Personal Development

Are You In The Drone Zone?

By May 11, 2016No Comments

Do you sometimes feel like the regulators are running your practice instead of you?  Like your business  lacks direction?  Trying to find purpose in your role as an Advisor?  If so, you may have entered the “drone zone.”

Everybody knows what a drone is – a flying robot known as an “unmanned aerial vehicle.”  These flying machines got their name from the real drones – male honeybees.

A few hundred drones live in a colony (hive) with about fifty thousand females called   worker bees and one queen bee.  Drones gather no nectar or pollen and have no stinger.  The only purpose of a drone is to mate with the new queen bee should the current one die.  About 99% of drones never get this opportunity.  When the nectar season is over these unfortunate males get tossed out of the hive, only to die of starvation because the worker bees find the maintenance of the males to be too high.  They die having never fulfilled their purpose.

I once got stuck in the drone zone when I was a Financial Advisor.  I found myself blaming my firm, FINRA, market conditions, and anybody else with a pulse for my lack of control over my own practice.  I “droned” on like a high maintenance male honeybee with no stinger, letting life happen to me instead of making it happen.

Fortunately, after some real soul-searching and with the help of an executive/practice management coach, I began a process of realigning to my purpose, which transformed my professional and personal life.

I’ve now changed roles.  Instead of being helped out of the drone zone, I’m helping others get out of the drone zone.

All the Advisors I now work with started their careers with much purpose, drive, and excitement in a business where the vast majority who enter fail.  Many found themselves feeling bored, risk averse, and trying to hold on with dear life to their clients, hoping they wouldn’t die or transfer out.  A smoldering discontent hovered around them that they couldn’t quite explain or identify.

If this describes you I have some encouraging news.  First, it’s not that uncommon to feel this way if you’ve been in the business for fifteen years or longer (see: “Why Advisors Are Feeling So Blue – A Psychologist to FAs Explains”) And secondly, there is a way out of the drone zone.

The Advisors who continue to win and grow their practices are highly focused on their clients and they are continually reinventing themselves.  They’re committed to life-long learning in the areas of practice management and investments  They take advantage of the latest technology.  They are intentional and purposeful in all they do, on the job and in their communities.

If you’re feeling a bit like a drone, do something about it.  Reflect on the reasons you got into the business in the first place.  The goals and desire you started out with are still there.  Many times they’ve just gone “underground” as life happened.  They lie just beneath the surface and simply need to be unearthed.

The top Advisors have a strong desire to serve their clients with excellence in every aspect of their practice.  They know their purpose – the “why” of what they do.

If you’re drifting into the drone zone do something about it.  Realign to your purpose.  Identify your “why” and get back into the game.  Your clients need you!

Here are some practical tips to help:

  • Ask yourself these questions:
    • What makes you come alive?
    • What problem in the world would you like to solve?
    • How can you take the answers to these 2 questions and integrate them into your practice?
  • Considering hiring a coach:
  • Visit our website to order a FREE copy “Halftime” –  a book by Bob Buford who believes the second half of your life can be better than the first.

Bill Edmonds is an “Outside-Insider” (an Executive Coach and Consultant), who works with Financial Advisors to help them reach their full potential in the areas of organizational and personal development. A former Financial Advisor himself, Bill spent 24 years with Merrill Lynch until his retirement in 2014, where he led a $100+ million per year revenue wealth management business unit as a Director with the firm.


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