The One-Minute Business Coach

A simple mindfulness exercise can help planners better manage their emotions and effectiveness

Do you ever feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster? One minute you are emotionally up and the next minute emotionally down. In times like those, wouldn’t it be great to be able to coach yourself in a minute or less to handle life’s highs and lows? I created an exercise I call the one-minute business coach that I use when working with advisers and insurance agents.

Related: Connor McGregor, a former Ultimate Fighting Championship, said it best: “Life is a roller coaster. You're up one minute, you're down one minute. But who doesn't like roller coasters?"

To some extent I believe that is true. However, if you aren’t able to get off the emotional roller coaster, you must learn a better way to manage your emotions.

Learning how to be your own one-minute business coach is an art, not a science. The most effective way to determine if a high or low could benefit from this exercise is to increase your level of awareness by using questions. However, the first step is in determining when to ask yourself the questions and know what questions you should be asking.

Typically, individuals know when they are experiencing a win or loss. It surfaces internally when you get that feeling of accomplishment or disappointment. Recognizing those emotions is the catalyst for when you need to incorporate a one-minute business coach session.

It is important to understand the elements of the one-minute business coach session model so that you can be fully effective when applying the process. The following is a brief description and example steps for coaching yourself through a loss.

Step 1. Identify an activity that creates an emotional trigger. What activities have caused you an emotional high or low? An example would be, “I did not close a presentation.” Obviously, this outcome doesn’t feel good. Figuring out your triggers is a good place to start.

Step 2. Identify the associated feelings. You need to identify the feelings that correspond with the activity that is causing a high or low. Some examples would be, “I feel angry, concerned, or depressed.” The reason you want to define the feelings is so you can actively recognize patterns in how many good feelings versus bad feelings you experience over the course of a day or a week.

Step 3. Ask great questions. Asking yourself the right questions helps you identify desired outcomes, causes and new behaviors. Remember, it’s important to ask questions that get to the heart of things. Not asking detailed questions that require responses will keep you spinning your wheels. Let’s take a look at an example of some solid questions you should ask yourself.

  • What was the desired outcome? I wanted to close the presentation.
  • What was the cause? I did not prepare for objections; thus, I did not close.
  • What can I do differently next time? I will prepare for a minimum of five objections for every presentation I have.

One thing to note is that the last question helps you create a new behavior pattern.

Related: How Advisers Can Protect Their Inner Peace

Why One-Minute Business Coach Works

This is an exercise in self-awareness and learning how to manage your emotions throughout the day. The reason why it works is because it reinforces wins or highs so you continue doing what is working, and helps you to learn from losses or lows by creating new and more rewarding patterns so you can smooth out your emotional roller coaster and better enjoy the ride!

Dan Finley has a 25-plus year successful brokerage career that began in 1993 and includes 14 years as a successful financial adviser. He has accumulated over 22,000 hours of individual and group sessions coaching financial advisers and insurance agents since 2004. He can be reached at 715-262-2040 or

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