How has your year been going so far? Are you ready to give up on it and skip right to the new year? Or will you take advantage of every opportunity to hit your 2021 goals while there’s still time and plan for an even better 2022?
Rebecca Korn wants you to finish 2021 strong and head into 2022 with a plan to have an even bigger year while creating enough space on your calendar to do all the things you want to do.
Korn entered the life insurance business during a period in her life when she was homeless and broke. She was on track to attend medical school when a divorce left her with $21 in the bank and forced her to live in her car. But she decided to use her experience to make sure no other woman ended up in the same situation. So she took a leap of faith and entered the life insurance business. It didn’t take her long to find success, crush her sales goals and rack up awards.
As she found success as an advisor, she discovered her true passion was in helping other advisors find their own passions. She founded Rise Reign Rule to help women in the business achieve their visions of an extraordinary, unstoppable life. The three aspects of Rise Reign Rule are:
1. Rise — The desire to drive toward goals and smash them, while leveling up to the height you know you need in order to attain them.
2. Reign — Creating and empowering your inner queen.
3. Rule — Creating a lifestyle that expands into a life full of love, happiness and success.
In this interview with Publisher Paul Feldman, Korn discusses why achieving clarity in your goals is so important to success and why you need to “come home to yourself.”
FELDMAN: How did you get into the industry?
KORN: I got into the industry by mistake, which I feel like most people do. I mean, nobody in kindergarten says, “I want to grow up and be in insurance or financial planning.”
I had studied pre-med, I had just taken my medical college admission test, I had $21 in my bank account, and I was living in my car. For all intents and purposes, I was homeless. My husband’s name was primary on all our accounts. But things didn’t work out and I left, never dreaming that he would freeze all our accounts.
I sat down with my grandfather, who was 86 or 87 years old at the time, and I was crying and I said, “I screwed up. I’ve been reading The Wall Street Journal since I was 3 or 4 years old. I’m not stupid with money. But I feel really dumb.”
And he said, “What are you going to do about it?”
As I sat there and thought about it, I decided I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anybody else ever again.
New York Life called me, I went in for an interview, and I said, “Please give me a chance and I will not disappoint you.” Little did I know that they were probably dying to have people walk in and say that.
But I broke every record that they had within my first year. I was absolutely determined to succeed.
I stayed in the industry for about seven and a half years. And it was dynamic. There were so many pieces to it. And you’re taught so much structure and so much rigidity that sometimes we forget to flow inside of our business. And that’s a piece that I think is pivotal. It’s when you’re really connecting with people that you have fun and you enjoy yourself.
FELDMAN: Think back to your rookie year. What advice would you give yourself?
KORN: First of all, it’s not all about the stats and it’s not all about whether your name is on the board every week. It’s about the collection of feelings you’re experiencing; it’s about how you feel about life in that moment. And being able to come home to yourself.
It’s not about fixing everybody, being everybody’s savior. You’re actually nobody’s savior. In my case, the queen eats first. And being able to feed myself first — whether that was spiritually, physically, meditatively, sometimes just being able to get a cup of coffee — that was so important.
One of the most pivotal pieces of my career was when I gave seminars and I was so nervous because I often was the only woman in the room. I would center on the fact that all I need is one lead; all I need is one good connection. And that’s it — everything’s open.
Finally, I would say, stop putting yourself in a corner in the space of taking care of yourself. That part was huge for me because I was so focused on the numbers. I wanted my 100 lives, or I wanted a certain number of assets under management, and I needed to make that happen. Like I was a die-on-my-sword type of chick, which my managing directors loved. But managing directors don’t lead — they focus on production.
A managing partner is a partner who is there to manage where you are going in your business, not where you are going in your soul. So I would say you need to hire somebody who is on your side and who is willing to truly partner with you in every aspect of your being to be able to come home to yourself, because you need that accountability, whether it’s a therapist or coach or somebody you have as a mentor.
PAUL FELDMAN: We’re getting close to the end of the year. What can agents and advisors do to meet their goals for the year while there’s still a little bit of time?
REBECCA KORN: The biggest thing you can do is to take a step back. As someone once said, you have to slow yourself in a hurry. Because strategy is about the most important thing inside of your business, or else the business owns you.
As you’re beginning to step into the end of the year, you must be able to take a look back and zoom out about 50,000 feet and ask yourself, “What is really important right now? What is of utmost connection for me inside of my heart and my soul but also inside of my practice?”
The way that translates into a space of increased productivity is pausing and understanding what is needed as of right now, over the next couple of days, over the next couple of weeks and then mapping it out and making a plan.
It’s kind of like when you’re driving around and you’re lost and you start to panic. That panic is not good for your overall situation. So it’s being able to pause and focus your energy.
That creates a massive difference. You show up differently, you connect with your clients differently, you have some space inside your calendar. You have clear objectives for yourself and for your clients.
FELDMAN: What is the first thing that you usually focus on when you first start coaching advisors?
KORN: The first thing we look at is their calendar.
What I often find is that they’re scheduling appointments one after the other with no time in between, and they will compromise their boundaries consistently to make sure they’re pleasing the client or the prospect. That’s a problem because you are sacrificing every ounce of who you are for this person. That doesn’t serve the other person at your maximum capacity. And being able to think about the experience you provide for the client is critical.
Whether you create 15-minute breaks inside of your calendar or you start work at 10 a.m., you are allowed to do that. One of the most beautiful things about finance is that you can create your own calendar. But the problem is that nobody actually does it on their own. They don’t step forward and say, “I’m going to connect these dots and create the vision of what my week is going to actually look like.” So they avoid it, and they do it by default. Then when someone says, “Hey, Mr. or Ms. Planner, I want to talk to you. When can we chat?” What! No, I have some time next week at two o’clock. Does that work, by any chance?
That space is a space of confidence and self-assuredness. It’s a space of understanding where their boundaries are and having a fulfilling experience with a client. Now that client is committed, and you have a totally different kind of meeting. That feeling of presence and focus is where you start.
It sounds simple, but it’s not simple. We set it up differently than any “calendar coaching session” they’ll ever have. It changes their lives. They connect differently with their families and friends. They actually have time to go to the gym!
FELDMAN: What are some keys to successful prospecting?
KORN: I’m a big proponent of prospecting in a flowing way, like breathing, where you desire to get connected to somebody but you’re not necessarily driving for business at first.
You want to get to know somebody as a soul to make sure they’re a good match for you. Because it’s when you’re building into that space of connecting with people and you’re not thirsty. And when I use the word “thirsty,” it’s kind of like dating. “Oh, can I see you next week? How soon can I have another date?” I don’t know about you, but if I go on a date like that, I’m running in the opposite direction.
But if the person is like, “Oh, I’m totally in the moment. I just want to get to know you and connect with you,” now you have this openness. It feels great to you because you learned about this person as a human being. But it also feels great for the other person because people love to talk about themselves, right? So ultimately, it’s a win-win in that circumstance.
We’re so focused on the numbers. If instead, we would connect in a way that is true and honest to our soul, and our spirits are aligned, and it feels different than 99% of all the other financial advisors — then you have a sexy practice because you are dancing. And now you have these deeper relationships with people, and people are talking about who you are as a person, as well as what you do. That locks your business into a space of massive productivity.
And it’s an unstoppable mindset.
FELDMAN: What else can you do to have an unstoppable mindset?
KORN: Part of it is creating these breaks of wonderment inside yourself and looking back into a space of asking yourself, what did I do? What have I done? And recognizing the fact that you have succeeded 100% of the time, to this present moment.
A lot of people suffer with doubt and what I call confidence-ish. It’s where you can perform in confidence, but you’re not really feeling it. Because when you’re around people who are faking it or not really connected with themselves, you can tell immediately. But when somebody is really connected with themselves, they understand who they are, they’re passionate about what they’re doing — now you have this extraction power. And that is truly where so much opens, so much begins to shift in your practice.
Because then people will start reaching out to you, and saying, “I don’t know exactly what you do, but I could really use XYZ,” or “I see you’ve been in the practice for a while now. I was working with someone for a few years, but I’d really love to know a little bit more about what you do.” And that is a massive shift, because your language changes when you’re happier. Your internal vibe changes when you’re happier. And that is an attraction that is similar to that of performers or athletes. Someone who is so self-assured, they’ve already won, and you already know that.
This type of advisor has to have some sort of magic about them. And what’s funny about that is once we get somebody into that alignment, they will be told, “There’s something different about you.” What a compliment that is! That is such a beautiful space to be.
FELDMAN: What are some other ways you can stand out with clients?
KORN: Stop seeing yourself as a person that’s trying to sell something. See it as an opportunity and shift your mindset to “We’ve really focused on your plan. And I love how you have moved on it. Now I’d love to put something in place for your son, your daughter, your grandchild, your niece, whoever that you mentioned who is important to you. And that has been popping up in my world a little bit. Would you be open to chatting about that before the holidays, and we can make this a gift for them?”
This is great because it’s something that massively expands them into a space of abundance and unleashes so much more power and legacy.
I would talk to my clients about this, and we would make sure the client’s insurance was situated and create a special kind of paper to let the beneficiary know about it. People underestimate the value of a beautiful piece of paper, what it feels like and how there’s a connection there.
I would slide the piece of paper over to my client and have them write a letter to the beneficiary about what this means for them. And we would place it in an envelope and make a seal for it and give it back to them or place a photocopy inside their insurance policy.
None of us has paper anymore. You can scan that paper and keep it inside of their digital file. It takes one or two seconds for you to do, and it lasts a lifetime. That is a beautiful piece to receive years later when the person has passed and now here you are as someone who is connecting generations.
FELDMAN: Tell me about some of the advisors you coach who are crushing it. What are they doing differently from other advisors?
KORN: It’s about cultivating the experience, going to who you are as a soul. Because you are a unique being who is on this planet right now for a reason and who has gifts. I don’t want you to be anybody else. But when you come home to yourself and you’re able to be yourself unapologetically in such an open-hearted way, you’re not selling anything — you’re connecting a problem with a solution.
Having that confidence, that shift in perspective — it gives you a slightly different lens for you to see through. That changes the landscape of what you’re seeing ahead of you. Then the way you connect with people changes massively.
I have advisors who started with me as clients and said, “My biggest month had been $18,000, and we’ve increased income on average by $23,000 monthly.”
That is huge. But it has nothing to do with strategy or products. There is another branch to the business that we need to nurture and create some more blood flow into — and that’s the soul side of the business.
The soul side is where you can say, “I know who I am, and that is what I’m going to bring to the table with my clients.” You attract the type of client you desire, and you are so special that the type of client you desire seeks you out to connect with you.
Don’t doubt that for a second. The one thing you can do is come home to yourself and don’t doubt that you are made for a specific reason and you are in this position for a specific reason.
When things get tough, we question everything and we want to give up. But you don’t realize what’s right around the corner and that you’re about to learn some sort of nugget. It goes back to when I was living out of my car and thinking how I was going to work my way out of that situation and my grandfather said to me, “You ain’t above nothing.” It’s the groundedness and the thought that “this is where I’m at” that create a combination that makes people successful.
FELDMAN: How are your most successful advisors getting leads?
KORN: So much of this is composed of who matches with whom. It’s about finding what types of people you like to work with.
I have one woman who reaches out via LinkedIn and hosts a podcast of women who are crushing it in the executive space. She will shoot them an email via LinkedIn and say, “I’m so excited to be connected with you. I’d really love to feature you on the podcast.” Naturally, they connect, they have some sort of dynamic. She’s not even asking for them to be a client, but boom! Next thing you know, they become a client.
I have a client who loves looking at different builders and launchers and likes to connect people with them. She connects with builders, launchers, companies like that. So it’s about finding whatever people are really passionate about and connecting with those people and that community.
One of my clients talks about creating an intergenerational legacy with her clients. She tells her clients, “My goal is to create legacy for three generations in each of the families that I work with. Is that possible with your family?” And she’ll get referred to the mom and she’ll get referred to the child. That creates a stellar space because now it creates consistency in the flow of planning. Because now Mom has been situated, Daughter has been situated and so on. It’s a beautiful opportunity.
FELDMAN: This past year has been challenging. What did you learn from it?
KORN: The art of life flows in a way that is completely unknown to us. Being an expert in anything is our biggest fault. It’s our ability to step into a space as a newbie that allows us to discover things on the deepest level.
I was difficult to coach because I’m stubborn and I love to drive forward super hard. And I loved crushing goals. But when you arrive in a space where you are open to discover anything, you start to learn something differently on a deeper level. You start to absorb on a deeper level where your discipline is aligned and that each decision that we make is shaping our future.
It’s about being vulnerable and open with the people you care about the most in a space that will light you up every day of the week. But also being vulnerable with yourself and not being afraid to face any of the dark corners of your soul.
The Black Friday Prospecting Message
Rebecca Korn shared a tip for reaching out to clients or prospects at a time when other advisors are more likely to be taking time off.
On the day before Thanksgiving or the day after Thanksgiving, when nobody is meeting with you, I would have an “office day” or a “car day” and look at these things: the parts of your business that are working and you’re proud of, the parts of your business that are not working, and what you can do 1% better across the board and what an impossible target would be.
Make a list of all the prospects you haven’t closed. Take a look at them. Replay the meetings in your mind or replay them inside of your Zoom if you recorded them, and study yourself the way that athletes study themselves. Understand what kind of finesse you can bring to the table. And I want you to wish them a happy Thanksgiving.
Send them a text on the day after Thanksgiving that says something like, “I hope you have a beautiful weekend with your family and that your Thanksgiving was gorgeous.” They're not getting a text message like that from 27 other people, they're getting it from you. Now you're in the inner circle psychologically, because they associate the people closest to them to be messaging them those things at that point at that time. So that shift creates an opening.
Then in December, you can make a phone call, and you can say, “I just wanted to catch up with you.” Or “I've been thinking about you. How was your Thanksgiving? Did you get my text?”
And that opens such a beautiful space. They think, this person genuinely cares about me. And they're genuinely connected with me — they're not just looking for a transaction.