001: James McCracken on Journey Of The Successful Adviser

Hi there Adviser Nation. I’m James McCracken, the host of Journey Of The Successful Adviser.  During this episode, I wanted to give you an overview of my goal and vision for the program and tell you a little about myself.

This will be the only podcast program being run out of Australia with episodes running every business day –  meaning that for every business days of the fresh, great content with interviews from fantastic advisers,  people out there right now doing some wonderful things, going on an amazing journey and experiencing some really outstanding results.

During the course of the conversations we have with them, it’s a great opportunity to learn from the trials, the tribulations, the triumphs, the failures and successes that these people have and get a sense of what it is that they are doing to get the results they are achieving.

Why did I put this program together?

The impetus was because of feedback from several clients and several people within my community.  In 2014, I created a private program which was me interviewing a number of Australia’s leading financial advisers, and during the course of those interviews – which was part of a paid program, a lot of people gave me some feedback and said they were some of the best interviews they had ever heard – and some people suggested I should be doing podcasts, which has allowed me to develop this program, Journey Of The Successful Adviser.

Whether you’re in the commute to work, coming home, driving between appointments or elsewhere, this is an opportunity to get a sense of inspiration, education and empowerment and hear from people who are out there right now doing some pretty amazing things.

In terms of the content for the podcast, it has really been developed for you, Adviser Nation.  It’s been structured in a way that gives you a sense of understanding the journey and process that many of these advisers have embarked on and you’ll hear some really common themes as we go through this program – such as focusing on others, paying it forward, adding value, making a contribution and difference to other people, through to understanding some of the common challenges these people are facing as they go through their journey.

And regardless of how successful these guests on the show are, there are some common attributes you can expect to hear – such as there will always be challenges, always be failures people are experiencing, or fear, or a sense of frustration, and then looking at what these advisers are doing to overcome these challenges and who are they being in that moment to get through the particular challenge they are having – and you’ll hear these beautiful, wonderful people share their experiences and embrace that vulnerability around the challenges they have gone through so that it gives you a sense of normality around the fact that there are challenges, there are roadblocks, and really, what are they doing to overcome them.

In terms of the flow for the interview, it starts out getting a sense of who these people are, what does their business look like, and who are they when they are not at work.  From there, we have our guests share an expert tip, so something that has contributed to their success and their journey and enabled them to get some value out of some advice that was paid forward to them at some point in the past.

We then look at how they communicate and talk about themselves in terms of how they talk about what they do and how they add value to other people and get a sense of how did they transition into their business.  What was the catalyst or defining moment that perhaps took them in the direction of pursuing that goal or career or journey that they were wanting to pursue.

We then look at how their journey has changed over time, because sometimes when we start out, we have a different intention or focus than what we do later.  So how if at all have the guests changed their intention, the focus or purpose over that period of time and what does that mean for them or what does that mean for the clients who they serve.

From here we move into discussing a major low point in the journey of the guest.  Perhaps it was a failure or a big roadblock that they were going through, and this is a chance for them to share what that moment was, what was going on for them and what if anything did they learn from it so it gives us a sense of understanding how they dealt with that particular challenge.

After this, we look at another defining moment – but this is about a moment when they were getting great results in their business and it was a moment of validation for all the effort that had been put in.

We the enter the PD Round – where guest share short sharp nuggets of wisdom to pay it forward to Adviser Nation.

Some of the questions might include:

  • What have you done to earn the trust, advocacy and respect from clients and other people in your network?
  • What’s one thing you’re excited about in your business right now?
  • What’s the best business book you’ve read in the past 6 months?

Then the last question guests are asked is if they woke up tomorrow, they didn’t have their business, nor their contacts or clients, but they did have their knowledge and experience, $1,500 and a smartphone – what would they do in the next 7 days to get themselves started?  This question is a  great one for you to hear, because it provides a great deal of insight into the thinking they apply, which is the same thinking that is currently allowing them to achieve exceptional results, which is why it’s a great opportunity for you to hear their response.  Similarly, because we can sometimes be waiting for that perfect moment to take action or for that great idea to pop into our head before we go at it hammer and thongs, this is a chance to hear how people, right now, would approach these situations if presented with a similar challenge today –and a great chance for you to pick up some tips that you can apply toward the things you’d like to achieve.

Now that I’ve shared with you a bit about the show and why it was initially created, let me share with you a bit more about my background.  The first major defining moment for me was back in mid 2003.  At this time I was at a fork in the road.  I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be doing, I just knew that what I was currently doing wasn’t going to last forever.

And so I contemplated different careers – and ended up starting my own business as a property investment adviser.   Unfortunately, the business didn’t perform anywhere near as well as I’d anticipated, as I didn’t have the structure, resources, processes, etc for the business to produce the results that I was hoping to achieve – so after about 12 months, through necessity, I returned to the full time workforce.

As much as the initial foray into business didn’t go as desired, it did allow me to take some steps forward and make some progress of sorts.

I then spent the next 8 years at the Yellow Pages.  I started in a sales role which I really loved.  Great conversations with a broad range of different business owners, and I achieved some great results.

I was then given the opportunity to move into sales management and spent several years there before moving into a coaching and training role.  I then moved into a national role that oversaw the coaching and training delivery to a large portion of the company’s sales force and management team.  As much as that was rewarding, I was still trying to find my calling, the thing I could be absolutely passionate about doing.

I remember having a conversation with my boss about my “rocking chair moment” where I said to him that as much as I’m a bit concerned and afraid about going out there and pursuing my goals and starting a business and having a go at something that I am passionate about, I am actually more afraid about having a conversation with myself when I get toward the end of life and look back at what I could have or should have done but didn’t do.

And as much as I have started the next chapter of my journey out of corporate and been on it for a few years now, it has taken a few turns along the way.  Now that I’m doing this podcast series, I can genuinely say that I love having high quality conversation with amazing people who are doing some exceptional things.

So if I’m able to contribute to your journey either through one episode or multiple episodes, I really hope there’s something wonderful you get through this program and through these amazing interviews with some really outstanding people.

It would be an absolute pleasure to contribute to you and support you in terms of the decisions you’re making and the actions you’re taking and the results you’re really working hard to achieve and I absolutely look forward to getting to hear from you and connect with you through the ongoing episodes and beyond.

In fact, our first guest episode is with Will Swayne, who has a very inspiring message to share – and is without question one of Australia’s leading thought leaders in the digital marketing space.  So, I’m excited for you to listen to Will’s story and I’m excited to help fuel your journey.

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