The Abs that never showed up

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

Viraj Shetty has always been fascinated by bodybuilding. In fact, he loved it so much that he read almost every book on it. He saw every possible technique and video on it. Yet, not a single muscle in his body budged.

Can you guess the reason for this?

He simply didn’t act on any of the advice. This doesn’t mean he didn’t sign up for the gym. He signed up for the best gym; it’s just that he didn’t show up every day consistently. He even had a personal trainer. His trainer was equally undisciplined and was unable to add massive value.

Viraj now thought of yet another creative thing. Why don’t I start with supplements and find a celebrity trainer? Several months of doing this and not even 2 packs could be seen.

Can we learn something from this? While there are many lessons, I like to focus on the most important one that is relevant to all of us.

While he thought he was building his body, he was just playing six-pack – six-pack (it’s a made-up game). He knew enough about the subject yet he kept looking for more shiny objects. Even a layperson knows that Eating Less and Exercising Consistently can deliver the goods and if he just does that, he would have far better outcomes than Viraj.

Just reading and becoming more knowledgeable about something does not build your SKILL or gives you results.

Your SKILL is always a function of doing things.

No CONSISTENT Action = No SKILL Building

What has this got to do with us?

While Viraj was playing Six-pack – Six-pack, most people in our industry play Office-Office.

We are busy with the following:

a. Acquiring Certifications (Incidently Carl Richards and I are launching one named RFP – Real Financial Professional – Now this one is truly different and focuses on building skills that you require. Please don’t attend this if you don’t intend to do anything about it.)

b. Attending mediocre 2-3 Investment Management, and Market-related events. We sometimes even listen to the success stories of others.

c. Participating in cribbing sessions with peers.

d. Reading, watching and listening.

Thus, we don’t have time to build SKILLs or for real matters such as Client Acquisition.

We don’t market or call. We just wait for the phone to ring. We HOPE and look out for newer shiny objects just like Viraj.

Hence, Clients Don’t Sign up, Prospect Pipelines are weak (Yes, even some of the bigger firms have weak pipelines) and New Client AUM Growth is dismal.

Ask yourself “How much time do you invest in improving or building your skills?” None of the points above “a to d” count including, reading my blog.

Your skill will not improve even 1% if you do not act or implement.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the 10,000 Hour Rule in his book “Outliers”. He mentioned, “ten thousand hours is the magic number for greatness.”

Assuming 5 hours invested in building a skill every day for 300 days a year will take close to 7 years of super hard work. Some can do it in a shorter period of time by devoting themselves completely to the craft.

Personal Finance is our Art. It’s our Craft.

How much time are you really investing in building this Craft?

How much time are you really investing in having brilliant conversations with people?

You can use this question in a variety of ways.

How much time are you investing in ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­___________ ?

Replace the blank with Thinking, Storytelling, Prospecting, Writing Emails, Listening, and many others in the above question. The answers will surely make you think and take decisions.

Now write down one Skill that is absolutely necessary to drive Growth in your Firm.


Can you do it on your own or are you better off outsourcing it?

If you think you are better off doing it, write down your commitment towards building this Skill.

Even after you have developed your Skill and are the best at it, you simply can’t stop. You have to do it day after day, every day.

Do you think we can stop exercising after we are fit? Can Virat Kohli stop practising just because he is a world-class cricketer?

Nope is the clear answer. The show and game must go on.

Quit playing Office-Office and Get Started with some Real Work.

Let the Awesome Professional inside you come out just like Viraj’s awesome abs were waiting inside to come out. The only way for the hidden genius to come out is for you to show up daily and do the hard work no one else is willing to do. The world needs real professionals like you more than ever.

Today is the Day and Now is the Time to Get Started.