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The devil is in the details. We’ve all heard that before and we hear it all the time because it’s true. Details are your pathway to success. The details are not very glamorous or fun, but they are necessary. Getting the details right can prevent larger problems.

A perfect example of a person who focused on details is college basketball coach John Wooden. Many say Wooden was one of the greatest coaches that ever lived. Wooden won 11 National Championship titles at UCLA. On the first day of practice every year, Wooden began practice by teaching his players how to properly put on their basketball socks. Wooden did this because, if the players did not put their socks on correctly, their feet would blister while they were running up and down the court. If their feet blistered, they would get sore. If their feet were sore, the players would not be able to run as fast or jump as high or play at their best possible level. Wooden knew that if his players had sore feet, they would not play their best, and the team would suffer. That is why he always started each season by teaching his players how to put on their socks properly.

In the business world, and specifically in financial advising, concentrating on details is vital to success. The most successful financial advisors have critical numbers, which are what make each financial advisor’s practice work. That critical number differs between financial advisors, of course, but what is important is that each financial advisor has a critical number, because they know that number is a true leading indicator. Making phone calls and taking notes and getting appointments are small things, but they are extremely important to reaching that critical number. Doing those small tasks may seem tedious, but you have to concentrate and do them well to reach your bigger goals.