The Consolidated Planning Fundamentals: How They Help Grow Your Practice

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Financial advisors are a reflection of what their firm represents, and vice versa. And the firm you choose to align yourself with matters for the trajectory of your career.

As a firm, Consolidated Planning is based on many ideals, some abstract and some specific. We use tools like our company’s vision, values, norms, beliefs, and even habits to describe who we are, but these can be interpreted differently over time.  

Because behaviors are actions, they’re far easier to explain with more clarity. And when someone exhibits a behavior, it’s also easier to see what’s expected and what’s possible.  For the same reason, it’s also easier to teach and coach behaviors.   

In your journey to find the right firm for you, this article will share the fundamental behaviors that our firm and advisors stand for, our CP Fundamentals. This will help you to decide if your values and goals align with our firm, and if we are the right fit for your practice.


The CP Fundamentals


Be Givers, Not Takers

Life is not a zero sum game. Create value where there was none. Help first just because.


Stack Positives in Your Life

It’s far too easy to focus on what’s not going right. Intentionally bring a positive focus to what’s going well each day, and practice stacking positives over time. Find methods to build on the positives in your life. Recognize the positives in others. This way of thinking will shape your practice by the positivity you exude.

Try it.


Practice a Growth Mindset

Temporary failure is a key ingredient to success. And the no’s you will hear while building your practice, will feel like failure at times. But it’s not. No one is chained to their current capabilities. Our growth is never complete.


Plan with the Living Balance Sheet

Provide financial leadership. Build assets and reduce liabilities. Keep protection green and maximize cash flow for savings. This is what The Living Balance Sheet (LBS) does for you and your clients.

Be protection first, not protection last like most advisors. When you fail to protect today, you can’t adequately plan for tomorrow.


Be a Curious Learner

The great ones in our business never stop learning. Never. Have a beginner’s mind for building your practice. Understand that ‘you don’t know what you don’t know,’ and don’t be afraid to let others see that as well.

Great advisors learn from other great advisors. And so on.


Celebrate Success in Others

Catching people doing the right things is more effective than catching them doing the wrong things. Extend meaningful acknowledgement and appreciation in all directions of the company.


A Culture of Family and Fun

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Treat others like family. Smiles are contagious. Share in both successes and setbacks. In this business, it’s easy to feel siloed but it’s not at all necessary. 

The culture of the firm you choose matters in how you will maximize the resources available to you.


People Before Money

We take care of people. No amount of money is worth betraying trust. Help people first, money comes second.


Grow with Teamwork

Everyone has their unique ability. This is the essence of what you love to do and do best. This ability is something that comes rather naturally to you, brings you joy and energy, and is likely obvious to those around you.

Work harder at working smarter. Be a great teammate. Together, we are capable of more.


Purpose Driven Belief

Financial wellness has the ability to change your client’s lives. You have a chance to have a significant impact on the lives you touch, whether you realize it or not. Let your purpose guide your actions. Know WHY you’re in this business. 


Don’t Be Attached To A Certain Client Outcome

Follow your planning process and training. Educate your clients with the best options for them. Practice detachment to the outcome for products.

Being emotionally invested in client outcomes can contribute to additional stress in your practice.

Talk with a team member


Find A Way

Take personal responsibility for making things happen in your life and career.  Respond to situations by looking for how it can be done rather than explaining how it can’t be done.  Show initiative, especially when finding new clients.


Deliver Results

While effort is appreciated, we reward and celebrate results. Set lofty goals for yourself, measure and track your progress, and hold yourself accountable for achieving those results.

With such autonomy in your practice, it can be easy to slip into habits that leave you far from your goals. You owe it to yourself to build a thriving practice.


Do the Right Thing, Always

Demonstrate in every action and decision that you do the right thing, especially when no one is looking. If you make a mistake, own up to it, apologize and make it right. 

Make it right.


Play a Bigger Game

Don’t get stressed about the size of your goals but get stressed about the unreasonableness of self-imposed deadlines.  Determine the reasons you CAN climb that mountain or be your BEST self, not the reasons you can’t. You are your biggest cheerleader or threat to the success of your practice.


Keep a Full Calendar

Strive to have thirty future appointments. 30. This gives you the right to work with who you choose, and manage your practice. The closer you are to thirty future appointments, the more you control all parts of your practice.

Yes, you can control all parts of your practice when you put in the work.


Build a Great Referral Based Practice, First

Grow your practice by helping new people. Gather at least one referral from each client, annually. When starting out, focus on these skills first.

Building a referral based practice is an extension of trust, cost effective, and provides sustainable growth over time.


Grit Before Wit

Being witty doesn’t provide success in this business. Grit is required for success, and an abundance of grit is found in our high performers. Push yourself when there is no required reason to push, and keep pushing in the face of obstacles.

This is where true practice building comes in…in the moments you don’t HAVE to.


Don’t Rely on Talent Alone

Bring outsized passion and persistence to everything that you do.  Talent won’t get you far without these. Only the disciplined ones are free from worry, as they control their fate.


Be Relentless About Improvement

Regularly reevaluate every aspect of your job to find ways to improve. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo. ‘Because we’ve always done it that way,’ is not a reason to continue to do so. Keep getting better. 

And better.

Advisors who use this approach are able to build a meaningful and thriving practice.


Create a Tone of Friendliness and Warmth

Every conversation, email, and voicemail sets a tone and creates a feeling. Either negative or positive. Pay attention to how you’re treating others with your helpfulness and goodwill.


Impact Lives, Refer Candidates to Our Firm

Introduce our rewarding career to others. Grow yourself by growing people around you. Create the same possibilities for others that you enjoyed, if not better. 


Plan Well For Clients

Here you will be consultative versus transactional, beginning with your relationship-oriented Emotional Blueprint conversation. Don’t jump to tactical decisions without understanding first what strategic course the client should aim for.

Each and every client has different goals and unique situations. This is why our planning philosophy focuses on people before products.


Don’t Be Too Independent

It’s hard to grow alone. Find team members and partners to make you think differently and be different. Be coachable.

Advisors at CP lean on asking WHO, not how. Building a financial advising practice takes a village. At least it should.

No one person can do it all and frankly, shouldn’t do it all. We want to see all of our financial advisors have a successful, meaningful career and firmly believe in asking who can help get you there.


Embrace Diversity with Equity

A firm division can’t stand strong. Value what makes us different. Treat one another with respect, and fight for fairness, justice and equity. 


Lead With Simplicity

Simple is hard to do, complex is easy.  Read that again. Clients and associates appreciate simplicity. Don’t drive people to confusion with too many choices.

Help pave a clear path for your clients. They’ll thank you for it.


Is Consolidated Planning The Right Firm For You?

A career as a financial advisor is about so much more than just helping people manage money. It’s about relationship building.

Following these fundamentals paves a clear path for your career. A successful career.

You just have to follow it.

If you find yourself nodding that this is HOW you want to build your career, learn more about why advisors chose a career with Consolidated Planning or get the conversation started with a team member.

Talk with a team member



2023-166137 Exp. 12/2025


The Living Balance Sheet® (LBS) and the LBS logo are service marks of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. © Copyright 2005-2023 Guardian

Published:  December 20, 2023