#SitkinsIsTheSolution

3 Myths to Achieving Balance

balance podcast Jan 13, 2022
 

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Brent Kelly:

Welcome to The Agent Leader podcast. My name is Brent Kelly, your host. Thanks so much for joining me on another episode. And as always, the purpose of The Agent Leader podcast is to help you, the independent insurance agency leader, to help you gain clarity, to help you build consistency, and to help you make a commitment, a commitment to become your best version possible. And for our video watchers of the podcast, I'm doing a shameless plug here of our book coming out, which is entitled Best Version Possible. And really excited to get the book out. And we've been sharing that for a few different episodes.

Brent Kelly:

But also, I have a guest today that has his own book. He's already way ahead of me on things that he's doing, but I had a conversation a while back with ... Should I call you doctor? Is that ... I want to give you the proper title, Travis.

Dr. Travis Parry:

You can introduce me as Dr. Parry, and then call me Travis the rest of your life.

Brent Kelly:

All right. Well, I want to give you the formal title. So we've got Dr. Parry here with me AKA we'll also call him Travis, but you are. I want to give you the due respect, but Dr. Parry/Travis, international speaker. He is a best selling author. He is a coach and comes from the financial services background. And as I was talking with Dr. Parry again, a while back, kind of setting up this podcast, in fact, and I told you this, that on our podcast, I typically will have Roger Sitkins with me who's the founder of our company interview some of our member guests. I don't have a lot of people outside of that scope, but I want to bring Travis in because I know what he's going to share today not only aligns so much of what we talk about, but it's going to add great value to you, the independent insurance agent.

Brent Kelly:

And so I was really excited to have Dr. Parry with us today as a guest on the podcast. And without further ado, Dr. Parry, I'll just, I'll let you kind of introduce yourself and how you got to where you are and the things that you do. But I do want to make one personal caveat. I have five kids and everyone says, "Man, I guess you win." Well, Dr. Parry beats me. He's got more. So yes, seven.

Dr. Travis Parry:

Seven children. My wife deserves all the credit. We know that she does all the work. I mean, I'm not a deadbeat dad. I'm definitely involved in their life, but she is a home school mom. And we do a lot of traveling. And we actually just put 5,500 miles on our brand new van. And we traveled for two weeks about ... What was it like? 55? 95 hours in the car. So there you go. And that's how crazy we are. It's going to be like, "Wow, what's your superpower?" My superpower is going long distances with that many ... And we don't do videos. We just do books on tape and try to keep those creative minds learning why we're out and about. So there you go. Little taste of the Parry family household.

Brent Kelly:

Wow. Blessings and kudos to you. And if anything outside of this interview, I'll reach out to you again with help on my parenting skills. I think I can learn a lot from you.

Dr. Travis Parry:

I'll connect you with my wife. It's funny, as we often, like we're listening to parenting tapes and stuff and ... Tapes? Audio, books on audio while we're driving in the car. And our kids are like, "Why are you guys listening to this?" Like, "Well, because we want to know." "But now we know how you're going to try to use this on us." I'm like, "It's nothing secret. We want to be better." Speaking of best version possible.

Dr. Travis Parry:

Well, I want to first, shameless plug. If you guys are interested in what we're talking about today, go to achievingbalancebook.com. I actually pretty much give this book away for free. You can get it for $16 on Amazon if you like. Please do. It's nice a little kickback for me. But if you want to get it for shipping only, you can pay your $8 online and we'll ship it to you.

Dr. Travis Parry:

I also have other versions, the audio and stuff that's available if you're interested in that. Please, take advantage of that. I have a bunch of other bonuses that go with it.

Dr. Travis Parry:

But basically how I got to here. How did I get to even thinking about writing a book for financial advisors and insurance professionals? Well, I started with State Farm. I moved to Northwestern Mutual and got my securities license. I went independent. I didn't have my own RIA yet set up, but I was still working independently and I started charging for plans. And when I set up my own business, as you know, Brent, there's like a billion things to do. Oh, you need your logo, you need compliance, you need ... And the list just goes on, on and on. And I found myself realizing that, "Gee, Travis you've become quite the workaholic, even though you're trying to help other people not be workaholic, not be this ultra productive person who just keeps working."

Dr. Travis Parry:

And I really delve into psychology. I did a master's in psychology and a PhD in family relations to really get at the three main myths of why financial advisors and insurance agents just really aren't living a balanced life. And I tackle these in the book. We can talk about them in more detail, but I was able to get the education to now come back to the industry and say, "Hey guys, I got it. I got this figured out. I know what's going on. I know where we're going wrong." Because the reality is most of us are told, "If you just work five to 10 years, then after that's going to be gravy. Everything's going to be fine. You're going to have the ideal lifestyle." But it's just not true. And I call it the workaholic trap, especially in this industry where we are focused on our clients, we're focused on the sales, we're focused on building, building, building. We oftentimes get caught in this workaholic trap.

Brent Kelly:

Love that. I know that's good. One of the reason I wanted to bring you on is just a different vantage point. And I think again, all, so many similar things that I certainly align and agree with you on a different perspective, a fresh perspective.

Brent Kelly:

I think one of the best ways and the best books I read, the people I talk to and that I get information from is not because they had it all figured out at first, is because they screwed it all up first and figured out how to fix it later. Right? So you kind of learn all their ... the mistakes that they've made along the way, which saves you time and energy, at least that's the goal. Right?

Brent Kelly:

I want to ask you Travis on this, is I always want to get some of the greatest lessons learned, but within it, obviously, we've mentioned this before, you've piqued my interest of these three main myths. So maybe that's part of some of the lessons. I don't want you to have ... You don't want to share all your secret sauce. That's fine. But I would like to know what do you mean by these myths, and what are some of the lessons that you've learned along the way in working with professionals?

Dr. Travis Parry:

Yeah. Thanks. Yeah. So myth one all should go through, myth one is this idea that you can have it all by doing it all. I call those who are in this stage, because it really is a stage. I call those advisors who are here do-it-alls. They try to do everything. They think, "If I can just replicate myself or if I just work longer, then I'll be able to do some of this stuff."

Dr. Travis Parry:

But we know that our energy levels are incredibly important. There's no way I'm going to do this podcast at three in the morning. I'm just not. I want my energy level to be there. And I'm not going to do it in the evening because I have family time and other things, but my energy's just not there. We need breaks. We need time away.

Dr. Travis Parry:

But if we try to do everything all the time, we think we're Superman, we're going to mess up. We're going to try to multitask. There's an author, Dave Crenshaw, I learned a lot from. He wrote a book called The Myth of Multitasking. Psychology has taught us now that we don't actually multitask. We switch task from one thing to another, to another, to another. If you and I are having this conversation and my team members are trying to get me on Teams and I'm writing back responses to them, it would look like this. "Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, yeah, sure Brent. Right." And I might answer you something that they're telling me.

Dr. Travis Parry:

That's incredibly embarrassing. Not only is embarrassing, but the quality of my work, the clients, it actually takes longer to do those two things because your brain actually can't have the power and capacity to do something that's really high and important to do at the same time. It just doesn't. We don't work like that. Computers probably give us a bad rap because it looks like they are multitasking. Now, if it has one processor, it's literally only doing one bit of information at a time, but it does it so fast, it appears it's multitasking. Does that make sense?

Brent Kelly:

Yeah, it makes perfect sense.

Dr. Travis Parry:

Yeah. That's one of the biggest things I see with do-it-alls, is they're just multitasking their life away. They're multitasking their work time away. They don't focus. They don't plan. They try to plan. They're just like, "Oh, I feel so confused. I'm always overwhelmed," and da, da da. Man, I would hate if that's how my workday was every day. And I felt that way when I was starting my own business. I'm like, "This isn't how it's supposed to be. I'm not supposed to feel like this."

Dr. Travis Parry:

So what's the solution? The solution tends to actually be the next myth. And that is, well, you got to be productive. You've got to quit multitasking. You've got to create processes that you put in place, an ideal calendar to then be able to keep things in line, do the most important things at work and do the most important things outside of work.

Dr. Travis Parry:

If we're trying to do everything, it's because we're people-pleasers or we're afraid. It usually comes down to some of these issues that we've ingrained in ourselves that we have to appear something more than we are to our clients or to our friends or family, et cetera. And I've done a lot of research on that. But that's really kind of the nuts and bolts of myth one. And I explain it in three or four chapters here in the book. So it's all in there, all the details of how to create the solution to that.

Brent Kelly:

Love it. Love it. So that's myth number one. And I just want to, just a couple things to, I guess, ask you or kind of maybe a little extra thought on that. Number one, it hits me. It's fine. I feel like you're talking through my soul a little bit because-

Dr. Travis Parry:

Are you a do-it-all Brent?

Brent Kelly:

Well ...

Dr. Travis Parry:

Are you a do-it-all?

Brent Kelly:

I will tell you that it's been ... It's interesting now because the people that are on my team that see my calendar and even my wife, she'd be like, "Gosh, no, you are like really organized and focused." Well, I have to be because I know who I am. I don't know a better way of saying that.

Brent Kelly:

That being said, my brain, it's just really difficult. In fact, every year I give myself a word of the year of just something to be conscious about. And this year's word ... I've had the word deep. I've had the word consistent. This year my word is present. I just need to be present because that's like, I know the next thing and the next thing. I think what you said, Travis is really important obviously for a number of reasons.

Brent Kelly:

And I guess my follow up to this myth is, and you mentioned ideal calendar. I've talked about this too. What do you see as like, I know you probably talk about it in your book, but to go from someone who is constantly multitasking and they would say something like this. "Travis, you just don't understand my life. You don't understand my business. You don't understand how it really-

Dr. Travis Parry:

I've been there-

Brent Kelly:

... how it really works."

Dr. Travis Parry:

Yeah, how it really is. Of course.

Brent Kelly:

Right.

Dr. Travis Parry:

Yeah. I don't understand.

Brent Kelly:

What would you tell someone like that?

Dr. Travis Parry:

No, not only have I been there done that. I started my own firm. I've worked for a large ... two very large firms. And I was on my way to becoming an independent RIA. I've also been a professor. I've taught classes. I've been in the academic world. So I've had experiences that most financial advisors, they just don't have the breadth of experience. It may have been short-lived in each of these areas, but I have a breadth of experience like nobody else. And so I get it. I know how it is to be there. I know how it is to be like I've got underwriting on down, trying to knock at my door. I've got to get back to of them. They're not getting back to me. I've got compliance screaming at me. I've got clients emailing me, texting me what's going on? And I've got marketing things I've got to take care of. Like, I know how to run all that.

Dr. Travis Parry:

In fact, in my second year as an advisor, second year Brent, I had three people on my team. I know the value of delegating. And so I hired full and part-time marketing, underwriting specialists, and client specialists. Okay? I had those three delegated. All I wanted to do every single day was show up to my office, play golf with new potential clients and referrals, have lunches with those who wanted/agreed to have lunch with me, and the afternoons I would do plans with qualified individuals who my marketing team had set appointments with. That's it. That's all I did. And that's after being in the business for two years full-time.

Dr. Travis Parry:

Now, the reason why I did that is because I didn't value or want to do all those things. I didn't want to multitask my life. I want to be good at something, really good. And this actually sets us up for myth number two, if I can share.

Brent Kelly:

Yes, please.

Dr. Travis Parry:

Myth number ... Yes. Myth number two is productivity is the magic pill, all right? Productivity is the magic pill. Productivity is wonderful. And so it gets sold. And my former mentor, Dave Crenshaw, did a great job. He's a productivity leader and he's probably much more productive than I am and I'll probably ever be. However, that said, productivity is not the magic pill. It's a myth. If all you do is ... Because we're Americans, we want the easy thing. We want it now. We want it yesterday. Right? And so if we just take this productivity thing, then everything's going to be all right.

Dr. Travis Parry:

Well, I was in the middle of teaching productivity to a mortgage officer or mortgage broker. He owned his own company and they were growing at 2000% a month.

Brent Kelly:

Wow.

Dr. Travis Parry:

This is crazy. They had a Forbes article written on them and just really described what he was doing with the business, which was fantastic. But he had five kids like you, and he wanted to spend time with them. When you're working 80, 90 hour weeks, you don't have time for that. It just does not happen.

Dr. Travis Parry:

So he went through the training and afterwards he's like, he looked at me, he's like, "Travis, this is really good. This is going to make me super productive. But what's going to keep me from becoming, and now I coin it, a productive workaholic?" I was like, "Oh. What am I doing? Am I helping these financial professionals be balanced or just more productive?"

Dr. Travis Parry:

And so it dawned on me that we need something to keep us at bay. It's boundaries. What are our boundaries? If we don't have amazing things to look forward to outside of life ... And actually that's how, Brent, that's how you and I started this conversation. "How was Christmas? How was your break?" And I told you, it was rough to actually come back in because two weeks off, I just want to hang out with my family. I'm getting used to that. Like, "Oh, I love this." Hang out with family and friends. I love what I do. I'm super passionate about this and I want everybody to have the lifestyle I have, but I took 12 weeks off last year. We doubled, more than doubled our business last year. Why? Because I wasn't there. Like it's legitimate. There is a connection here.

Dr. Travis Parry:

And if you don't have hobbies, health, sports, family, like stuff outside of work that's super important to you, that you feel passionate about, that you're growing toward, that you have goals toward becoming your best version of yourself there on the outside, then that's not going to keep you from becoming a productive workaholic. It'll actually just, you'll get there.

Dr. Travis Parry:

And that's why I find a lot of people who are super organized, who get a lot of stuff done, I don't think you're a do-it-all, Brent, but you might be on this productive workaholic spectrum. Does that make sense?

Brent Kelly:

No, it does. And it's just, it's to be constantly aware of it. I mean, even you saying that I'm like, "Yeah, I kind of know that, but how well am I doing that?"

Brent Kelly:

The one thing that when you said that, it hit me, and again, I've gotten really good at getting structured, but then it goes back to, "Okay, well what's really important?" And I will denigrate myself here for a second, and that's okay to do. It's true story. But one of the things that I have mentors and coaches around me, but it's like, "I see you've got all of this stuff really well done in your workday. When's date night?"

Dr. Travis Parry:

Right.

Brent Kelly:

Right? "When's the one-on-one time with your kids?" Because like you, we got multiple. Right? "How are you going to do that? Is that on the calendar?" "Well ... "

Brent Kelly:

And so your point is well received. It's like ... I had someone say like, "Why don't you schedule that first?"

Dr. Travis Parry:

Yep, exactly.

Brent Kelly:

Right? Yeah. So I don't know if you want to add to that, but I'm just saying I'm listening.

Dr. Travis Parry:

100%.

Brent Kelly:

I'm listening.

Dr. Travis Parry:

100%. So the first part of this is I call the Make Time method is you need to know how to be productive at work so that you're not multitasking your life away at work and do the five, six things that are most important to you. I call it the work sweet spot. I outline in the book how to find it, how to do it, have the whole exercise there. Okay?

Dr. Travis Parry:

But then, once you have that, that's just supposed to reduce the time that you spend at work so you can take the remaining time that you've saved now that you've invested. You're saving some time. Now you're going to reinvest that time as an asset, right? We all know. We're financial people. We're going to reinvest that time as an asset, into the most important parts of your life. And now you're going to create an ideal calendar that's for business and personal. That's the boundaries. That's how you trade it.

Dr. Travis Parry:

So that way you have a life worth living outside of the office and that you love living so that you still love your work, but you should be loving the stuff you do outside of it more.

Dr. Travis Parry:

I've never met a married man who owns a business that has said his career is his number one priority. Never in my life. I've met a lot of unmarried. I've met a lot of individuals who haven't made it or don't have a family. That's fine. Maybe that's their priorities, build their career first. I'm not going to judge them on that. But the reality is I've never met a married man who said that in a straight, serious tone and believed it. Okay?

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Dr. Travis Parry:

It's usually four, five, maybe sixth priority if we look at all the 10 priorities that we outline in the book.

Dr. Travis Parry:

And what this does is once you have this ideal calendar set up, I find the last issue to be probably the most important. Okay? This last myth, number three, is essentially that personal development is the end-all be-all to quote Shakespeare.

Dr. Travis Parry:

Personal development is fantastic. We need to continue to develop. I agree with the title of your book, be the best version possible. But you need to be able to do this with others, with friends, with accountability partners. If you are married, the most important accountability partner that you have in your life is your spouse, period, end of story. My PhD was focused on research that looked at married couples. And married couples that worked together, that had the same goals, direction and values and they're going the same way, they were more happier personally and had better psychological scores. They had better relationship, which is every part of the relationship. Okay? Every part meant. And financial scores were much higher. They had much higher financial stability. So healthier, happier in the relationship, and wealthier.

Dr. Travis Parry:

Is that not what we're looking for in life? Is that not like every time someone's like, "I'm going to make a New Year's resolution in January," has to do with those three things.

Dr. Travis Parry:

Now, how do you do this? Well, this is the part that if you have a rocky relationship, you've got to do a lot of work. If you have a good relationship and you love each other, it's quite simple. You share these goals that you have and you work on them together. You keep each other accountable, not with a whip and a ball and chain. This is not that kind of relationship. This is the accountability eternal partner relationship that every marriage dreams of.

Dr. Travis Parry:

And as I've worked with couples to do this, I found the short term. They can set an ideal calendar. They can do all the things. If they want long term success, past 90 days, they've got to get on board with their spouse to do this. And that's my secret sauce.

Brent Kelly:

If you're listening to this and not taking notes and understanding what Dr. Parry is saying, then you're missing the boat because I'm listening and taking notes. And I think, and I know you've got another commitment you got to get to, and I want to respect your time certainly, but just one follow up to that that hit me. And I think what you're just hammering home so well is, I mean, just comes back to, what do you really value? What do you really prioritize? And I think the thing that you said, you used the word structure earlier. And I think for a lot, this is just my feeling, but for a lot of hard charging entrepreneurs and business leaders and professionals, it's just, "I want this freedom. I just want this freedom. I want this freedom." But if they never develop the right structure, they never get it.

Brent Kelly:

And that's kind of that weird thing is like, well, is structure the opposite of freedom? I think what you're saying is, no, if you do it right, it actually does give you the freedom that you ultimately desire. Did I get that? Am I on the right track?

Dr. Travis Parry:

Dude, stamp of approval. You nailed it. You nailed it. Stamp. You nailed it. Literally it's the structure involved and the people that you have in place and to help you to get there. Because personal development is good, but it will only take you so far. When you have your spouse, when you have family members, when you have your work team on board with helping you keep your calendar, all those things in place, all that accountability, you're going to do it.

Dr. Travis Parry:

And this is what I found over and over again. If you want to know more, if you want to like, "Hey, I want to build my ideal calendar. I want to learn how to be accountable. I want to learn how to be productive. I need all of these things." Great. Go to achievingbalancebook.com, get the book for free. You can also sign for a 30-minute to 60-minute call with one of my team members who'll help walk through like where are you. Are you a do-it-all? Are you a productive workaholic? Or are you a personal developer? We'll help you figure out where you might stand.

Dr. Travis Parry:

And the ideal is to get to become a balanced advisor. We've got events. We've got all sorts of stuff. You can connect with me on social media. Or you can go to my website, Travis Parry with an A .com or just go to the book, achievingbalancebook.com. Connect with us there. Happy to help. My passion is really to help other advisors have the type of life that they want to be living. Whatever balances for you, I want to help you achieve that in this coming year.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah. Well, thank you so much. And I'm glad you were able to share that because I said, it's just, I knew this was going to bring value to our audience. And again, there's so many things that we do with independent insurance agencies. But again, your nuance and how you look at things a little bit differently. I will tell you, the best professionals, they seek counsel for many people because they're always trying to learn and grow. And I know what you do is important. It's been shown and just want to thank you for your time today. Really appreciate having you on the podcast.

Dr. Travis Parry:

Thanks, Brent. Thanks for letting me share the vision and the message here with your audience. Really appreciate it.

Brent Kelly:

Awesome. Well, thanks for listening. As always, more exciting stuff coming your way on The Agent Leader podcast. If you want to learn more about us and what we do go to sitkins.com as well. We are releasing not just a book, but a movie's coming out. So we've got all kinds of stuff happening this year. But make sure to with Dr. Parry as well. So with all that, all the best in your success. Thanks for listening.

 

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