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Look for Richard's monthly blog on the 7th of each month.


Last month, I suggested this summer would be a good time to concentrate on being the best that we can be. We discussed the concept of “Getting it Right,” which I believe sets the tone for personal growth. But rarely do I come across, in the Financial Service Arena, people who have put together a definitive program for personal growth. Obviously no two people would necessarily have the same plan, but all programs should have some common themes.


It is always a good starting place to do a fair amount of self-reflection as you begin this process. What are your current strengths and weaknesses. What are the goals you want to achieve while maintaining your personal values? Set specific achievable goals but always try to decide in what time period you want to achieve these goals. It is often helpful to then break them down into smaller, actionable steps.


Commit to continuous learning. Read books, take courses, attend workshops etc. If you want to make others think you are a person of authority, then get a few designations, such as CFP, CFA, MBA etc.

Work with a coach or mentor. You will always be more successful if you have another pair of eye’s evaluation=ng your progress, giving you encouragement and holding you responsible for hitting deadlines.


Get healthy. Cultivate habits that support your well-being such as regular exercise, healthy eating and adequate sleep. If you want to be at the top of your game being health contributes a lot.


Try new things! Personal growth often occurs when you are operating outside of your comfort zone. Remember failure is a learning opportunity.


Personal growth is a journey that requires persistence and patience. Be persistent and stay committed to your goals even when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Results take time to measure.


Finally adapt and evolve. Be flexible and open to change. As you grow and evolve, your goals and priorities may shift, so be more than willing to adapt your personal goals accordingly.


Putting a personal growth plan together including at least some of the elements above may not solve all of your needs but it is a big step forward and will certainly let you have a more successful life than those who do not have such a plan.


As the summer progresses, I will discuss some specific goals that will be useful to you as a financial service professional, but a personal growth plan is a good place to start.




In a past blog I spoke about the importance of mentors. In future blogs, I will be spending a fair amount of time over the summer focusing on how you can be the best that you can be.  To begin this process, I want to share with you the five most important sentences that were spoken to me by five of my mentors because I think they represent the knowledge you need to start becoming the best that you can be.


“If you don’t excrete you die.” This famous sentence from Peter Drucker really had me flabbergasted when he first spoke it to me.

It actually was his response when I asked him, what is the most important lesson he could teach me. I was flabbergasted by his answer. What does that mean? Professor Drucker continued, “For our bodies to perform, they must take in nourishment and excrete waste. If they don’t excrete there is no room to take in more nourishment and you will die. People like you and other Wall Street types are pack rats. All you do is take things in.  You must begin to get rid of things if you are going to grow. You must get rid of bad ideas, bad investment programs and bad beliefs and replace them with new invigorating and nourishing ideas.”


“There is more than one right answer.”  After hearing this sentence from DeWitt Jones I really started thinking for the first time that the proposition that there is more than one right answer could be applied to many aspects of life. I wondered why few people ever spoke of the concept of finding more than one right answer. It seems that we live in a world where most people may look for answers but never look for a second or even third right answer. Yet one does not have to look far to see the vast breakthroughs that exist entirely because of rejecting the way something was always done and replacing it with a better right answer.


“The purpose of a business is to find and keep good customers.”

It was after listening to these words from Ted Levitt that I began trying to fully understand the concept of customer acquisition but perhaps more importantly, customer retention. In working with financial advisors, I often find that they have elaborate customer acquisition plans but most often don’t have client retention plans. This caused me to choose client retention as a subject of one of my White Papers and adding it to my lecture topics. The revenues lost by not concentration on client retention are staggering.


“Add a little magic to your delegation plan.” Thank you, Larry Biederman, for this sentence. Larry uses the pneumonic MAGIC to list the five elements of proper delegation: Message, Ability, Goals, Information and Consequences. My website includes a white paper, a video and a recorded lecture on how to use these five elements. Good delegation is a key to enhancing productivity.


“There is black and there is white and there is gray and when it is gray get a partner.” These words were spoken to me by my father, and they form the foundation of my personal ethics. We all know what to do when confronted by good and evil, but it is the gray area that causes all of the trouble. People tend to convert gray into white when left to their own devices to justify their actions. It is not that simple. So, whenever you are faced with a gray area ask for some one else’s opinion. This one may save your life some day. Thanks dad!


There you have it. Five sentences that will put you on the right track in your goal to be the best that you can be.



“Success is not about doing things right once but doing them right consistently.”

 Tony Robbins


I have often told the story about being put down by a waiter. I was conversing with him, praising the culinary masterpiece I had just savored. I told him that the flavors of the dish were extraordinary, and the presentation of the food was nothing short of marvelous. He responded to me in a sarcastic tone, “If we can’t get the food right, then what are we doing here?


At first, I was jarred by his comment, but after some reflection I said to myself “why don’t more people have the attitude that getting things right ultimately defines who someone is and separates them from most other people.” As William Foster once said, “Quality is never an accident, it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.”


This definition of quality dovetails nicely into creating repeatable processes. Don Connelly and I have always stressed the importance of creating repeatable processes for every aspect of your business life (and probably for your personal life as well.) You should create them for opening accounts, retaining accounts, servicing accounts, managing assets, managing your staff, and creating the best customer service experience in the industry and everything else.


Someone once said that excellence is doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way. The food I had that evening did not get memorable by accident. It was the result of creating a recipe, and a lot of trial and error. Once the chef realized he had it perfect, he wrote it down precisely and then repeated the process over and over again. The presentation wasn’t an accident either. It was the result of skillful execution and repetition.


“Getting it right,” is the pursuit of perfection, with a path marked by continuous practice, iterative adjustments and a relentless refinement until excellence is achieved. To execute all  these things yourself from scratch is quite an undertaking. This process mirrors the journey of the chef refining a recipe; starting with a foundation, honing it through practice and embracing feedback to elevate it to new heights. That is possibly why 20 million cookbooks fly off the shelves each year in the United States alone.

Where do you find your cookbook to serve as a starting point for how you are going to run your business? Look not only to the shelves of wisdom but also to the guiding voices of those who have traversed the path before. 


Whether you are a financial advisor, a wholesaler or a money manager, you can greatly reduce the time it takes to putting more effective repeatable processes into effect by having a refined pair of eyes examine your activity so that you can be sure you are “Getting it Right” and illuminating the way to a future defined by excellence.  


Richard J. Capalbo              626.484.5744





, 2023

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