The business of mentorship

The true measure of success isn’t in building your own book, writes Jason Nakhoul, but in helping young advisors learn to build theirs

The business of mentorship
You took the risk to become an advisor. You built your book through relentless prospecting and enjoyed the fruits of your labour. Now you have all this success, but it’s fading with time.
Regardless of your track record or what you have done for your clients, you can only claim success when you have taught someone else how great this business can be. It is time you go out there and find a team to inspire and be inspired by.
Get out of your comfort zone, look for the eager and build an arc. The key to a great business is the people behind it. You can very well become the captain of that ship – or sink.
Look for personalities, attract the mouldable ones, and show them the way. There’s great talent in our country, young people who are yearning for success. Find them, present them with the language of prospecting, and let them build.
New advisors must be taught to actively search and present their eagerness to serve – something that most millennials have somehow forgotten. Remind them that nothing works from the first few tries and that you have to fall first to get back up. Without trying, you will never learn.
No business exists without its clients, and a strong advisor knows that waiting for business is never an option. Lazy advisors are working on a referral basis with an emphasis on marketing to a network of friends and family. Their careers seem to me like a balancing act, putting one foot in front of the other and trying not to fall off the thin line that holds it all together.
Explain to the new advisors that it is unsustainable to go after a limited resource. A proper business model is focused on generating leads consistently and marketing to a wide variety of people. When friends and family have been coerced into giving them their life savings, losing sight of their career would also mean they would have betrayed everyone they know – this is not the way. Your job is to show them how to prospect and generate leads. If they can hunt, they will never starve.
A proper business model depends on the number of people you can reach and not the ones you already know. Channel their energy through the highs and lows of pros­pecting. Help them minimize the noise of inconsistent income and remind them that if you did it, they can too.
Let them aspire to greatness, never forgetting that it’s always within their reach. One conversation at a time, they will find their building blocks to their own business. Every client they earn will reinforce the base of confidence they need to succeed. You will see yourself in their efforts, and you can help them by relating your experience to theirs.
There is nothing more satisfying than being able to help someone who will even­tually help others find their own path. Our institutions have brainwashed graduates into thinking they will need years before they can make it. Corporations have been consistent in spreading the idea of promo­tion through the ranks, and tradition has backed the idea that this will take years.
The young who are looking to succeed can no longer afford real estate, a family or savings through such traditional means – income levels have simply not kept up with the increase in the cost of life. Millennials must now use their human capital to initiate cold conversations with strangers. They must use all that is available to them, from their technological skills to every ounce of courage they have, to find leads to grow their book.
As they solidify themselves, you will find that you have created a money-making machine – a group of young professionals who are working consistently toward the same goal of achieving greatness. The office atmosphere will be charged, and you will be the catalyst behind the operation. Only then can you take credit for your success.

Jason Nakhoul has been an investment advisor with Manulife Securities for the past five years.