“Success leaves clues.”
~ Tony Robbins
Question: What do —
- Patrick Donohoe, founder of Paradigm Life, one of the largest U.S. financial services firms that focus on whole life insurance,
- Michael Isom, a seven-figure wealth advisor and co-author of What Would the Rockefellers Do?
- Garrett Gunderson, New York Times best-selling financial author and Wealth Factory founder, and
- Kim Butler, top-producing advisor, author (and Todd Langford’s wife and lovely assistant)
— all have in common?
Answer: Besides their success, they have each attended MANY trainings with Todd Langford, perhaps more than any other advisors we could name.
They devoted themselves to learning how to master the use of Truth Concepts software and understand the financial truths it reveals. Then, they started teaching others what they had learned, through presentations, videos, webinars, and books.
We caught up with these folks this week to ask why they have attended so many trainings, and what did they get out of them?
Learning from Mentors and Colleagues
Patrick Donohoe makes room in his busy schedule for Truth Training, a three-day event led by Todd Langford with Kim Butler (Todd’s wife, also a top producer whom Donohoe names as a mentor) at least once a year. When asked why he’s attended about a dozen trainings in less than 10 years, Patrick says he “keeps going because there’s so much information it’s impossible to absorb all at once.”
Each time he attends, his business is in a slightly different place and he has new questions. He walks away with something different, depending on what problems he’s trying to solve for his clients at that given time, also who else is in the room at Truth Training and the questions they bring to the table.
A couple years ago, Donohoe began hosting Truth Trainings in the Paradigm Life office, partially for his own convenience, but also to encourage the local advisors who work with his firm to attend as well. “There’s a value to learning together. There’s a bigger presence, a tremendous value that comes from sharing insights, questions, and collaborating with others,” observed Donohoe. “Everyone looks at the world differently, so I can learn from other perspectives and opinions.”
Donohoe also observed of the financial industry, “There are a lot of advisors out there selling that aren’t knowledgeable,” he lamented, voicing his desire for the industry to retain it’s integrity. He believes that being able to use Truth Concepts has shaped his ability to educate others, which is why he advocates other advisors gain skills in using the software and sharing the stories and concepts they illustrate, as well.
“You can do anything with the calculators: prove, disprove, plan, compare, etc.,” says Patrick. Becoming proficient with the calculators “gives you confidence that what you are doing is superior… sure, you’re selling, but you’ve got to have confidence that what you’re teaching and recommending works.”
Passing on the Financial Education
In particular, Patrick uses the calculators to “demystify the sales rhetoric of traditional qualified plans, mutual funds and the stock market.” He also finds it’s just as important to “reinforce the benefits of whole life insurance objectively, rather than just talking about it.” Particularly when recommending strategies that are outside the mainstream, he believes that clients need numerical proof to give themselves confidence to try something new and stick with it.
While Donohoe occasionally still uses Truth Concepts in individual client consultations, he also leverages his time by recording videos and webinars that are used extensively in Paradigm Life’s client education process as well as in their marketing.
The Wealth Architect
Best-selling author Garrett Gunderson, author of Killing Sacred Cows and co-author of What Would the Rockefellers Do? calls himself the “Chief Wealth Architect” of Wealth Factory, which provides comprehensive financial education for entrepreneurs. He shared with us the difference that Todd’s trainings made for him:
“I have never considered myself a software or tech person, yet after attending Todd’s courses over and over people thought I was a tech whiz. The reality is that I attended over and over because he is an amazing instructor of finance, analyzing strategies, verifying what is truth and discovering what is fiction.”
Known for his own desire and ability to educate others about how money works, Gunderson adds, “I became a better teacher because of Todd. I made more money, had more confidence, and learned more every single time I was there.”
We saw a lot of Garrett for awhile… it seemed no matter where in the country we were training, there he’d be! “I think I attended 10 courses in two years,” he admits. Was it worth it? Apparently so… Garrett calls the trainings a “Game changer.”
The Top Producer Habit
Owner of Optic Financial and co-author of What Would the Rockefellers Do? with Gunderson, it was no surprise that Michael Isom attended the inaugural Summit for Prosperity Economics Advisors, as he had been attending trainings with Kim and Todd for the previous 15 years.
“Kim and Todd have both been mentors of mine in this industry since 2000,” Michael shares. After all these years — and since establishing a highly successful financial practice — why does Michael continue to attend Truth Training? He says it helps him “stay at the top of my game in communicating the truth about all things financial,” adding, “There is nothing out there at this same level.”
“I use Truth Concepts and the calculators with EVERY client I assist. I want to provide the truth about all things financial to my clients. Truth Concepts is the most complete source for that — period.”
Yes, the trainings take an investment of time and money, but Michael is clear that it is more than worth it. “When I do this, I ensure that I will consistently generate over 1m + a year in revenue as a result. No joke either, the last 3 years (I’ve earned) $ 1 million+ as a result of the regularity of my Truth Training attendance.”
Sharpening the Saw
But it’s not all about the numbers. One reason that advisors attend again and again is for the personal benefit they receive… the camaraderie with other advisors, the chance to grow as they learn.
Stephen Covey coined “Sharpening the Saw” in the quintessential success manual, The Seven Habits and Highly Effective People. As the Steven Covey website explains, it means “preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. As you renew yourself in each of the four areas, you create growth and change in your life.”
Isom shares one reason he goes to Truth Trainings is to “Be inspired and inspire at the same time.” He adds, “My personal courage and confidence is increased dramatically as a result of TC.”
And although Truth Training is part of our business, those are the same benefits that make us look forward to each training… we love to sharpen our own saws, and the advisors who come and the conversations we have (during the training and also during the meals we share) help us do that!
A Skeptic Converted
When Kim started attending Todd’s trainings back in the 90’s (long before they dated or married), she was a “typical” financial planner and a skeptic about some of the concepts presented. Was whole life really a better option than “buying term and investing the difference”? Was a 30-year mortgage really more beneficial than a 15-year mortgage? Kim wasn’t convinced.
“It took me 4 or 5 trainings before I bought into it myself,” Kim shares. She attended several times in the first two years, oftentimes being “the only woman in the room,” although it’s never bothered Kim to be a pioneer!
Then, convinced of the value, she started sending assistants as well as going back for additional training at least every other year. “It was actually one of my assistants that used calculators to pull apart the mortgage discussion to show me how it was right, because I had always believed a 15-year mortgage was better.”
Since Todd’s new software (Truth Concepts) was released in 2008, Kim estimates she has attended 30+ trainings. “I am so grateful for that time, because even MORE, I have confidence and knowledge and increased ability to share with my clients the whole truth about whatever their financial question is… because I know those calculators inside and out.”
Kim claims she is “not a calculator person!” and admits that although she rarely uses them in client meetings these days, she says, “You don’t have to use them in front of clients, what matters is that you know and have confidence in what the software demonstrates.”
Kim uses a few of the Whole Truth videos to save herself time, such as the funding calculator (“The Truth About Whole Life Insurance Returns”) to prove the IRR of whole life, which she emails to clients to watch between meetings.
No matter what software system you use, learn it well. Learn it thoroughly. Become confident in using your financial software, and pay special attention to mastering the stories — the narrative — that make the numbers meaningful to your clients.
And whatever you do, don’t struggle in isolation or frustration! Gather together with other like-minded advisors to learn, grow, and to encourage and be encouraged. Together, we make a bigger difference!
Want to attend a Truth Training live? We recommend it as the BEST way to learn and gain confidence using Truth Concepts. Get the details, see the dates, and register here. We’d love to have you, whether it’s your first Truth Training or your tenth!