financial world. So as a result financial advisors, I believe need to be extremely open minded and to learn, in my case I actually read one financial book a month on average. And there’s a lot of the books that you read out there as investors because I want to get ideas from other places because I don’t have a license on all the good ideas. And I say that when you’re shopping for a financial advisor it’s important that that financial advisor has that level of humility, so that they’re out there looking to see what others are saying to make sure there’s nothing important that they’re missing when it comes to managing and protecting your money.
MORGAN THOMPSON: And watch shows like this of course.
DAVID SCRANTON: Of course. And watch the Income Generation, especially.
MORGAN THOMPSON: Absolutely. Okay, so our final question you should ask your financial advisor is tell me about a time in your life, your business or any other situation where being coachable allows you to achieve a better level of success.
DAVID SCRANTON: Great. It’s… this is great because some people think that you’re overstepping your boundary because you’re saying in your life business wise or personally. But you have the right to ask that because again you’re interviewing, this is a relationship. I mean this is and maybe you relate I mean it’s… I believe the financial relationship might be even a deeper relationship or a more private relationship than the relationship a lot of ladies have with their O.B. G.Y.N. And that may sound crazy but the reality of it is.
MORGAN THOMPSON: It’s very personal.
DAVID SCRANTON: You’re talking about your most internal feelings and values when it comes to money. So when I talk about that you know I’ll talk about things where I’ll talk about business, I’ll talk about my example right now that I gave you just a minute ago when I was coachable when I… in nineteen ninety-nine start having second thoughts about having the courage to change my model. But I also talked about a personal story you know as you know we were talking about it just before off the air, this may surprise a lot of our viewers I’m sure. But the reality is that when I was nineteen years old I was the heavyweight national bodybuilding champion and you could tell by looking at me today I don’t exactly have the best bodybuilding genetics. But the reality of it is the reason I did well was because I was coachable, I went out and found the best bodybuilding coach that I could find and that poor guy. I have to tell you that poor guy he would get calls at three o’clock in the morning when I’m a nervous wreck about something getting ready for competition it was absolutely unbelievable. But again, that’s a personal story and I find that if an advisor is not willing to share a personal story with you but he’s expecting you to share all your personal information. He’s expecting you to share all your personal values how you think and how you feel about money then he’s not willing to share personal story with you that may just be a sign that his mind is closed. And that’s something I would go against.
MORGAN THOMPSON: You know that’s a really good point, I never even thought about that about it being so personal and exposed and it really is a two a street.
DAVID SCRANTON: It is. Absolutely.
MORGAN THOMPSON: Okay. Well, I know you have some final thoughts for our viewers so let’s get to that.
DAVID SCRANTON: Alright, thank you. Great, I’d be willing to bet that most of you watching me right now could probably think of a coach or a mentor who influenced you at some point in your life. I’ve had several, I have mentioned a couple of them right now one of them who actually helped and influenced me in such a profound way that he solidified this entire principle for me. The importance of coaching and being coachable, for seventeen years now it’s been a guiding force in my work both with fellow financial advisors and with clients. In fact, my own coachability again, was put most to the test in nineteen ninety-nine when a lot of this research that I was talking about that suggested I needed to make a major change in my stock market based business model. I luckily trusted the evidence and I trusted my coach and my own instincts enough to make that change in a word, thank goodness I was coachable. Since then I’ve been blessed with our ability to coach many, many advisors who discovered the evidence for themselves, the evidence that we talk about in the show all the time and these advisors were also courageous enough to change direction on behalf of doing what’s best for their own clients. Let’s face it, making any kind of change takes courage but a dramatic change in your business model or in your entire approach to saving and investing for retirement that takes a lot of courage. That’s why for me, coachability is truly one of the core values necessary to being a good investor, a good coach instills courage and a coachable person builds that courage by being opened to evidence and direction that instills confidence. We live in an age today that’s scary in many, many ways so courage is actually a valuable commodity and as scary as the financial markets have been since the year two thousand and they continue to be. There’s really no need to look toward retirement with fear and uncertainty instead, yes, you can approach it with confidence and courage and that all starts with being coachable. Before we go, I want to thank our guests today and I also want to thank all of our regular viewers as well as those of you watching for the first time. I hope you’ll tune in again for more information on today’s topic and much more I encourage you to download a copy of my new report Renewable Retirement Resources, the case for fixed income. You can find it online at the Income Generation dot com. You can also download a copy of my special report entitled Income Generation. I’m David Scranton and thanks again for watching.