Energy is one of the most important elements in life and in business. It is the fuel for life, success and significance! Passion is well of the highest levels of energy. Think about the things you are most passionate about and how much energy you have to give those areas. The most successful and significant people in life align their passion and energy to get the biggest results.

What are you most passionate about in life and your business?
Many people suffer from energy vampires in their lives. These things or people suck energy away and can leave you running on empty. Often times one does not realize when this is happening! Another example could be someone on your team who is not a fit culturally and the difference wears on you. Another could be someone in your life who you are around that drains you. Something negative looming is often an energy vampire. Get the people who drain you out of your life and business!

Who in your life and business drains your energy?

Technology can be one of the biggest energy vampires. Notifications pop up on our devices and we react. Many are a slave to their incoming text messages and emails, stopping what they are doing to check them. This is a constant drain when your technology controls you. Take control of your technology to keep yourself fully charged.

What are your energy vampires?

How will you approach your technology differently?

Turning off all notifications on your phone, tablet, computer and other devices can be an empowering solution to preserve your energy and use it where YOU want to. Stop the incoming email notifications, text alerts and anything else that will distract you. An example on the iPhone or iPad is turning off the red circle notification of home many unread emails and texts you have. You can now choose when it is best for YOU to check these things. Many successful people will have a designation time of day when they check their communications and avoid the temptation to have constant energy disruptions.

Line up your day to do the most important things when you have the most energy. If exercise is important to you, do it when you are at your best and have the most energy. If you are dealing with your best customers, make sure you are doing it at a point in the day when you are at your best. Many people’s energy fades in the day (much like the battery in your cell phone), and this drain accelerates in the afternoon. If have the most energy in the mornings, reserve that time for your most important things and push all others to other times of the day!

When in the day and week are you at your highest energy levels?

How can you align your most important activities to occur at these same points?

Managing your energy is far more important than managing your time. Time is important as it is the only thing in business that cannot be replaced. Managing time is for employees, managing energy is for entrepreneurs. Exercise and your diet are fuels for energy. The quality of the food we eat to nourish our bodies is very important. Think about the foods that make you feel great (fruits and vegetables) and those that make you feel worse or eventually crash (sugar, caffeine, fried food, fast food). Work on new ways to keep your energy fully charge so you can achieve Turbo Growth!


This is part two of a two-part series by D2 coach Sherrie English.

You need to show them the SMOKE, while there is still time to save their future.

S– Set the stage
M– Make the dream real
O– Obstacles – What is keeping them from having what they want?
K– Know what they’ve done and what they are willing to do
E– Engage them in a solution

Here are some sample questions:

S – Set the Stage
Why are we having this conversation?

Answer: To figure out if we want to work together. There are three parts to that statement.

  1. Do you have a problem I can help solve?
    a. I have expertise in certain areas Are those the areas you need help with?
  2. Do you want me to help solve it?
    a. Not every person wants to solve every problem. Is this one you want to solve or are you willing to live with it?
  3. Do I want to work with you to solve it?
    a. Do you qualify to be my client? I have guidelines that are both quantitative and qualitative. You have to have a certain asset sizes and income levels, plus I have to feel like there is good chemistry, that you’ll respect my opinions and take action on whatever plan we come up with.

M – Make the dream real. What do they want?

Why do they want this? What’s the emotion that makes this important? Sample questions might be:
What is most important to you to achieve financially your life/world/work? What about that makes it important to you?
If your life could be exactly the way you wanted it in retirement, what would that look like? If you had that, what would the best part of that be for you?

O – Obstacles- Why don’t they have it already?

Once you’re really clear about what the emotional payoff is for them, you can find out what is stopping them from having that feeling or result right now. These can be pretty straightforward questions like:
What’s the biggest challenge you have around that now?
What obstacles are stopping you from having that?

K – Know what they’ve done and are willing to do.

What difference will it make in your life, how far do you have to go, and how badly do you want it?
What are you doing so far to get to this goal? Do you have a 401(k)? A pension? IRAs? What about other savings or resources?
What will it be like for you if you can’t retire the way you’re envisioning?

E – Engage them in a solution.

How can we solve this and when?
How can someone like me help you get there?
Creating a plan is a lot of work. If you’re not interested in doing the work it takes to move forward, it’s not worth it to me either. Are you willing to do what it takes to move from here to there?

Fireman or Salesman?
Let’s go back to our opening scenario. When the fireman comes running out of your house just in front of the flames, your kids tucked safely under each arm and the dog right behind him, your first reaction is overwhelming gratitude – not irritated annoyance.

What kind of reaction do you want from people?

The choice is yours. By using questions to find out what they are really after and what challenges are preventing them from reaching their dreams, you transform from just another pushy salesman into the heroic fireman solving their most urgent problems.

Show them the SMOKE, and then put out the fire!

There are many more SMOKE questions we can ask to help engage potential clients. To find out more about how to apply this concept, visit www.dynamicdirections-d2.com/smoothselling. Our Smooth Selling curriculum will give you all the tools you need to succeed!


This is part one of a two-part series by D2 coach Sherrie English.

Scenario One
You’re sitting in your house and some guy knocks on the door. He’s dressed in waterproof clothes and has an axe and a giant truck with a water hose. He says he wants to chop holes in your roof and spray your entire house down with water. You’re probably going to say no, right?

Scenario Two
Now imagine the same exact scenario, but this time when you answer the door he says, “Please step outside right away.” When you look back at your house you see smoke billowing skyward, the upper floor has flames shooting out the windows and your children are up there.

How badly do you want him to chop holes in your roof and douse your entire house with water now? What was the difference in your answer? You recognized you had a problem, and you needed a solution. Urgently.

No one considers firemen to be salesmen, because they recognize that firemen are there to provide a solution to a huge problem.

Traditional “sales” doesn’t take into account what the client wants or needs, only what product the salesman is pushing. Ask any random group of people what words come to their heads when they think of a “salesman” and you’ll hear things like “pushy”, “obnoxious”, “shallow”, “liars” and worse.

But what words come to mind if you ask that same group of people about firemen? “Hero”, “strong”, “brave”, “hunky”, “lifesaver”.

Which would you rather be? Who would people rather work with?

The more you can approach potential clients like a fireman who is solving a problem (and less like a salesman who is only pushing a product), the better you each will feel about the process of buying.

People want things that make their lives better and easier. Last year alone, the world bought goods and services worth $77.88 Trillion. That’s a lot of stuff that got bought from someone. So how to bridge the gap between people who want to buy something that makes their lives better in some way, and people who have something to sell without being obnoxious?

The key is to find the problem that needs to be fixed urgently. How do we do that?

Stop talking and start asking questions.
High-quality questions can give you insight into what they really want to buy, or even better, what they need.

If you truly believe you can help someone fix a problem that is hurting them, wouldn’t you feel good about letting them know? What if, much like Scenario Two above, they didn’t even know they had a problem? How can you help them then?

By asking questions, staying curious, and uncovering what the person wants, we can figure out where the fire is in their lives. If you ask the right questions, listen closely and have the expertise, you can point out the potential dangers before it’s too late for them to fix the issues.

Where There’s Smoke
In today’s world, many successful career people haven’t thought through what it will really take for them to retire. They go to work each day to pay their bills and then rush home to enjoy their lives and families. They believe that much like their parents, retirement will somehow just happen. But their parents came from a different era. They worked for one company for an extended period of time and then that company paid for their pension. In the early ’80s, 60% of private companies had pension plans. Today that number is 4%. The burden for funding retirement has shifted from the company to the individual. And the individual isn’t ready.
The latest research from the Economic Policy Institute shows that the median retirement account savings for a family between the ages of 50-55 is $8,000. The mean is skewed by the super savers to an average of $124,000. This year savings dropped by 6%, so these numbers aren’t growing, they’re shrinking.

By the time the average worker reaches age 67, the industry rule of thumb is that they’ll need roughly 10 times their final salary in savings. The median income in the US is $46,409, so the median worker will need about half a million dollars to live the same lifestyle.

They have $8,000.

Their house is on fire, and they don’t even know it. You can be the fireman, saving their homes and families – if you start asking the right questions.
So where to start? At the beginning.

The basic thought process is to find out where they want to go and why what’s stopping them from getting there and what they’ve tried to do already. Then discover if they really want to fix what’s stopping them from moving forward.


At D2 Live in Austin a couple of weeks ago, D2 gave longtime coach Kary Mangat a Lifetime Achievement Award to celebrate his retirement from his long service with Dynamic Directions.

Thank you, Kary, for being an inspiration to so many – we will miss you!


This is part two of a two-part series on high achievers.
By Travis Ray Chaney, CEO Dynamic Directions

Read part one here.

3. High achievers know how to effectively leverage resources.
 High achievers have learned the best and highest use of their time, talent and resources. The idea is that you focus on what you can do based on what you are really good at. You perform the tasks that only you are qualified to do – the high points that drive results and hit your passion zone.

On the flip side, you should know the jobs at which your team members excel so they can take the burden of those tasks off you. This reaches beyond mere delegation of grunt work to knowing exactly how your team works smoothly together and who does which jobs best.

You should also have a good understanding of when you need to reach outside your organization to make use of other resources – this could include vendors, consultants, colleagues and other trusted advisors. In short, you are a conductor bringing together the various members of your orchestra at just the right time to make beautiful music together.

4. High achievers make decisions quickly. Why? They know who they are, where they’re going and how they want to get there.  
Many entrepreneurs are equally talented in terms of the knowledge specific to their industry – financial services, health care, construction, etc. One financial advisor, for example, may have 20 high net worth clients, while another has 100 of the same type of clients. Both advisors may know how to handle such clients and may be equally skilled in strategies that increase their clients’ wealth (and their own). The second advisor just knows how to attract more clients at a quicker rate. His advantage is in the speed with which he operates because of his certainty in what he’s trying to do.

High achievers know the values and principles that define who they are, they know exactly what they want and they are on a well-thought-out path to their goals. As different ideas and strategies emerge, they can quickly decide what to incorporate into their plan and what to leave out. High achievers are quick to make decisions to start something and slow to move away from the direction they set when their ideas meet challenges. Conversely, lesser achievers are slow to make decisions to start a new initiative and quick to change their mind when faced with challenges. At the end of the day, motion trumps meditation the majority of the time – so take some kind of action if you want to earn the status of high achiever.

So here’s the question:
When you look at highly successful entrepreneurs, what differences do you see between them and you? These four characteristics just might be the answer. They might be your way of climbing off the low end of the achievement spectrum and jumping on the fast track to the top. 
Do you want to be at the top? Do you want to be looking up at others or see them looking up at you? Reaching that best-of-the-best level requires more than just thinking, “Oh, I wish I could be successful like her.” It requires full implementation and constant refinement of each of these four characteristics. 

If you’re ready to strive for big results, centering your thinking on these four attributes can bring the motivation and traction you need. Your results will change when your behaviors change. Your behaviors will change when your beliefs change. Are you sure about who you are? Can you make decisions quickly? Are you willing to take managed risks and change quickly when necessary? Are you leveraging your resources in the best way?

Your business will truly succeed when you begin applying these entrepreneurial principles. Focus on these fundamentals and they will be difference makers for you.


This is part one of a two-part series on high achievers.
By Travis Ray Chaney, CEO Dynamic Directions

If you’re reading this report, chances are that you’re successful to some degree. But we all know, or at least have observed, wildly successful entrepreneurs who skyrocket their businesses to the next, next, next, next level and beyond – a level you marvel at and admire. 

What’s the difference between achievers and high achievers? How do some entrepreneurs escalate their businesses to the top when they don’t appear to be any more skilled than you? 

You’re right – your expertise in whatever particular industry you’re involved in is probably not that different from the top achievers in your field. The difference lies in your mindset – your level of mastery of entrepreneurial fundamentals.

Below are four key characteristics of outrageously successful entrepreneurs. Spend time developing these tenets and your success will soar, as well.

Four Characteristics of High Achievers

1. High achievers process and implement change at a very rapid pace.

If your company is going to succeed, you have to be ready and willing to change constantly. Wildly successful entrepreneurs maintain a rhythm of constant change. Change works best when it is planned, so once these entrepreneurs decide the direction they want to take, they are bold enough to launch themselves headfirst into the new course.

Many other changes are unplanned, so as an entrepreneur, you must develop the ability to roll with the punches and adjust on the fly. Stay committed to your vision and plan, but be ready at any time to adapt based on circumstances, new developments, and especially when faced with adversity (you know – those “Oh S#IT” moments!). Flexibility is an undervalued trait, but a fantastic way to demonstrate your willingness to do what’s necessary to push through to the next level.

2. High achievers know how to manage risk effectively, so they’re not afraid to take risks.

In order to manage risk, you’ve got to take risks. Because high achievers are so accomplished at managing the possible effects of their actions, they are willing and able to take more risks than everybody else.

Here’s a helpful grid through which you can view risk. Calculate the best and worst possible results of the proposed course of action. The end results usually fall somewhere in between (i.e. the more-than-likely), but high achievers are quick to decide if they can tolerate the worst thing that could happen as a result of taking a particular risk.

If you do decide that you can tolerate a bad result and the more-than-likely scenario will help you achieve your goals, move ahead with the risk – the possible good outweighs the potential bad. If you can’t tolerate the worst-case scenario and/or the more-than-likely scenario won’t move you closer to your goals, don’t take the chance – the reward from the risk is not great enough. The more you practice this method, the more you will develop your sense for finding the appropriate risk versus return ratio.


By Michael Brink, Transformation Guide
Michael Brink joined Dynamic Directions in 2016 as a Transformation Guide specializing in practice management, operations, recruiting and marketing.

Many people become financial advisors to gain independence from corporate America. They like the idea of running their own company and assuming responsibility for all aspects of their practice. When they make this move, they naturally focus on what they enjoy most – bringing on clients and providing them with a high level of service and sound financial advice.

Over time, these advisors who deliver fantastic client service and excellent advice discover they can be well-paid for providing this service. This financial success often comes as their practice grows organically through referrals from satisfied clients. In fact, many good advisors find they can’t help but grow.

As their practices grow, advisors spend more time hiring and training staff. They find it more and more difficult to control all aspects of the practice, and they end up spending more time managing day-to-day activities than bringing on and servicing clients. The practice may grow inefficiently this way as it seems they are always in crisis mode. Advisors spend little time on staff development and developing procedures. Gross revenue will continue to grow, often at an excellent rate, but profit margins may fall. Client service may decrease. Marketing initiatives fall by the wayside.

The longer a practice operates in this mode and the longer advisors do not invest time in staff development and processes, the greater the likelihood the practice will not produce the desired results. The most successful financial advice firms provide the best client service; the most profitable firms provide this client service at the lowest cost. When a practice grows inefficiently, it may begin to provide poorer client service at a higher cost.

Many advisors have difficulty developing the operational, human resource and financial systems to manage the growth of their practices. After all, many advisors got into this business to achieve independence and work with clients. They enjoy providing excellent service and advice to clients, so they find it difficult to transform their practice into a business that does not require their involvement in every activity.

Even when advisors do possess the skills, knowledge and will to develop systems that will transform their practice, is that the best use of their time? The inventory of the practice is the time of the advisor, so the more time the advisor spends on business administration, the less inventory the practice has available to sell.

In cases like this, advisors spend too much time on things they should not be doing because they are uncomfortable giving up control and delegating work to others. The answer appears to be easy, but it can be difficult to execute: advisors need to delegate control of day-to-day administrative activities to their staff while they focus their time and talents on activities that produce revenue and increase client satisfaction.

Changing from a successful, familiar role can be difficult, but it’s a transformation that must happen as a practice grows. Advisors have valid questions as they begin this shift, such as if their staff is ready and able to take on these task and responsibilities, and who they should trust to supervise the operations of their business.

To answer these questions and others like them, advisors often turn to outside coaches and consultants who can see the big picture of their practice. At Dynamic Directions, we have created an established process with proven results that will review your team’s readiness for more responsibilities while providing direction and training to facilitate the changes.

Don’t let the needs of your practice overwhelm you any longer – a transformation awaits!


This is the final installment of a three-part series by D2 CEO Travis Chaney on attracting ideal clients.

Who are the elephants you want to attract?
What are the pains your elephants have? How do your products and/or services ease the elephant’s pain?
What does the demographic profile of your elephants look like?
What signals and messages do you need to send out to attract the elephants?
What is the most efficient and effective way to distribute your message to the elephants?
How much do you need to earn financially on each elephant to be profitable and meet your financial objectives?

Image result for herd of elephants

As your business grows and you build a team, make sure you are building a herd of elephants. Elephant team members show up on time, say please and thank you, do what they say they are going to do, carry a passion for your business, and have the capacity to grow with you. Elephant team members attract elephant clients – mice team members attract mice clients. And make sure you see yourself as an elephant. Remember, similar species attract like species.


This is part of two of a three-part series by Travis Chaney on attracting clients. Read part one here.

First, do your best not to take them on as clients. If you begin to attract a nest of them and the symptoms of unproductivitis begin to show, I suggest you call the exterminator ASAP to get rid of them. In other words – fire them! Or at least serve them differently so your company’s resources are not tied to them so strongly. Cure your disease immediately or you may never escape the clutches of these tiny critters.
If you conduct thorough research on your ideal client, you can build a positioning, marketing and sales plan to attract your ideal clients, and if executed with great precision and tenacity, elephants will come your way.

However, the financial and psychological rewards are much greater. Ironically, elephants are difficult to acquire even though you know exactly where they are located. For instance, your new business may provide technology solutions for companies. Taking a stroll around town or through the phone book you will locate several potential elephants that could benefit from your solutions. Hunting elephants requires a bigger gun with high powered ammunition. In business, the bigger gun could represent a large menu of services or products versus a smaller lineup. The ammunition embodies the messages you are firing to bring the elephants to you. Superior magnetic messaging will carry the language and solutions that draw elephants to you.

elephant standing in field

Elephants live longer, typically carry larger streams of revenue, and carry a higher lifetime value. Lifetime value is the amount of revenue your clients produce annually times the amount of years you plan to be in business. For instance, if you earn $5,000 per elephant annually and the mouse earns you $250 and you plan to be in business for 20 years, the elephant is worth $100,000 over your career as opposed to $5,000 for the mouse – a 5,000% difference.

Elephants respect your time and seek out your advice. They believe in long-lasting relationships, bother you less and value you more.

I know it’s counterintuitive to think you can hold out for the elephants and say no to the mice. However, successful organizations and professionals have no problem with saying no to mice. The quicker you learn to say no to mice, the better off your business will be.


This is part of one of a three-part series by Travis Chaney on attracting clients.

In his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,” John C. Maxwell discusses the Law of the Inner Circle. Simply put, you become who you spend your time with. In business, the same rule applies when it comes to building a client base. As you think about your business, developing a clear picture of who you want to attract as clients is critical to success at any stage in business.

Image result for mice and elephants

Positioning, marketing and sales is the lifeblood of any business. In the beginning phase of your start-up operation, you probably spent the majority of your time, energy and resources in the pursuit of clients. Knowing your potential clients’ spending habits, pains, needs, where
they live, socialize, work, exercise, shop, their age, gender, your desired profit margin, etc. is important in your efforts to attract the ideal clients for your company. Developing an ideal client profile for your products and services before you begin to market and sell increases your efficiencies while ensuring your focus targets the clients you most desire. All of your
positioning and marketing efforts should be directly connected to attracting your ideal client.

If you were to ask any business owner if they were to start their business all over again what they would do differently, most would answer they wouldn’t work with one certain type of client. In the initial phase of launching your business, it is natural to take any and all clients. It is very easy to get caught up in the emotional rush of going out on your own. The fear of the unknown will drive you to say “yes” to just about anybody who is interested in your products and services. Over time, successful mature companies learn the financial rewards of spending time with the clients who value their services most.

Who makes up that group of undesirable clients? Mice. If you are attracting mice in your business you haven’t done your homework on who is most suitable for your products and services. It doesn’t take much effort to attract mice – and once you acquire one, mice typically require more work for sales and service, value you and what you offer less, and bother you more. Mice carry a disease known as unproductivitis – a crippling disease that causes your business to lose valuable time, energy and money due to working with the wrong type of clients.
And the more mice you attract the more

Attract elephants they tend to multiply in numbers.