Academy Blog

ACP Annual Conference Recap with Arlene Moss – Angie Herbers – Steps to Transformational Growth

Angie Herbers - ACP Keynote

Angie Herbers gave the opening day keynote as well as a pre-conference session at the  Alliance of Comprehensive Planners (ACP) conference in San Antonio. I had the good fortune to attend her keynote and would love to share some takeaways.

Pave Your Own Way

She opened with a great story about some poor sap (us!) who keeps falling in a hole while they walk down the street. The poor protagonist makes progress, but it takes them four trips down the street to learn to avoid that hole! Then, news flash! The moral is, why the heck didn’t they just take a different street? So we are challenged to do so in our business. Don’t keep trying the same old thing, but rather take a new street. This spoke to me, because I think that is the essence of the XYPN movement.

Start with Yourself First

As Angie began to tell us about the Steps to Transformational Growth, she emphasised we must start by looking in the mirror. Look in the mirror and then address four key areas to transform.


First SET BOUNDARIES through your core values. Protect yourself and your team from the selfish business – which will take your time, money, and confidence – by setting a boundary of core values. You start with your vision – where are you going?  Then build your mission – what do you do? Then you build your core values. Really dig deep into your business to determine what you stand for.

Next you must BREAK PATTERNS. We were reminded that fear creates patterns. Those fears may be things like not enough money, not enough time, or decreasing client service. She then pointed out that so often we react to those fears with a pattern of growing through the fear. To grow our response is often to hire people. Angie challenged us to think differently, for new solutions that don’t result in hiring.

Our third challenge is to BREAK BARRIERS to growth. Attached is her presentation. You will see common revenue points and the challenges that arise.  


Key takeaways, from Angie’s perspective, were that until you reach 350K revenue you do no hiring. And when you hire, your first hire is a client facing advisor so they create revenue. $750K is the next revenue spot for you, where you would hire a third planner. She also discusses some additional breakpoints at $1.2MM and $3.3MM.

The final challenge was to BREAK EIGHT, which referred to eight areas of business within four quadrants. I will admit I went off the rails here for a number of reasons. But I loved pointing out the four areas, because I think business owners forget how much there is to keep track of. Angie’s Four Point Business Management encompassed: 

  • Leadership & Corporate Finance
  • Client Service & Operations
  • Management & Human Capital
  • Sales & Marketing

We were encouraged to pick a sector – a quadrant – each year for our focus. I can jump on board with this as long as we aren’t neglecting the other three. As will everything else you face in business, it is a balancing act. If you spend four years focusing on marketing while never focusing on operations you won’t break through any barriers.

It was thoroughly enjoyable to have continued conversations in the hallways with folks who were enamored, folks who wanted to utterly revamp their approach, and others who wanted to take their own path. There is a lot of benefit to a presentation that creates that much conversation! Discussing, defending, and reassessing your interpretation is just one more way to build your retention and ultimate use of the knowledge. I don’t know if that was Angie’s plan all along or not, but I am thrilled to be part of the conversation.

Next week: The Impact of Mindsets on Financial Planning with Dr. Robert Brooks

Arlene gets a kick out of helping financial advisors get over being overwhelmed and take on their frustrations so their businesses soar. Arlene works to ensure XYPN members are able to help their clients prosper while creating a sustainable business model. Through XYPN Academy and one-on-one coaching, members get the support they need to grow their businesses and overcome the challenges that come their way.

When not motivating clients and cooking up new ideas to help XYPN member success, you can find Arlene on her road bike, or trying to master the art of tandem cycling without destroying her marriage. In the winter months, she gets to the ski slopes as much as possible, hunting hidden bits of fresh powder amid the trees of Breckenridge.

If you'd like to learn more about Arlene's member-exclusive executive coaching services click here.