The Trap of Half-Built Bridges

Imagine that you’re standing at the edge of a huge chasm. There, just on the other side, is the next level of success you’ve been striving for. The one that’s always out there on the horizon, just out of reach.

Maybe success means a certain number of new clients each year. Maybe it’s the amount of business or production you hope to be writing. Maybe it’s more revenue and time off to enjoy the business you’ve built. Whatever it is, there’s likely something about your business that just isn’t quite where you want it to be.

In this post, I’d like to talk about a trap that many advisors fall into when striving to reach “the other side,” their desired end result. The business they’ve always envisioned.

It’s called…

The Trap of the Half-Built Bridges.

But we’re not just going to talk about it. Today, I want to help you avoid the trap and break the pattern of falling into it.

The Trap of the Half-Built Bridges: How it Happens

Generally, the trap of the half-built bridges looks something like this:

  • You see success on the horizon. You want to attain that ideal business you have in mind, as well as the ideal lifestyle, income and freedom that come with it.
  • You see a new program or idea. One that you’re sure will get you there, so you get to work.
  • Halfway through construction, progress is interrupted. As you’re putting your plan into place, but before it’s really gotten it off the ground, someone comes along and says, “What you’re doing is great, but what you really need is this!”
  • You abandon the bridge, leaving it half built. You stop construction and implementation of the last great idea you had and quickly begin building yet another. You can see where I’m going with this. As long as you’re caught in this cycle, you’ll never complete any of the bridges, all of which have some potential to get you to the other side.

Case In Point

For example, let’s say you attend an event where you learn that hosting your own radio show can help you build credibility in your market. You go home, all excited and ready to get to work on producing your own show.

Along the way, you run into a colleague who’s recently written a book. You tell them what you’re doing, and they say, “Radio is great. You should absolutely do that, but you know what you really need? What you really need is to author a book. If you were to write a book, think of all the additional credibility you’d have!” The logic is there, so how can you argue, you immediately become intrigued with the idea.

Now you’re working on constructing two different bridges at the same time.

Later on, while surfing the web, you come across some recent stats on social media. You realize you’re never going to get anywhere if you don’t have a social presence (or, at least, that’s what everyone’s saying). So you create a couple of profiles and start trying to figure out how to build a following. Now you’re throwing your limited time, energy and money into yet another third bridge.

It doesn’t end there, though, because someone else comes along and sells you on the need for a new seminar presentation. If you use their particular presentation, you’re told, you could be seeing responses of 3% to your invitations and 90% of your attendees booking appointments! Sounds good, makes sense, so you get to work, implementing now a fourth idea.

And that’s when it happens. You realize that your website is embarrassingly outdated. There’s really no way you can generate leads until you give it a revamp. So why not add a new website project to the list?!

And this cycle goes on and on, month after month, year after year, draining your time, money and energy.

The Real Cost of Half-Built Bridges

When we chase too many things, we lose precious resources as they are divided up into so many different efforts among all these half-built bridges. Whenever we stop construction or implementation of a new strategy prematurely to move on to another project, there’s simply no way to realize the return on the first project. It’s as if, instead of crossing the chasm, we’re throwing our marketing dollars, time, and energy into the pit below.

Then there’s energy and focus, precious resources in their own right. It takes a lot of energy to build your business. It takes a superhuman amount of energy to build it in several directions at the same time.

Perhaps the greatest loss, though, is motivation. When we pour ourselves into a project, fail to see it through to results, get distracted, and start on something else, our morale tends to crumble. The more often we’ve fallen into this trap, the more disenchanted we become.

Bottom line, chasing different tactics at random will never work. To achieve success, you’ve got to build a strategy that covers all the bases, and see it through to completion.

How to Avoid the Trap of The Half-Built Bridges

The truth is, it’s not just another marketing tactic that you need to solve your business growth challenges. Rather, it’s an integration of tactics into one comprehensive strategy.

A strategy with three distinct phases:

  1. The Short-Term Phase. When you look at all the different marketing tactics you could be implementing; you’ll notice that some are easier to implement than others. Any tactic that you can implement and see results in the next ninety days is considered a short-term strategy. The goal is to generate the results and revenue you need in the short term while you work on the mid-term.
  2. The Mid-Term Phase. Mid-term tactics and strategies typically yield results within three to nine months. Here’s where you find yourself really moving across that chasm, as you start winning not just today’s revenue, but tomorrow’s. When your mid-term phase is dialed in, you won’t have to hustle so much as your business begins to move from first to second and third gear.
  3. The Long-Term Phase. Projects in the long term category probably won’t yield results for twelve months or more. But the delayed gratification is worth it. This is the phase that’s going to bring you to the other side of that chasm and begin to really scale your business.

Putting The Phases Together

The three-phase strategy we’re talking about requires a variety of marketing strategies and tactics, some of which you put in place right away, some a little later, and others not until you’re ready. The key is to assign each strategy or tactic you consider to it’s appropriate phase – and then only work on one phase at a time. (And always in order)

For example, consider a direct mail campaign. A great example of a short-term tactic. Why? You write a big check, send out lots of mailers, and almost instantly you generate leads. The downside, however, is after about 30 days you’re out of leads and have to do another costly campaign all over again. In other words, there is no long-term, compounding result being built for your business. This is why many advisors are stuck in first gear. They never move on to developing mid and long term tactics or client acquisition strategies.

That being said, though, let me also caution you about stopping your short term marketing while you work on mid and or long term strategies. Many advisors have almost gone broke working on mid and long term strategies while thinking they would produce a short-term result. Writing a book, redoing their website, producing a radio show, etc.

This is why implementing each phase in the right order is so important. If you don’t, you’ll not see the results you need to stay in business today and ultimately abandon the project and throw away all the money and time you invested and go right back to the same ol same ol short-term tactics.

Need Some Help?

If you’re tired of starting (but never finishing) the bridges you build, and you want to learn how to implement your short, mid and long-term strategy, in a way that actually gets results, then check out our Introduction to Automation Free-Report!