We talked with Stephanie about:
- Why growth and habit change begins with your mindset
- Clearing the resistance to find your big why so you get to the next level
- How to shift focus and time toward energy-creating and revenue-producing actions
About Stephanie Bogan:
A true beacon for professionals looking to balance professional success with lifestyle success, Stephanie Bogan lived it. Spending 25 hours a week on the beaches of Costa Rica while still earning seven figures, she discovered a sustainable process for breaking through our own success barriers. Stepping out of retirement in 2018, Stephanie answered the call to become founder of Limitless Advisor and help finserv and fintech business leaders create radically successful lifestyle practices.
- Stephanie’s LinkedIn
- Stephanie’s Twitter
- Limitless Advisor Website
- Stephanie’s articles for InvestmentNews
Full Audio Transcript
Lauren Hong: Hey Stephanie, we are so excited to have you here today. I was just preparing before the call to learn a little bit more, and holy smokes, as we were just talking about, I feel like you've had multiple lives and each one of them is so incredibly impressive. On top of all that, you're an author, author of The Power of Practice Management. You are a columnist for Financial Planning and InvestmentNews. You've contributed to Kitces.com, Advisor Perspectives, and Financial Advisor Magazine. I mean, the list just goes on and on and on. And then what I love too is that you have this time where you've retired, retired in quotes, you took a step back, and then came back and are just full on it. And so maybe we just start there. I mean, you've built this incredible experience that you've had working with advisors and such over the years. What kind of prompted you to take a step back and then get back into it?
Stephanie: Well, it was interesting. It was not my plan to unretire. Michael Kitces, who's one of my clients, jokes that this is my encore career. I call it my passion project because that's really what it is for me. So I started my first firm, my consulting firm, when I was 24. I'd worked in an estate planning wealth management practice that worked in the high-net-worth and in particular the ultra-high-net-worth space, which is an amazing way to cut your teeth. And ultimately, really got good at helping kind of build and run and grow that business. And I got invited to speak at some conferences on the financial services side specifically. So I started. My firm sold 12 years later to a Fortune-tier company.
I always joked that I learned so much about how Fortune 200 companies run that I no longer needed to work for one. And then literally took a year off, went to the beach in Turks and Caicos with our two very young children at the time and did a lot of scuba diving. And then Joe Duran, who was the CEO at United Capital at the time, which has now been acquired by Goldman Sachs for anyone who's not familiar, literally called me up out of the blue and said, I have the perfect job for you. And I thought, how could you know that? And he said, because I created it just for you. And I was like, okay, fine. I have to hear you out. And that's when I basically took over practice development training and client experience.
The advice model, built out that network and that franchise across our network, right? So really institutionalized and scaling the best practices from business all the way to behavior, which was that in my time at Genworth where we really integrated this practice management offering. So this is where I learned to do things at scale and then really knee deep, as everyone likes to joke, in the apex of my career, retired to the beach in Costa Rica. Because in spite of all of that success, it wasn't satisfying. It was like, no matter what I did, what magazine I was on the cover of, what I was named. Bloomberg asked me to write a book. That's awesome. Mark was like, hey, Steph should write it. I've done all these amazing things and I kept thinking if I just got better, if I accomplished more, if only I would fill in the blank, turn that corner, climb that next rung.
Somehow it wasn't conscious. I wasn't sitting down and journaling. It was just a feeling. And the reason I retired is because I figured out what it was about and how to solve it. And it radically transformed my life. And the second consulting firm, the coaching firm we have now, that's it. I'll share the secret of course in a second. But really the thing is I felt so blessed that we always had developed this real reputation for results. That was what our brand has always been about. We have these incredible results and like, how are they getting those results so fast, so impactful and with so much time and freedom? Like, wow.
So for me, the underlying learning there was that success, it turns out, had been a form of significance. Right? Money was a way to get meaning. I was striving to figure out what felt good. And I just hadn't reconciled that I had a really tough childhood. It's a little bit of a long story, but my mother was diagnosed with a mental illness when I was nine. My father had PTSD from Vietnam, insert ensuing childhood trauma, lack of worth, et cetera here. And so for me, success was a way to fill up the cup, if you will. But we all know it lasts for seven seconds. And so when we retired to the beach in Costa Rica, I had no intention of unretiring. I was like, I am done with that.
I don't have to work anymore. This is gonna be amazing. And it was for four amazing years before I unretired. I did, Lauren, what everybody does when they retire, their soul searching. I googled how to be successful and happy because I hadn't figured that out. So it turns out that all of that success was really my striving for that. If I could just get better, better, better somehow I would be okay. And so I googled that, read an article on mindset, read an article on positive psychology, read an article on neuroscience that led to a paper that led to a research study, which led to years of really copious hours spent studying the science of success, the psychology, peak performance, neuroscience, quantum physics, epigenetics, like really cool stuff in the last 10 years that really provides so much more insight into information about how we elevate who we are, how we show up our work, our wealth, our well-being.
So I'm sitting on the beach in Costa Rica, right? Drop my kids off at school. I'm in my morning reading time; I think it's groovy. And I'm reading a study from Carnegie Institute published back in 1910, and it's called Education and Engineering. And they, Carnegie, were all about growth and development and learning. They invested a lot. And this particular study was about how to get students in a college, in particular an engineering college. How could you design the curriculum and the experience to make people learn, change, and grow. So there's really a study in how to be successful at learning, changing, and growing. And Carnegie Institute has done a ton of research in that field in the hundred years since. So I'm reading this study and they're sort of summarizing it and there it is that they really determined there were three factors to success.
In terms of recreating change, sustainable and lasting change in learning, knowledge. And the environment does have an influence on skills. You either have them where you can acquire them. The third factor was psychology. The attitude mindset. And I thought, yeah, that makes sense. We all know about the self-help books, right? Positive affirmations, right? Thoughts, you know, all the good stuff, attitudes, everything. But then the next line really was a mind-blowing experience for me and is ultimately the reason I unretired. And I remember sitting there and reading these three factors. The conclusion was that success in this endeavor was greater than 80% responsible, driven by our mindset or psychology. And I just thought, I barely know what they're talking about.
Lauren: Right? But tell me more.
Stephanie: But I was like, we all know this intellectually, yeah, of course it matters. We gotta be, you know, but then here's some hard science around it, right? And I'd been just getting deeper and deeper and well, I really love self-help. I was in a place where I was like, I'm not gonna unretire because people are gonna think I've lost my edge and gone soft. That is the world from which I came, right? I wore the three-piece suit. I was on the cover of Financial Planning magazine when we did our research, I was looking all serious, like oh, I'm so tough and amazing. And now just picturing me on the beach like, yo, what's up? There's no proving going on anymore, right? And so I read that and I thought, wow, maybe this is that thing I have yet to figure out because I've gotten as good as I can get it.
That other stuff, it's not the answer, right? I've made the money, I've built the brand, I've built this amazing team. I've sold it. Now what, right? So I always refer to myself as like the princess and the pea. Always just keep piling on thinking and it's gonna go away. So I read this and I just thought I have got to know. So that began and basically it has not stopped for right now, about 10 years in. I really basically got a self-designated degree. I just spent hours and hours and hours every day studying this, reading the research papers. And then I had a couple clients who had reached out. So I was applying it in my own life with just incredible results. I went from feeling like I was in the stressed out survival state all the time to feeling empowered and inspired and joyful and right.
The obligation of work, the imposed right. Perceived, I mean. I worked for four years after I sold my company. So it's not like I had sold the company and just whisked off but it was that perceived obligation. So when I really figured it out, based on the Carnegie study and a wealth of really established neuroscience—Harvard has the Mind Body Institute, they've been massive studies on happiness—what it essentially boils down to is our mindset has the greatest impact on our work, our wealth, our well-being, our business, our body, our bank accounts, our relationship, our relationship to money. Everything that we are, have, achieve, and experience begins right in these six inches. This is the most important space we have. And we spend almost no time reflecting on it. We have, we have, right? We do tests on every part of our body when we're sick.
When was the last time we all really said, Hey, let's let go. Let's go inside our headspace and see what's going on in there. What's serving me, shrinking me, what's got me stepping back, what's got me leaning forward. And so for me, when I unretired, it was actually a series of weird, odd instances. Bob Vais, a good friend of mine who has been a great supporter and mentor over the years, reached out to me randomly. So I'm literally meditating on my deck at the beach every morning. And I'm like, should I do coaching? Should I do consulting? Should I do 'em together? Should I go back to financial services? Should I do something else entirely? Should I become a third grade teacher? What am I gonna do? Because now I have all this time; I've run the PTA for four years.
And there's a certain amount of purpose, growth, and expansion we all want to engage in. So I did the decompression and the learning and what was left was a lot of energy and inspiration around sharing and applying what I had learned because it had been so transformational for me. So Bob had reached out, and this is public knowledge and she's talked about it in different podcasts and publicly, Angie was splitting with her partner back at the time. Those can just be tough things to go through. So Bob is like, hey, you've been through a lot of big transitions, right? Could you talk to Angie? And so we had a great conversation. Apparently I said something really impactful, and she felt great about it and shared on a bunch of podcasts, which was very lovely of her.
She didn't need to do that. But Bob called me afterwards and he was like, what happened with you and Angie? He was like, she was just like really over the top about that call and how helpful it was. And I was like, I'm kind of into this mindset thing. I was like, so I did all that, the best practices, I'm the deep business expert, right? I'm on the magazines, I've written the book. I was like, all that consulting stuff's awesome. All those levers we pull, strategy and operations and service advice and planning and teams and M&A, right? I built the model at United, I built the client experience. I signed off on every deal. I knew that side but I was like, dude, that's not where the shit is.
It turns out that's like 15 or 20% of our success, like this other 80%. It's more like 90 to 95% according to the science, by the way. By the age of 35, we're a pre-conditioned set of hardwired habits and behaviors, 95% likely to do today what we did yesterday. I call it like those invisible forest fields where you're like, I want more and better, right? And yet for some reason I procrastinate or I don't do it, or I keep making decisions that aren't aligned. And you get frustrated and overwhelmed. And so for me, the decision to unretire, Bob said you should unretire and talk to people about this. And I was like, nope. No way, Jose. And he said why not? You just feel so strongly. It's obviously so impactful.
Lauren: He can see the passion. Yeah.
Stephanie: I was like, I am a business expert and if I come back, people are gonna think that I've gone to Costa Rica and I've gotten soft. I've become one of those woo woo people. And I was like, I am not one of those moments. There's hard science here. And he's like, well, might I offer a different perspective miss mindset? Because I'm supposed to have this amazing mindset at this point, right? Like all things are possible. And he said, maybe you would be the best person to do it because you have such a reputation on the business side, right? For delivering and knowing what you're doing. He's like, maybe you're the very best person to come back and be like, hey, I've found a better way. And I was like, oh darn. Okay. Maybe. And literally I'd had a couple of clients who'd just reached out to me that I'd worked with privately before, and they were like, could you just make an hour a week for us?
We would just love to get some guidance around this next phase. I was like, sure. And my new approach is mindset plus methods. That's what I do. You just gotta know that we are gonna really start to dig. And it turns out I've always done it. That's why we got results. I have like five years of deep training and coaching and now I'm like, oh, we're going to integrate this. So we’re the best at consulting and coaching and I'm telling you, game changer. Absolute. So it's not that you can't be successful or you can't elevate your success, it's the speed of inspiration; I call it inspired action. And the joy and ease with which you do it. If you can't build a great business and enjoy the right rewards, then I would argue that's not success, right?
It's the form of striving and our job with our economics is to elevate our experience, not shrink it. So that's a really long why, because I get so excited that this is my passion project. We have other businesses that generate double digits and annual revenue, right? And I don't spend a lot of time there because this is right when I think about where I wanna spend my time and energy with my time on this planet and the impact I wanna have. This is the most important conversation I can have.
Lauren: I think it's also one of the hardest conversations to answer, right? Which is what wakes you every day and there's a real passion, right? It's not just sort of a made up kind of thing. So Bob was right. You've brought this incredible rich experience to the table. It sounds like unknowingly just leading also with this idea of mindset. And then I've been able to help that blossom when you took a step away and now that you've been back in it for some time, how do you approach it? What's different about kind of where you were before to where you are now and what would it be like to work with you? What kind of things are you doing that are different?
Stephanie: You know, it's funny because success really is driven 80% by our mindset. And I'll really break that down in the way our mindset shows up is we can think of having three habit realms. If you've read Atomic Habits, there's a map, right? We are basically right. We have 11,000 thoughts a day. I'm sorry, we have 60,000 thoughts a day and 80% of those are negative. And 95% of those, Lauren, are on a constant replay. Those voices in your head that are like, you can't, you shouldn't, you don't know how, you can't charge that. You've gotta say yes or you'll get eaten by the hungry tiger and die.
Lauren: All those little voices, they're not your friends, like you said.
Stephanie: They're shortcuts your brain created, origin stories from your childhood. Literally, I was talking with our group this morning, we were having one of our personal development calls. We do practice calls and personal calls and we were talking about our relationship to money, and how it shows up and either helps us or hinders us. And she was telling a story, the origin story for her, if money is scarce and you've gotta be a saver, was that her mom when she was in private school, had her walk into the principal's office in third grade and tell them their tuition payment was gonna be late cause they didn't have the money. And she was like, I was mortified. She was like, first of all, why was I in private school if we couldn't afford it? Public school would've been just fine.
Second of all, she remembered feeling so much embarrassment, like, oh my God, something's wrong here. We don't have enough money. And thinking, why am I the one having this conversation? And she just remembers thinking, I never wanna be in that situation again. So she's done really well. That desire to make sure everything's okay and to make a certain amount of money really was part of the motivation to become successful. True. For a lot of very successful people. It's what I call effort and action versus inspired action. So this is the invitation to understand your relationship with your own success and money. Or your desire for more of it. Effort and action. As if we took a piece of paper and we drew a line across it; right above that line draw plus, below that draw minus above that line is everything good and awesome you've ever felt and experienced.
This is where your thoughts are positive, your brain's right. Your biochemistry's positive, you're in that positive can-do everything is possible. Everything is figure-outable. Your abundance, your creativity, the desire to make the leap, to raise the feed, whatever it is. That all happens above the line. In that positive, empowered, what I call success state. Everything else, which the science says we spend about 70% of our time on a daily basis on, is in stress state. A light version of fight or flight. We're all familiar with this. What happens below that line is everything negative and disempowering. I can't, I shouldn't, I don't know how. Fear, uncertainty, doubt, anxiety, stress, judgment, blame, the need to prove, overwhelm. All of those feelings happen when we're below the line. The issue is we don't recognize that we spend way too much time below the line.
And it's because we have one brain and two minds, right? Those 60,000 thoughts a day, like a fraction of them are conscious. The rest are happening on a giant play loop in our mind saying, you can't make more money. People with too much money are bad, or hey, there's never enough. Or you can't charge clients that, what will they think? I can't delegate to a team member, right? Clients won't like it. These are the stories that really hold us back and shrink us. And so as soon as we get into a place where we learn how to spend more of our time above that line in success state, we get clear, we get conscious about what's happening and why, and we can start to shift those patterns of behavior. So instead of just responding from a reactive state—a good example is have you ever had a prospect ask you for a discount?
Sure. Right. Everybody has. How many times have we said yes more than once for most people? And then later we're like, oh, why did we do that? We did that because we acted in that moment, right? All the hardwired thoughts in the subconscious mind and those stories and beliefs are running through our head. And what are those beliefs in this business? All money's good money. All clients are good clients. All assets are good assets. All revenue is good revenue, yes, is the only right answer. Your job is, you get people to say yes. If they say no, you'll get eaten by a hungry tiger, you'll die. You'll never get another referral. Something bad will happen, right? So we don't sit there consciously, like you set a fee schedule, you decided you were worth it. You marketed to people, they spent an hour with you or an hour and a half with you on the phone in a meeting getting to know you.
And at the end of that time in investment, they said to you, Lauren, we really love what you have to say. There's a lot of value we see here. There's just one teeny little problem. We think there's just an easy little bit less value than you do. So could we have all that love, attention, and awesome experience, the knowledge, picking up the phone with the same enthusiasm as all those other clients that were just not smart enough to ask for a discount. Give me all the best you've got every time you're engaged with me. And feel just as good about it as you do with everybody else. Could you do that for about 75% less please? What would you say?
Lauren: You can't grow.
Stephanie: If someone walked in and said that to you outright, what would you say? Yes or no?
Stephanie: Everyone's like, I would say no. And I'm like, except that's not what we do. Every time a prospect asks you for a discount and you say yes, you're essentially saying yes to that. The prospect is saying, I see value just not what you do and I'd like the same as everyone else but I'd like it at a lower cost. And instead of me discerning, deciding if there's value or not, I'd like you to decide if you want me bad enough as the client, we're automatically putting ourselves at a disadvantage in terms of right. Value and trust equity. And kind of right. Who's sitting in the seat of trusted advisor in that relationship? Are those clients we really want? Are they in the best service of the practice? If we're clear that we have a lifestyle practice, 50 to 150 clients are all you need to have a wildly successful practice, have a great life.
You can get bigger than that if you want to. But if you only need 100 seats and you fill the bus, the coach reframe here, the mindset shifts from below the line. I have to say if I have to make it okay to above the line, I only want clients. That is additive. So I always say that I want really great clients. You cannot drag people to the finish line. We all know those people. Able to see the value, some don't. That's okay. Not trying to change anybody. Just want to find the people who are happy to pay, motivated, able to see the value and happy to pay. If they don't fit that criteria, they're not great clients. You don't want them. Some will, some won't.
So who's next? You can always manage your time, energy, and capital to go find a pipeline of great clients. If you get clear, get focused, and get to work. You can't do that most of the time because you're too busy doing too much for too little for too many people for too long. Because we're constantly making these compromises from a crisis of confidence. I have to take that too small client because I'm afraid the referral source will never send me another one. I have to say yes to that discount. Every time we do that, we should be writing ourselves checks, Lauren. So the next time, if your minimum is 5,000 and someone comes along with 3,000, they're not quite there, but you haven't figured out how to say no with dignity in a way you feel good about, which I'll share in a minute if you want me.
If in real life I said to you, Lauren, you're gonna write yourself a check for $2,000 every time you take on one of those clients and you're gonna rewrite that check every year because keeping that client is actually from a right opportunity cost perspective. You only have 100 seats on your bus. Every seat you fill with someone below the minimum is money you're taking out of your pocket. It's just that we can't see that money yet. So we don't treat it the same way. If I put your ideal practice on the table, then I said here's 100 seats, here's a million dollars every time you follow my advice, you get to keep that pile of money at the end of the timeframe, the year. But every time you take a client below the minimum, you gotta take that money off the table every time you check your email more than twice a day.
You gotta take $5,000 off the table every time you do something that's gonna compromise your success out of habit and conditioning. And you know what would happen in like three days, you would stop doing it all because the correlation between your behavior and your results would be so crystal clear that your brain would learn really, really quickly. But we don't write ourselves a check for $500 when we check email 17 times a day. We on average spend 3.6 hours doing it. We give up money we haven't made yet. And so that's where we learn. We learn when we reach a pain point or we have a possibility that inspires us.
Lauren: Hmm. I love it. Oh my goodness. So many things to take in. So it sounds like if there was going to be someone who would partner with you, is it typically someone who is at a place where they want to grow but it's like they just keep hitting walls? Is that fair? Or what would that profile look like?
Stephanie: Well, the clients we do our best work with are financial advisors, founders who want to build a wildly successful business in life. They want to accelerate their success, gain back their time and freedom and right. Build a hyper-successful practice that gives them the time and freedom to enjoy it. So that's who we do our best work with. We have two different ways we work with advisors. We have a lifestyle coaching program that kicked off this year where it's really about, we call it building a million dollar, a hundred day off practice, which is really just Fridays and eight weeks by the way. We have advisors that are smaller than a million. We have advisors that are a bit over a million.
It's really about building a lifestyle practice that fits your version of success, that allows you to deliver deep valued clients, build a hyper-efficient practice, get a great steady pipeline of growing clients. And right. Do it while creating time and freedom for yourself. So that program is really about the mindset, the methods like the personal momentum. We like to call it like a 12-month masterclass in building a kick-ass advisory firm using mindset and methods. And then for advisors that are already over a million in revenue, we call 'em leaders. There's more and better, you do want to grow, you have big goals transferring to the next generation. Building marketing engines that aren't dependent on you. So for those seven- and eight-figure firms and founders we have a leaders program that's like a mix of consulting, coaching, and an elite mastermind.
But irrespective of how we work with firms, it's that mindset and methods approach, which is, are you really clear on what you want to create? We'd like to say when the vision is clear, the decisions are easy because that is the roadmap for change. And in that roadmap for change, you can get really conscious, this is where the mindset piece kicks in and you can say, am I living, being, having, experiencing, earning everything I want and more and what's in the gap? And then we start to look at, hey, do we have the right client base? Are we charging the right fees? Do we have the right systems in place? Are we leveraging our time? So while that is a really big part of the work we do, we'll probably spend 80% of our time, it's almost switched. We'll still spend 80% of our time talking about the levers and the methods and the M&A and the value, depending on what we’re working on.
But for 20% of the time, it's what we really don’t need. You're smart, you're capable, you've done great stuff, you do great work for clients. What is holding you back from that next level of growth? Oh, it's that we aren't using our time wisely. Well why not? Well because we're control freaks. Why are we control freaks? Oh, that's a mindset issue. Okay. How do we start to shift that? And what we find is when we surface these conversations and we're not like laying on the couch crying, we're just having candid conversations about what's happening behind the curtain in our mind. And man, it's like you part the curtain and it's like the runway clears and the resistance leaves and all of a sudden you get clear, you get focused, you get to work, and you make the changes.
That's how we get those results we're known for, not just effectively and efficiently but as enjoyably and quickly as we do. When you put those pieces together and you've got a motivator, we call it a big why. Something that really is a value to you that you want to achieve or experience. We call it mojo, it's magic. The kind of mojo you can create when you get really clear, get really conscious, and then create a course of action. And what it really boils down to, we like to say, mindset sits in the space of making sure the tongue in your mouth and the tongue in your shoes are all moving in the same direction. Because we have a tendency to talk one way and act another. And that's the gap that we all sit in every day.
Lauren: Okay. So we're wrapping up on time here, but if someone was to work with you or to go through this sort of an exercise, what's the number one thing you think would help set them up for success or the relationship up for success? That pre-work, if there's any.
Stephanie: I don't know if there's pre-work, but there are two exercises I can share quickly that will transform anyone's life quickly if they do them. And obviously there's a lot more you can do both on the business and the personal side. But the first is that line exercise. If you take a piece of paper and you literally draw a line, we're going to use this with time. What's above the line? Below the line? Everything above the line is energy-creating and revenue- producing. I could talk to you for 19 hours, go give a speech, consult with a client. I could just do it and do it and do it. I'm like the Energizer bunny. I love it. It elevates me, inspires me, uplifts me, it is energy-creating for me.
When it's all over, I'll be like a deflated balloon but while I'm in the middle of it, there's no end to the charge because it's elevating to me, it's energy-creating. So there's really only two kinds of activities, energy-creating or energy-draining. Stasis lasts for like seven seconds when we wake up. Then those stories in our head shift above or below the line. Everything below the line is the opposite of that, it does not enlighten or inspire you. You procrastinate, you put it off, you avoid it, you hate it, you dread it, and at the end of the day it's energy-draining and it's not revenue-producing. It might be revenue-sustaining, but again it's not right in the direction. So our number one job to affect change with respect to our income, our time, and our freedom is to literally stop doing below the line activities.
Just stop. So I check my email twice a day. It takes me 30 minutes because I have someone who checks it for me. We have all these rules about what goes where, what I look at, what she looks at, what gets processed without me, our system for surfacing any questions or issues. We have a system. I'm not just like, here you go, I trust in you; we have boundaries and business systems in place. There's some real levers you still have to pull but most people get stuck when I just say check email twice a day. They actually panic. Like the stories in your head start just chirping off. Email is not an energy-creating, revenue-producing activity. Here's how I know: no one in 25 years, Lauren, has ever called me up and said I check my email 17 times a day because I just know there's so many awesome prospects and they're dying to get ahold of me.
We do it by habit, we do it for the little dopamine hit, and we do it because we want to feel productive in a sea of overwhelm and it's a bunch of little wins but it's utterly dilutive. It's stealing at least 30 or 40% of the average person's productivity. So then I say stop checking. And everyone panics like how are we gonna do that? Why don't you create an email policy? I’m happy to share mine. If anybody wants to reach out to email@example.com, ask for a copy of my email policy. It's three pages long. It details what to do. For instance, if Michael Kitces, who's one of my clients, emails, it goes here; if a random person we like, here's what you like. It lays the whole thing out. So what I say is I just show up and do what I'm told every day.
I'm not in charge of anything but at a business level I'm clear and conscious, I'm in charge of everything. I set the rules. I'll check email twice a day. Here's the system I want you to follow. So I have total confidence that what's happening is supposed to be happening. We've got a good communication loop. People feel our love and attention. Like, wow, how are they so on? Like here's how we're going to accomplish that amazing experience. Mindset plus method. So here's a great way, here's the mindset piece because your natural behavior, remember, is 95% hardwired to do the same thing tomorrow except I'm going to tell you about the Post-its. You're gonna take two Post-its, you're gonna write a one on one and a two on the other and you're gonna stick 'em on your monitor. And when you check email for the first time in a day, you take off the first Post-it.
And when you check email the second time in a day, you take off the second Post-it. And after you've removed all the Post-its, guess what you've committed to not do anymore. No more email for that day. So it will literally feel like someone has cut off your hands for a day or two. And then what you'll realize is you're just so much more productive because you didn't spend 3.6 hours checking email. Now if you don't have someone checking and processing, you might spend a little bit more time. But the key here is don't process and produce at the same time you’re processing. If you're doing your own email until you can get someone to do that, right away that 30 minutes in the morning and into the day is processing time. So if Lauren's like, hey, got a quick question for you about our podcast, my assistant will grab it, put it in the today folder so I've got time to review it at the beginning or the end of the day.
Stephanie: Hey Dorian, just a little quick this or tell Lauren that or all's good, no big deal. Like quick hits things. Or Dorian will be like, hey, I need something from you. Boom. Then away it goes. If it requires more than a few minutes, it's not email, it's service work or it's marketing or it's advice, which means it gets calendared in your time block. So if you want to read about how to take agency, vote for your time. I wrote a great article, I say great because it's like 5,000 words, it's basically a book. It's great about writing for kids, like we're going for it girl. And it basically breaks down from the mindset piece, which is a really reflective, intentional conversation that will really shift your relationship with time. But then how we go from annual calendars to model schedules to like it'll take you all the way down the rabbit hole from big picture to like best practices you can use tomorrow.
Like the Post-its I love. So if you're interested in doing that, remember when people stop checking their email, what's left is time they have to focus on something. And then that means we get to address the next issue. Am I focused on the right things? Do I actually do my tasks when I'm supposed to? Am I procrastinating and distracted? Okay, well, you know, I don't have email now, so we start to just go down the rabbit hole and keep figuring out what we have to solve for. We're not working over problems anymore. We're working through them because we have the clarity and consciousness from mindset to go, okay, what's really happening here? Why is it really happening? I keep talking about how overwhelmed I am, but I took on the clients, I said what I did, I decided what I was going to charge.
I make decisions; the only person really in charge of this situation is me. So if I'm in charge of it, that was the mindset thing that caused me—I was like, wow, if this is that big a lever and I haven't pulled it, what's possible when I do? And then I get so excited about it and then I decide to go out and start a business and tell everybody. So that email strategy and the line exercise are super powerful. One of the things below the line should be right checking email, not responding to awesome emails that fall in. Like client retention or something. When do you get clear? I mean, what's on this line? Your business plan becomes really easy. Everything below the line is not awesome for you.
You draw a line out farther, you draw vertical lines, time horizons, three months, six months, a year, five years, depends on where you are. And everything below your line at some point has to go depending on the time horizon. Hey, I'm gonna give up all the para- planner work within six months, that's gonna go above the line. Who sits on that sheet? Oh, it's gonna be a paraplanner, insource, outsource, part time, full time. Now you're clear and you're conscious. You're conscious about where your time is really going, what's additive and what's dilutive. And you've made a conscious decision to get focused on the things that are energy-creating and revenue-producing, which is the shortest way to make more money and less time by the way, and be happy and inspired doing it. And now you can build a quick business plan, get focused, and get to work.
So these things that seem so big and complicated and so overwhelming and unsolvable just start to get really clear—about what's happening and why it's happening from a place of slightly more consciousness, not being in that survival stress mode, sitting in that success state where we can evaluate from our conscious Einstein brain, not the caveman brain that's always in charge. What do I want to create in my practice? What do I want to create in my life? What's the gap? What do I need to account for? Okay, now I can work on my mindset and methods with a roadmap for change. So I think that's what Limitless is good at. We're really good at giving you a proven track to run on. We know how to build big firms, small firms, right? All sizes. There's a blueprint for success and we know all those models, and our most impactful work, aside from all the really cool business stuff, is helping people elevate their thinking and their decisions and their actions rapidly to kind of create the results they want with greater ease and joy. That's what I get really excited about.
Lauren: I love it. And I can see your passion just in how you talk about it too, which is also really inspiring as well. So thank you for sharing so many insights about your journey and how you got to where you are today and also some really great takeaways that can literally be immediately applied. I'm going to have to try this email tracker and I'm sure it's going to kick my butt. So I really appreciate you.
Stephanie: It's a habit. Our job is to break those habits and patterns to learn how we can sit in that space. Email is just one example. Hopefully listening to podcasts like this and sharing those actionable insights helps whoever's listening.
Lauren: Absolutely. And we'll make sure to include links below as well to your book and other resources. And thank you again for your time. We'll be in touch. We'll keep the conversation going.
Stephanie: Yeah, happy to be here. Hope it was helpful. Everyone have a great day.