Despite the fact that I think financial advising is a calling that can change lives, I don’t recommend it to anyone.  Ever.  Because it is bone-jarringly hard to get started.  


But if someone comes to me on fire to become a financial advisor, I am 100% on board to help them in any way!  They have to want it deep in their soul.  I can’t want it more than they do.  


Being a neophyte financial advisor means slaying the dragon of fear every single day…for years. 


There are two ever-present fears in the life of a new advisor.  Fear of Failure and Fear of Rejection.  Let’s explore each and I will share a couple of ideas about how to tame the twin dragons, if not slay them all together.  


Fear of Failure 

Generally speaking there are only two ways to start in the industry.  You will either be given a small salary/draw and sales quotas or you will be in a 100% commission scenario from day one.   


The basic fear is, can I sell enough to stay alive financially while I build my book?  The next level of this fear is that if I fail, everyone will laugh at me and I will have to crawl back out into the world and get a J-O-B.  


If you do not find a way to free yourself from Fear of Failure, it will follow you into every single meeting like stink that will inexplicably repel potential clients.   


In his new book, Courage is Calling, Ryan Holiday quotes Florence Nightingale as saying, “How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.”  Fear will immobilize you and fear will repel those who need you most.  How very little can be done in a spirit of fear! 


The only way I know to invalidate Fear of Failure is to face it head-on with the truth and the numbers.  The Fear of Failure looms large because you haven’t examined it closely.  


In his work, Ryan Holiday often talks about the Stoic idea of premeditatio malorum.  This means that we need to meditate on…what could go wrong…in advance.   premeditatio malorum.  We do this to prepare and to take power away from the “what-ifs” in our lives.  


What if I run out of money and have to go get a J-O-B!? 


The first thing we have to do is figure out your burn rate.  Also known as knowing what it costs to keep you and your business alive.  I often ask advisors what their burn rate is and they stare at me blankly.  They spend what they make and hope they will make more.  


You need to have a baseline budget for your life and for your business.   These budgets aren’t your aspirational budgets, but what you NEED to stay alive budgets. 


Now ask yourself some questions.  Can I live on less?  If things got tight, could I get a roommate?  Could I cook more at home?  What could I do?  And do the same for your business budget.  What could I live without and still serve my clients well? 


Now you have some baseline numbers.  To operate without fear in the early year/years, you need some runway.  You need time.  How many months could you make on your current resources (including any income you have coming in)?   


Could you get a second job if you had to?  Could you use some debt to leverage your business if you had to?  If so, how much is a reasonable amount to invest in the start-up of your business?    


Now, you should clearly see that you have (x) months you could survive without an income or with minimal income.  Is it six months?  Could you swing a year if you had to?   


Now you have room to operate without the Sword of Damocles hanging over your head.  But we need to take it one step further.  What if the WORST happened and you burned through your savings, and you racked up debt, and you STILL failed!?  What then? 


To take the power out of the Fear of Failure, you have to wrestle it all the way to the ground.  What if you have to get a J-O-B?  What would happen? 


Likely, nothing of significance.  With your experience as a financial advisor, there are many jobs available in the industry supporting other advisors or working for asset management companies.   Have you ever known anyone who changed career fields?  Was it the end of the world?  Spoiler alert, NO! 


Life goes on.  You might have a little bit of debt you need to pay down.  You might have to rebuild your savings.   But nothing major would happen if you tried to start a business, and it didn’t work out.  Ask yourself, how long would it take to bounce back from your adventure as a financial advisor?  A year, maybe two.  Is that the end of the world?  


This is how you outsmart Fear of Failure.  You don’t put your head down and hide from it.  You face it head-on, and the facts empower you.  You have a 6-month or year runway (whatever your numbers told you), and if it all goes to hell-in-a-hand basket, it will take you a couple of years to get back on track.  That’s it.  That’s the risk.  If you can handle that, then there is nothing to be afraid of! 


As my friend from the Army used to say, “If nobody’s shootin’ at you, you don’t actually have anything to worry about!” No one is shooting at you, and you can handle the calculated risks.  You have nothing to worry about! 


Now that we have beaten the Fear of Failure into submission, it’s time to address the Fear of Rejection.   To keep this blog from getting too long, I will break it up into two posts.  


Join me next week to learn how to overcome the Fear of Rejection forever and replace it with an even more powerful force that will propel your business forward. 


With Purpose, 



Despite our best intentions, sometimes fear and complacency will get the best of us.  Sometimes we need something to get us back on track.  I think community is the cure.  


If you want to surround yourself with like-minded financial advisors on the same journey of purpose and profitability, I invite you to join us in the IMPLEMENTATION Monthly Mastermind.   


We get together once a month live on Zoom.  I teach something new based on community feedback, and then we discuss the challenges of the day as a group.  When you join, you also get instant access to the IMM Archives filled with dozens of valuable recorded trainings. 


You can join us live and get free access to the IMM Archives for 30 days by using coupon code: TRIALMONTH on the IMM sign-up page.  Your first month will be free, and you can cancel at any time. Click HERE to get full details. 

I hope to see you there! 



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