BOOK REVIEW REPORT: The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

November 16, 2017

Because I love books that make me think about my life and my practice in different ways, I've decided to share those thoughts with you every month or so as I find things that might benefit you! This month, I'm talking about Ryan Holiday's The Obstacle is the Way. So, let's get started.



Below  you'll find quotes that spoke to me throughout the book. I've shared each quote and then given my thoughts on each one.



"The obstacle in the path becomes the path.  Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition."  -Zen Parable quoted in the book


Our industry is strife with obstacles.  Rather than lament what isn't currently working, we have the opportunity to identify what isn't working and improve upon it for the benefit of our clients, our industry and ourselves!



"In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control.  Where will I find good and bed?  In me, in my choices." -Epictetus. Quoted in the book



There are so many external forces in the financial services industry: Finra, SEC, DOL, Fintech etc. etc.   We cannot control those external factors, but we can decide how our practices will evolve.  We can position ourselves for the future by becoming more advice based.  We can stop being pushed around by other people's priorities and we can build a practice that serves us and our clients.



"Action is the solution and the cure to our predicaments."

-Ryan Holiday



What are you doing!?  Our industry is in a serious predicament!  What are you doing to evolve your practice to better serve your clients, fully utilizing the tools that are available to you today? 




"It is far easier to talk of the way things should be.  It takes toughness, humility, and will to accept the for what they actually are."

-Ryan Holiday



Do you find yourself saying, "but it has always been done this way, nothing has to change."  It is ALL changing.  AUM alone is no longer a viable business model, insurance sales does not make you a financial advisor, a relationship contingent on a sale of ANY kind makes you a salesman!  We can talk about how it should be and how it used to be, but it takes courage to recognize how it is and evolve your practice to adapt to reality.



"There are far more failures in the world due to a collapse of will than there will ever be from objectively conclusive external events."

-Ryan Holiday



To be successful in the new world, you have to deliver high-value comprehensive financial planning.  You can choose to either step-up to that challenge or allow a "collapse of will" to drive you into obsolescence.  It will be your choice and NOT because of "external events."


"A man's job is to make the world a better place to live in, so far as he is able-always remembering the results will be infinitesimal- and to attend to his own soul."

-Leroy Percy as quoted in the book



We have the best job in the whole world!  We get to help human beings live with less insecurity and fear and help them build the life that they dream of!  We are fortunate to do work that makes the world a better place by serving our clients  to the best of our ability. 



What do you think? Join the discussion on Facebook! We've not only created a business page to help give you tips and inspire you to bring new energy to your practice, we've also started a CLOSED discussion group so that we can share our successes, ask question, and generally champion each other. You can find both of those pages here:


The Intentional Advisor Business Page

The Intentional Advisor Mastermind Group



Click here to order your copy of

The Obstacle is the Way!

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