The Wiser Financial Advisor Podcast

Get Real. Get Honest. Get Clear.

4 Steps To Achieve True Financial Success

Now, to be clear, this isn’t about guaranteeing success. This is about there always being a way to move toward what it is that you want. This ultimate success formula is applicable to any aspect of life but in this episode Josh Nelson talks about it in regards to financial success. He shares four steps to know about.

He shares how it is a really freeing exercise, doing the research and taking the time to really unpack the gist of what you want to get real clear on what it’s going to take to get what you really need. He acknowledges that initially it can be challenging. He explains why and how it will get to the point that you love taking the massive action that he suggests for your future and for those in your life.


Hi, Everyone. Welcome to the Wiser Financial Advisor with Josh Nelson, where we get real, we get honest, and we get clear about the financial world and your money.

This is Josh Nelson, Certified Financial Planner and founder and CEO of Keystone Financial Services. We love feedback and we’d love it if you would pass it on to me directly at . Also, please stay plugged in with us and get updates on episodes and help us promote the podcast. You can subscribe to us at Apple podcasts, Google, Spotify, or your favorite podcast service. Let the financial fun begin!

I am a big Rolling Stones fan and one of my favorite songs is You Can’t Always Get What You Want. I was fortunate enough years ago in college to see them live, one of the best concerts I have ever seen with the Rolling Stones. And today we’re titling this: You CAN Always Get What You Want.

To be clear, this isn’t about guaranteeing success. Of course, we can’t do that. We can’t guarantee really anything. We can’t guarantee people’s rate of return. We can’t guarantee that people are going to be successful in any way. So this isn’t about guaranteeing success. This is about there always being a way to move toward what it is that you want.

There have been a lot of successful people out there over the years that have used the same formula. And in fact, a lot of people in the personal success industry like Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Napoleon Hill, use principles that go back one hundred years easily. So, although this isn’t about guaranteed success, this is about the formula for ultimate success.

The ultimate success formula has four steps and we’re going to cover them right now.

Number one is to know your outcome or result. This is what you want, what it is that you’re trying to accomplish.

I can tell you that after 22 years in this business, I’ve met with thousands of people over the years and had tens of thousands of conversations and meetings. And it’s a rare occasion when I sit down with people for the first time and they’re really clear on what it is that they want. Oftentimes they’ll use words like, “I want to be able to retire someday,” or “I want to be financially secure,” or “I want to help pay my kids’ college tuition,” these sorts of things. But there needs to be more detail added.

That’s partly my role as a financial advisor, of course—to help people unpack that and get into detail about what it is that they’re trying to accomplish. The outcome, the result, needs to get very detailed so we know what it is that we’re trying to achieve. For example, let’s say that somebody says, “Well, I want to be able to retire someday.” What we would do is spend the time to unpack that and get as detailed as possible. This involves asking questions. “As far as time frame, is there a certain age you want to retire?” If it’s husband or wife, “Are you both going to be retiring at the same time or not?” “Will you still have a mortgage?” Many things help us boil down the time frame and also what it is that they’re going to be doing. That way, we have an idea of what the dollar amounts will be, and what they will need to be spending.

Once we have a clear idea of what it is they want, we can really go forward. That requires a bit of deep digging. Sometimes it gets a little uncomfortable for people because they just haven’t thought it through. But it can be a really freeing exercise, doing that research and taking the time to unpack and get clear on what it is that we want.

One thing I want to throw out here is that once you choose something, does that mean you can’t change it over time? Absolutely not. In fact, it changes a lot. I can tell you from clients that I’ve worked with for years and years and years, it changes—as far as what they want, what they are able to spend, when they want to retire, if they want to go into retirement and then out of retirement. Sometimes living arrangements change. They might want to be able to change the home that they’re in, or maybe change their mind as far as how to help their kids or grandkids. You can change what you want as often as you like. It’s just important to have a specific target.

Step number two is to know your reasons why.

Jim Rohn said, “’Hows’ come second to ‘whys’. ‘Whys’ come first.” The “why” is key here, because if we don’t have a strong enough “why” then when it comes to action (especially when it comes to getting uncomfortable and making changes to what we’ve been doing in the past) we may forget about the why. Then the whole goal kind of goes out the window. That’s why New Year’s Resolutions are rarely fulfilled, because people don’t have a strong enough “why” to get them to follow through when things get uncomfortable. Always be clear: “Why are we doing this? Why are we trying to achieve this?” We need to make sure that is strong enough before we go on to “how.”

Step number three is to take massive action.

The key here is massive because it requires a lot of action to get momentum. When we get into the planning process, it means that we’re necessarily going to be doing some stuff. We’re going to do something different than what we’ve done in the past.

Sometimes that just comes down to doing calculations and getting reality down on a piece of paper to get an understanding of where someone is financially—constructing a balance sheet, getting an idea of what is actually being spent right now. To me, massive action means getting clear on where it is that I am today, because if I’m clear on what I want in the future and I know where I am today, I can start figuring out if I’m on track or not.

Here again, change often doesn’t feel good at first, whether it be a change to our physical fitness program or changes to our finances, our spending patterns, anything like that. Usually change doesn’t feel good at first until we really develop those habits and start to see some results. However, something about change and taking massive action: it will eventually become something we crave. For example, let’s say that we have somebody who is very used to carrying credit card balances and it doesn’t bother them at all. Once we dig into their financial situation and figure out what they’re trying to accomplish, we might say, “Hey, this is an obstacle.” Having that credit card debt and being in the habit of borrowing money for their current spending could end up being an obstacle to that person retiring when they want to.

When they start paying down those credit cards and getting everything completely cleared off, getting to where they pay off their balances every month, doing that may not feel comfortable at first because that’s not what they’re used to doing. They’re used to just buying whatever they want, and if they don’t have the money, charging it on a card. Changing that probably won’t feel very good in the beginning. But if they make it a habit and get conditioned to paying off their balances each month, eventually that will become something they crave and it will bother them if they don’t have their credit cards paid off.

So massive action means that we’re doing something. We’re probably changing something that we were doing in the past. Which takes us to step number four.

Step number four is to notice what you’re getting.

If you’re on course, you can celebrate. And it’s important to do that, of course, because oftentimes, especially if you’re a high achiever, you might always be kind of beating yourself up and thinking it’s never good enough. It’s important to take time to celebrate if we’re on track. And if we figure out that we’re not on track, it’s important to change the approach. This is where my role comes in as a Certified Financial Planner. I act as a financial coach and a mentor to a lot of people. My role is to add structure and accountability and a second pair of experienced eyes. As a fiduciary, I’m an advocate for people, someone to walk alongside them and always tell them the truth about whether they’re on track or not and what they need to be doing to be able to accomplish what it is that they want.

So, if you are not getting what you want, if you’re not noticing any progress, then that means it’s time to change your approach. And if that doesn’t work, you change it and you change it and you change it. You change your approach until you are getting what you want, you’re seeing some results and some progress toward what it is that you’re wanting to accomplish.

We know that in the world of finance, nothing is guaranteed. But there’s always a way. That’s the point here—that there’s always a way to move toward what you’re trying to accomplish and to get what you want.

Again, the ultimate success formula:

One, know your outcome and result. Take the time to get detailed and have a really clear idea of what it is that you’re trying to accomplish.

Two, know your reasons why. Make sure you’re driven toward taking action; that you really are making this a “must” for yourself, not just something that you’d like to do.

Three, take massive action, remembering that change often doesn’t feel good at the beginning but it may be good for you in the long run.

Four, notice what you’re getting. Take the time to measure periodically what it is you’re getting and change your approach until you are successful and you’re seeing the results that you want.

And of course, this could be applied to any area of life, whether it be the health of your career or your family relationships, anything like that. Today we’re talking about financial planning, of course.

I hope this is helpful for you. And I definitely want you to share this with anybody that you care about that would find this important in their life, whether that be a co-worker, a friend, a family member or someone else you care about. Please share this if they need to hear it and also subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you like to listen on, whether that be Apple, Spotify, Google, or any other service. Please help us promote the show. With that, I hope you have a wonderful week and God bless.

The opinions voiced in this episode of the Wiser Financial Advisor with host Josh Nelson are for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Investment advisory services offered through Keystone Financial Services, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.