How to 5x Your Revenue Growth with Dan Hager, Managing Director, Northwestern Mutual

Dan is a Managing Director and Wealth Management Advisor for Northwestern Mutual. He has nearly a decade of experience in corporate business to business sales. He holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP).  He is married to his wife Melissa and has two children, Cameron and Addilyn. When Dan isn’t in the office, he enjoys traveling and spending time with his family outdoors. He has participated in multiple marathons and coaches youth sports within his community. 

In this interview, Dan and Cindra discuss: 

  • How he uses the Law of Attraction to grow his business 
  • How coaching helped him grow his business by 35% 
  • Ways he has learned to reframe his focus and the impact 
  • Steps to RACE to your Growth 
  • Pain of discipline vs. plan of regret 






TO REACH DAN: Daniel Robert Hager – Rochester, MN 55902 | Northwestern Mutual 

Love the show? Rate and review the show for Cindra to mention you on the next episode:

 “Vision with a purpose is what creates sustainable energy to handle rejection and really put ourselves in a position to succeed”. -Dan Hager @Mentally_Strong
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“Often we compare ourselves to where we expect ourselves to be , but we don’t look backwards and see how far we’ve come on that journey.” -Dan Hager @Mentally_Strong
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Cindra Kamphoff: Welcome Dan Hager to the High-Performance Mindset Podcast, how are you today?

Dan Hager: I’m fantastic! How are you?

Cindra Kamphoff: I’m doing great? I already had my run this morning. So feeling pretty good.

Dan Hager: Was it a long, slower pace, or were you short and fast today?

Cindra Kamphoff: Uh in the middle?

Cindra Kamphoff: Well, I’m excited to talk with you today, and just learn more about how we can each race to growth. So, my first question, Dan, is this: for those people who are listening tell us a little bit about your passion and what you do right now.

Dan Hager: Yeah. So really, what I’m fired up about most is to educate and inspire those that I work with on a regular basis, so that I can really motivate them to live a life of abundance, and whatever that means to them, but just being abundant and helping them serve more people and create more opportunities for more people, whether it be locally or nationally, any way that I can help just gets me fired up every morning.

Cindra Kamphoff: I love it so I’m definitely hearing in your answer, like living a life for other people and in service. And um, I think when we do that ah, that really does allow us to grow too. So maybe just give us a little insight and tell us, how did you get to where you are now? In your career?

Dan Hager: Sure, sure it’s actually a funny story. So, I actually about twenty years ago, already walked away from an internship opportunity with my current firm, and went into national sales with a window manufacturing company, and after about a decade of that, and finishing out my MBA program and spending two, three nights every single week in a hotel room, I ended up coming back to our current firm as a financial advisor, recruited in by my adviser, who was helping my wife and I through the course of good fortune and a lot of hard work. I ended up here in in Rochester, now leading no one’s much for mutual of Southeast, Minnesota, and helping to grow our brand down here.

Cindra Kamphoff: Well, what I’m really excited to talk with you about today is how you trained your mind, and how you use utilize some of the principles we’ve talked about on this podcast, or that’s in my book beyond grit. And because I think you have become a master at it, and you realize the importance even just when you said, what do you do? It was all about abundance, right? So, um as you think about now. You know where you where you started as a financial planner. And now, as a managing director, maybe just give us a little insight on what that shift has been like for you. Um, just so people can kind of get a sense of, or what is the difference?

Dan Hager: Sure, really, and quite frankly, I think about it. The visual that comes to my mind is like the wake behind a boat, and as a financial advisor or financial planner, I get to impact the clients that I directly serve every single day as a managing director. I now get to think about, you know, ten, twenty, thirty different boats creating those wakes. And now the impact just spreads so much more significantly across those communities that we serve. And really at first it was all about, and quite Frankly, before I met you, and sort of using a lot of these principles. It was all about survival, you know what we need to do to be here, long-term, and the daily battle of the you know what’s happening. Why am I doing what I’m doing? Why, are these things happening to me almost a victim mentality some days, and then the shift to you know the abundant mentality of, hey? These things are happening for me. Every opportunity, every stress that I experience in life is an opportunity to learn and grow. And now I get to share that with other people and help uplift them through the same learnings that I went through.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah, that that’s really powerful, you know, because I think so many people can relate. No, And I think we might not be financial planning. But some people who are listening are in sales, you know, and I think about just the importance of when we’re going through difficulties. Um! And just day to day difficulties. The client says no. Someone cuts you off in traffic, you know it’s easy to be like. Why is this happening to me? I think that’s our default as humans. Actually, I think it takes a lot of intention and take a step back and ask yourself like, what’s the gift? And how can I grow through this?

Dan Hager: Absolutely, right? And beyond that I think it’s the law of attraction, right? We talk a lot about that in our coaching sessions of. You know, we get what we tend to think about the most at the end of the day, and we can choose whether we think about all of the challenges and the roadblocks in our path, or we can choose. How are we going to address those, and how are we going to thrive despite all of those and you think about it Not too long ago, twenty-twenty right, when the world shut down, Covid. Right? That was obviously a very clear obstacle we get to see firsthand those who chose to thrive in the spite of that challenge, and those who chose not to and it’s a very powerful lesson for us to learn.

Cindra Kamphoff: Absolutely so, Dan, you’re one of one of the first um coaching clients I’ve had on the podcast, so I want to be mindful of that. Um. And uh, you know, and I really appreciate that you really wanted to come on, and just kind of share how you used beyond grit, and then your own philosophy on training your mind and leadership. So maybe just to get us started.

Cindra Kamphoff: Tell us a little bit about. You know what you see, and the impact of training your mind and using some of the principles and beyond grit, and even within our coaching.

Dan Hager: For sure. Yeah. And really, quite frankly, I boil it down to three main advantages that I’ve used and implemented on a regular basis, which is morning priming is expecting and embracing stress, and it’s reframing our focus on what’s immediately in front of us, it’s controllable.

Dan Hager: Yeah. And so, take this morning primarily as a perfect example. You know, John Ascraft wrote a book called Inner Size.

Dan Hager: Yeah, you went for a run this morning, right? You I know you. You run it regularly. It helps keep you in shape. It keeps you healthy, et cetera, but our brains are in the exact same way as you know, and if we don’t train our brain in the same way that we train our physical bodies, we can’t expect to stay in shape, and we can’t expect to stay alert. And on top of everything that’s going on in our life.

Dan Hager: So, starting every single day in my vision statement, focusing on what I want in life. Why, it’s important to me, it is mission critical. Because if I can win the day before six am, I just set the trajectory for the rest of the day for myself.

Dan Hager: Yeah, and you’re leading the hardest person you’re selling right?

Cindra Kamphoff: I know we’ve talked about the active planning which is just like intentionally choosing your focus and your emotions to get to get you primed or to get you started in my book beyond grit for business. I give a grit acronym gratitude. Remember your Why intention, and then talk to yourself powerfully. Um, that the teams talk to yourself, and I think you know you don’t have to necessarily use the grit acronym. But I think the point is that you’re priming your focus in the morning. And what do you think the impact of that is, Dan?

Dan Hager: I think it’s energy quite frankly, and its resilience,

Dan Hager: Because we’re all going to face obstacles throughout the day, right? And when we can just have the energy to face those obstacles, and just know who we are and be true to ourselves and not try to warp into someone. We’re not because we’re just trying to adapt on the fly when you’re clear on your values, and you have that energy, and you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve. Those obstacles become nothing more than speed bumps at the end of the day.

Dan Hager: And what I love about your analogy using grit

Dan Hager: to perfect gratitude, right? When we think back on our lives, we’re in these positions because of a lot of people who have helped us get to where we are today, and by a lot of hard work and a lot of good fortune going our way right and regardless of what challenges we face in front of us when we take a step back and really focus on how fortunate we are to be in the most affluent country in the world to have the health care system that we have everything that we get to enjoy.

Dan Hager: It makes a lot of the stresses of our daily life seem quite a bit.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah, isn’t that true? And there’s always something that we can be grateful for, even though it’s sometimes really difficult to kind of focus on that right? I mean, we’re alive, you know. Uh, I mean, we’re still breathing, and just that is something to be grateful for.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah, go ahead and maybe then tell us a little bit more about like, expect them, and embrace stress. And it’s, you know. Finish your thought, and then tell us a bit more about the other. It was kind of a silly thought, but I mean you and I are both here in Minnesota, and we are approximately sixty days away from the winter coming, and we’re going to be in Windsor for seemingly, you know the next twenty-two years of our lives, even though it only lasts about five or six months.

Dan Hager: It feels like twenty-two years isn’t it.

Dan Hager: You know. Negative twenty in February it feels like forever. But at the same token we got the opportunity to be grateful, and it’s just the little things you can focus on.

Cindra Kamphoff: Absolutely. So, tell us how you embrace and expect or yeah, expected and embrace stress. What does that mean to you? And then how have you used that.

Dan Hager: Yeah, really, quite frankly. You know, I’m the type of person who really enjoys seeking out what challenges. And here’s a personal story. My wife and me. We had our fifteen-year wedding anniversary this past June, and we went out to our happy spot, which is the rocket melons.

Dan Hager: And you know normally, when you think about a fifteen-year anniversary trip, you think about relaxation, love, my kids dearly, but just the time away with the two of us. It’s a perfect opportunity to recharge our batteries, and we get there. And all of a sudden, we see something called the man and two incline.

Dan Hager: Do I ever Do you know what that is? No, I don’t know what this is, so there might be some experience. Hikers listening to this. It’s a huge deal. It’s literally. It’s an old logging trail straight up the side of a mountain in man, two springs, Colorado. It covers two thousand vertical feet in less than a mile, literally two thousand seven hundred and forty, four steps virtually straight up, even though the climb sucked.

Dan Hager: When we got to the top of that climb and turned around and looked back over the entire valley.

Dan Hager: Imagine how that view was to us in that moment.

Dan Hager: View is always the best after a hard climb.

Cindra Kamphoff: Um, whether in the storm along that, and maybe having to stop or take a step back to move forward right, and how great it is to accomplish it and see it in the end.

Dan Hager: Exactly. And I heard this quote once. I don’t know if it’s attributed to, and I like, and I don’t necessarily like it. But I think the point is true. It says unsuccessful people exchange short-term stress for long-term distress, eventually special people are constantly under short-term stress, but rarely experience long-term distress.

Dan Hager: And there’s elements of that quote that I like and appreciate There’s elements that I don’t, you know.

Dan Hager: What’s the definition of success?

Dan Hager: Is a seven-figure earner who’s got multiple properties around the United States successful when the single parent work in two to three jobs to keep a roof over their kids home and feed their kids. Is that not successful? I don’t think so,

Dan Hager: But the point remains true when we learn to embrace difficult situations and not flee from difficult situations and hit them head on with our vision and purpose in mind, because we’re willing to do the little things that so many people are as in that back, and we rarely have the distrust that so many people do experience.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah, that’s a good point that it’s, you know. I think we can define success on our terms, and so many times we maybe look to what society or how society defines it. Um! And then tell us, Dan, about the last thing that you said about focusing more on what’s right in front of you and just managing and reframing that focus.

Dan Hager: Well, this is all attributed to you quite frankly in our coaching sessions, and I think about some of the stories you shared with me about working with professional athletes, and how we can fall into the trap of focusing on the past which tends to lead a few things of regret or sorrow, or whatever the case may be then we could also focus on things that are outside of our control in the future.

Dan Hager: And the most elite athletes tend to focus on the next play,

and they just have this laser focus on. What do I need to do right now? That is, in alignment of the future?

Dan Hager: But we can’t ignore that, but it’s controllable right now today. And so, I think about How do I break my business down into very small, acute daily wins that are in alignment with my vision, and as long as I can win those items daily complete those tasks, whatever it may be, daily build self-confidence.

Dan Hager: The confidence that pursues is like a cycle, and that consistently compounds time and time again.

Dan Hager: So that’s what I really try to focus on. Each day is just block out the noise. What do I need to do? Wednesday, September Twenty First, as we’re reporting this to win today, go home knowing that I did my job.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah, so powerful, I think. Really, what you’re saying is like focusing on the process right? The small things that you can do that you can control. And we know that pro athletes are at their best when they’re focused in the present and in the current play. And I think it’s so easy to get so caught up in the future, and maybe, you know, not reaching your dreams or being frustrated or angry, or, you know, focused on the past, regretting things that are done with, and we can’t control. So, Dan, I know people as they’re listening. They’re thinking, Okay, this all sounds good. And I’m curious about you know. What do you think? The impact has been related to coaching your mind and um, and using some of these principles’ day to day like, Why Do you think people should do it?

Dan Hager: Well, quite simply put it. I think it’s going to allow you to chase your dreams on apologetically. It’s going to allow you to achieve a different level of success. I mean, we’ve been working together since the just start of two thousand and twenty. I believe, if my math is correct,

and you think about all that we’ve experienced in just last two and a half years. It’s been wild, but because of the principles that we’ve put in place. I’ve been able to stay focused on what’s most important to me and lead an abundant life, despite all of those roadblocks.

Dan Hager: And quite frankly what’s been the most inspiring observation

is when I lead myself Well, first, the contagious energy that results, and seeing others catch that and want to run at a different pace in that they’re running at, because they see me taking the lead. Mm-hmm that gets me the fire now and it just leads to more and more energy, more and more confidence to think about. Okay, how big can we really make this?

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Cindra Kamphoff: And I think about the moment, and that you create by choosing more of your focus and your energy as a leader, right? And everybody leads in some way we lead ourselves for sure, but we lead others in some way, and I think that’s when we’re our best, and we’re training our focus on our mind. And ah, intentionally choosing our energy, like the outcome takes care of itself when we’re working really hard towards it.

Dan Hager: Yeah, I’m glad you mentioned that, too, when you say everybody leads in some way that’s so true.

Dan Hager: And oftentimes, unfortunately, our society has kind of elevated quote unquote leaders based on position or status, when it in all reality is every person out there is leading and inspiring and affecting somebody else, and they get to choose how they go about that, regardless of role or status, position paycheck doesn’t matter.

Cindra Kamphoff: Absolutely. I think one thing that you know, when I think about the impact of coaching and training your mind over the last couple of years. I mean, you mentioned to me like thirty-five percent revenue growth, and I was like, oh, yeah, you know um, and also just being able to weather the storm during the pandemic. Obviously, you became Manning managing director So um moving offices and being able to manage that change, I think, are other reasons why people should choose to engage in coaching, because I think it allows you to get out of your own way, and it allows you to have somebody else to say, hey? Um! And I have my own coach, Dan, so she’ll take syndrome, you know. Is that really what you want to choose right now. Is that really what you want to think? And she calls me out. You know it sounds like you’re playing a little small right now, like, oh, yeah, I think you’re right.

Dan Hager: There’s two things that come to mind as you say, this Um, I had a opportunity to sit and listen to a college football coach, probably a year or so ago, and he made a comment of, If you’re not coached in a particular area of your life. You’re probably not living up to your fullest expectation or your fullest potential.

Dan Hager: And the other thing I’m thinking of is well. Advice paid for is advice, and you know, really quite frankly, I kind of kicked myself for telling me about the thirty five percent revenue growth, because I’m a little bit worried that my bills are going to start climbing year after year, so I’m going to start flooding a little bit if you’re a That’s funny.

Cindra Kamphoff: That’s awesome. All right. Well, let’s move on to you. Um! This idea of your race, acronym, and the idea of like racing to growth, and that’s really What we’re focused on today is helping other people helping all the listeners be able to be intentional with them

growth. And I’m thinking could be a lot of different ways they grow could be growing in their leadership or their ability to lead themselves. Or maybe they want to grow in their revenue and grow in their own performance. So, tell us first about just this idea before we kind of dive into the acronym.

Cindra Kamphoff: How can we use this kind of in your own perspective.

Dan Hager: Well, I think it’s reframing focus at the end of the day one of the first things that you shared with us as I grew, even before I hired you, as my individual coach was the focus on running a marathon. You and I both run but you’re just done a lot earlier than I am, and at the end of the day one of the things you said was, you don’t want to focus on the next that you just get to the next like on the Marathon. And then, all of a sudden, those light poles become twenty-six, point two miles, and when I think about race, I think about us running our own individual races right. I’m not going to run a seven-minute mile I used to right now. My race is different.

Dan Hager: Yeah, and I’ve got a number of advisors in my district, and they’re all running their own race. This is all individualized to what’s most important to them. But these the lessons from race, which is resilient, acute, consistent, and elevate.

Dan Hager: I believe our life lessons that are impactful for anybody at any stage of their business or sales, or teaching, or whatever profession you might be in.

Dan Hager: These are lessons that I’ve learned just through observation through some of the best leaders that I’ve been around, and some of the best coaches I’ve been around, so I really do believe they’re universal.

Cindra Kamphoff: And I love that, you said, like running your own race. I think in a culture that it’s really easy to compare right because of social media um, and because of various other things. But instead, if you’re staying focused on what is my best look like, how can I be my best today. How can I keep growing from yesterday? How can I continue to get one percent better, or whatever percent better it is? But just like,

I think that allows us to thrive and is a real pillar of peak performance.

Dan Hager: Exactly right. If you’re going to compare anything compared to the version of the person you want to work right? Don’t: compare to anybody else.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Great advice there. So, let’s kind of dive into this and tell us um. The R. Stands for resilient. What does resilience mean to you? And how can we practice resilience?

Dan Hager: So, two things come to mind for me. Number one is resilience is a function of a strong vision. Okay, when you know where you’re going,

it’s easier to stick the course, despite all the obstacles. But what I really have learned over my career is that a vision without a purpose is nothing more than a dream.

Dan Hager: And you see my vision statement. You see, right at the top there is a picture of a home in the mountains. My wife. Nice happy spot! Right?

Dan Hager: That’s my two thousand and twenty-five vision. So, last I checked. We’re with the T minus just over three years to make that happen right now. But what’s interesting about tangible for extrinsic items in a vision statement is, they’re very easy to justify away.

Dan Hager: And you know that home, for example, two thousand and twenty-five. My kids are going to be like in the prime of their most active years, and to think about having a home half away across the country. It’s like, yeah, that’d be great, and I plan to put myself in a position to be able to do that.

Dan Hager: But realistically, it’s like, are we ever going to use it? Because six nights out of the week. We’re going to be in bleachers somewhere a sporting event.

Dan Hager: Yeah. So, it’s very easy to justify that way and say, well, okay, I know it’d be really fun, but it’s not that important.

Dan Hager: And then all of a sudden, the vision fades, and then now, all of a sudden, we’re not resilient, and we’re not chasing what’s most important to us but a vision with a purpose that’s what creates a sustainable energy to handle all the rejections, to really put ourselves in a position to succeed, regardless of what life throws our way, the stock market going crazy, inflation out of control, unemployment high. Well, whatever the case may be if we know why we do what we do, we and stick through it, you know. Candidly speaking, I also think that there is a fallacy out there that if you go after your dreams and you really chase growing something meaningful and special that so few people are able to accomplish in the business world.

Dan Hager: Now you have to give up these important things in your life. You have to give up time with your family.

Dan Hager: Right, you have. That’s probably the most important thing that people want to give up, and I’m rightfully so right you have to give ours and freedom, et cetera. I think that’s an absolute, I think, being resilient and chasing your dreams, and having a clear purpose on what you want in life, actually creates more autonomy, more control, more time

with family and more of an impact with the people that you’re trying to impact. And what I think about purpose for me, you know one of my greatest fears Cindra to be totally vulnerable. Yes, is, I don’t want to look back on my life and think to myself that I had these gifts that I’ve been given, and I didn’t maximize those. And by not maximizing those, there is two main people that I impacted the most. They’re one way, number one, my clients, and those I serve. If I don’t maximize my gift, I’m letting all of my clients down one hundred and fifty, but two, and most importantly to me, I don’t want my children to grow up and think that it’s okay to not maximize those gifts in themselves.

Dan Hager: I can talk to them all day long about leadership, lessons in life, lessons, etc. But if I’m not willing to lead the path, if I’m not willing to do the work necessary to maximize my talents and my gifts, and really make an impact on People’s lives.

Dan Hager: They’re going to follow my example, and that would be the most heartbreaking thing ever to me, and that’s why I’m resilient.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah, I love it. I appreciate what you said in connected purpose to resilience. Because I think if you know really why, you know why you’re going after that um cabin in the mountains or the house in the mountains, right? And so, the why behind your goals is what’s going to power you? But I think your why and your purpose also allows you to stay the course, and be resilient, and bounce back from things when they don’t go perfect perfectly, and finding your purpose is a really big idea. You know that it took me many years to really understand, and it I think it took for me at least constant reflection on Why am I here? And what purpose do I need. Do I really want to? Um? Do I want to have? And ah, how am I at my best? I’m curious, and this resilient piece I know you talk about this idea of like pain, of discipline, discipline versus the pain of regret. Tell us a little bit about that, and how that connects to resilience.

Dan Hager: Yeah. Well, it stems from my career change into financial planning by society’s terms. We were pretty successful my family and I a six-figure earner in my twenties had upside opportunity within the corporation. I just bought our new home, and everything was going right at that point in time. So, we were the American family right and outside looking in. It was. It was everything that we wanted, but I wasn’t fulfilled the work that I was doing at that point in time didn’t leave or create energy in me and leave me feeling like I was actually making it mark on our wall. And so, I chose to leave all of that.

Dan Hager: I chose to give up security and stability to chase something that was much more meaningful for me, despite the fact that I was starting a business from scratch with zero client, zero income, and nothing more than trusting relationships. And the people who have done it before me and to me. That’s pain of discipline, the pain of picking up the phone to make another sales call, the pain of hearing another rejection, the pain of being in an office an hour bus away from my home on a Friday night until eight o’clock at night to bring on a new client

that that’s pain right. It takes a lot of energy to get that flywheel spinning.

Dan Hager: But, boy, if I didn’t do that, if I wasn’t willing to put myself through that quote unquote pain.

Dan Hager: Then I would have the pain of regret. Then I would have exactly what I was talking about before, when I looked back in my life and said, Man, I really didn’t maximize what I was given. I didn’t leave a mark. I didn’t impact people the way I want to impact people who were. Yet I taught my kids how to be average too.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah. And I think, Dan, we’re motivated by both kind of pain and pleasure and kind of what I mean by that is like the pleasure to go after something um like you know the goal.

Cindra Kamphoff: Um! What’s your thing at the top of the of the two thousand stairs right that you want to look over, and um be happy that you accomplished it, and proud of yourself, but also like. If I don’t do this, I’m going to regret it, and I think discipline can be really difficult, especially when you’re pushing yourself outside in your comfort zone and doing things you’ve never done, and starting a new business that’s really scary,

Cindra Kamphoff: And we can be really overcome with a lot of fear I’m curious about the R. Is resilience A. Is acute? Tell us what acute means to you, and how do you think we can train our acute focus.

Dan Hager: Well, this goes back to what we talked about before with the professional athletes. And you’re just focusing on what’s immediately in front of you. Gary Keller and Jay Pathison wrote a book called The One Thing,

Dan Hager: And I’m going to summarize their quote, but I believe it was something like, what is the one thing that by doing it makes everything else easier or irrelevant and as a business owner, I’m getting bombarded from every single side of our business with distractions on a regular basis.

Dan Hager: Distractions from client services, distractions of things going right or wrong in the office, the economy doing what it’s doing. There’s always distractions and fires that we need to put out, and if I allow the urgent to trump be important according to another book, right then at the end of the day.

Dan Hager: We’re never going to move the needle towards where we need to be. And really, quite frankly, as I develop teams here, whether it be new advisors, whether it be my own, et cetera. I think there’s a There’s a natural tendency to try to become the expert in all things one.

Dan Hager: And what I see is, it creates paralysis by over-analysis. When I changed careers, I was pretty good at what I did.

Dan Hager: That sounds not very humble of me to say maybe I should rephrase that. But the point being is, I had a decade of growth right when I was day one in my first career out of college. I didn’t know anything. Ten years later I knew a fair amount, and then, when I switched into this career. I expected to know everything, and that’s just not right.

Dan Hager: When I tried to focus on being all things, all people, I sputtered out. I didn’t take initiative. I didn’t do what I needed to do to accelerate my growth, and I see that all the time. So, my focus in leading others is, what are the two to three key indicators of success, that if we can be experts at, instead of being average at a half a dozen things, let’s be phenomenal. Let’s pursue excellence in two to three areas and allow that to grow our firm.

Dan Hager: I think that’s really important.

Dan Hager: Here’s a story on that. So, this August took the family down to the Smoky Mountains for a family vacation, and on our way back we stopped in Indianapolis. Okay, and we pulled into Indianapolis. We stayed right across from Luca’s oil Stadium and it the stadium was packed, and I got all excited because I’m thinking preseason football. You know I can take my family go football game to cap off for vacation. It can be awesome. Well, it wasn’t football. It was actually the world drum and bugle core championship.

Dan Hager: Yeah, it’s pretty cool, and I’m a band geek by nature. So, I thought it was really cool. I had to kind of sell my kids on the idea.

Dan Hager: I actually wasn’t very successful in selling them on the idea because the tickets for seventy bucks of pop, and so that immediately got shut down, but a park that was two blocks away from our hotel. An outdoor park is where all the teams warmed up in practice, so we went over and we watched, and it was fascinating to me.

Dan Hager: I watch a bugle core hold their trumpets, horns whatever type of horn they’re playing. Hold it out in front of them in ready position

and practice, doing nothing but pulling the horn up to play. They didn’t play a note. They did this over and over and over again for a half an hour. They didn’t take one step. They didn’t play one note. They literally just held it in ready position. Pull it up to play. Their coaches were walking and inspecting through the lines of is the timing. Right is the angle of the horn, right?

Dan Hager: The most acute details, and what was going through my mind at that point in time is a nix. They’ve been quote, and I’m not an Alabama fan by any stretch of imagination. But what I respect about savings quote here is he said, hey, we don’t practice the play until we can get it right. We practice until we can’t get it wrong.

Dan Hager: And imagine, if we took that mantra into our everyday lives in our everyday businesses, where we practiced the most minute and acute details, and became experts to the point where we could not possibly get it wrong. Imagine the trajectory of your business when you’re that laser-focused

Cindra Kamphoff: And I really appreciate that, Dan. I’m thinking about everybody listening and having them. Think about. What are the two or three things that you can really dial down on and get so good at. What are the things that are fundamental for you in your business or your sport or your life, that you can’t get wrong. You know you’ve done it so many times that you can’t get it wrong.

Dan Hager: Acute. Okay, love it. Let’s go to see consistent. And you say consistency compounds tell us about consistency, and why? That is really important, I think, in leadership and growth.

Dan Hager: Yeah, my favorite expression ever consistency compounds. I truly believe it does have a compounding effect when we can show up and be the same person consistently every single day, and consistently achieve what we say we’re going to achieve.

Dan Hager: You know, I think, about how to build self-efficacy and confidence. Right? It starts as early as when the alarm goes off in the morning Is our routine the same right, we talked about morning priming earlier. Is our routine the same? Do I check in the box? Am I doing what I said I was going to do, so that when I show off to the office each day, I can deliver what I said, I’m going to deliver. I can be laser focus on those two to three areas where I need to be acutely focused, and when I can win the day every single day, then that courage and confidence is like a flywheel just spins faster and faster, and when that confidence encourage starts to spin well, then ultimately the compounding effect of that, is, hey? I’m much more willing to ask for referral to the a-plus prospective client I’m much more willing to do the things that so many people Aren’t willing to do, because I’ve consistently showed up and honored my commitments to myself, and I led myself first, and then all of a sudden, the world of possibilities opens up absolutely. And I think, Dan, that confidence is really a decision we make every day. And um, even the best pro athletes will tell me that they aren’t always confident,

Cindra Kamphoff: I think we see them, and we think, oh, they’ve got it together. They never doubt themselves. But I think just kind of what you’re saying is when you do these small things every day it builds confidence like these daily successes build builds confidence, and I think, as we continue to grow in our own confidence, taking control of that. And you know I’m going to encourage people to think about. What can they do to keep growing in your confidence? Um, Because I think if you leave it up to chance, there are too many external things in the environment that are going to, maybe negatively impact your confidence instead of taking control of it. Exactly right. You know what I’m thinking, as you say, that, too, is as I was talking about showing up and morning routines and hitting your two to three actions. None of that was about results.

Dan Hager: And when I think about when my confidence is that it’s worse.

Yes, I’m comparing myself to the results that I want, and not comparing myself to showing up and being a person that I expect to be. Dan sold, just came out with the book not too long ago called the Gap in the Gain, and so far, so it’s. Often, we compare ourselves to where we expect ourselves to be, and we don’t look backwards and say, Holy crap! We’ve come a long way on this journey, and I’ve really developed, and imagine what I was like as a brand-new advisor. You know, a number of years ago when I didn’t know anything like when you compare yourself to the growth one and who you are and what you need to do to continue to.

Dan Hager: I grow on that journey compared to boy. Yeah, I want to have that house, and I can’t afford that house right now.

Cindra Kamphoff: I think you’re really onto a really important point that when we’re so focused on the outcome that creates a lack of confidence and anxiety and pressure, whereas we’re focused on the small things we can do today, Right year, two to three wins. How can I win the day idea? Then the outcome takes care of itself.

Cindra Kamphoff: But I think our results serve in environment and society. You know, I think, even when you turn on ESPN, it’s really easy to be focused on the end result when you’re playing the game. And I don’t mean just like the sports game.

Cindra Kamphoff: Um, Okay. So, let’s go to elevate the last part of your race acronym. Tell us what about elevate and what that means to you.

Dan Hager: To me this is all relationship focused. Elevate our relationships. You know I heard this analogy from a managing partner out in California a while back he refers to the weights and flames of hot air balloon.

Dan Hager: The weights are very, very important, because, as you’re filling up that out air balloon, if you don’t have the waste of things going to fly away on you, and the flame is what’s necessary to inflate the balloon and take off right. They’re both mission-critical and both incredibly important in our lives, and that refers to people and as a leader, get to actively choose. Do I want to be a flame and help uplift people, or am I going to be awake and hold people back, and believe me, I am. I am not perfect in this at all. It’s a continual evolution and continue to focus the mind to be the flame.

Dan Hager: But it’s fascinating How little things in life can create this lingering effect as a weight. So, I talk about inside of that is address the problem of the person right, and we’re all having challenges in life. And here’s a story. When I was a senior in college playing football,

Dan Hager: There was a handful. I played defensive back, as you can tell, by my body stature. I was not exactly a defensive tackle, and so there’s a handful of younger defensive backs. I had a challenge with one of the upper classmen, and as a senior I felt like it was important for me to go in and speak with the coach along with the younger defensive backs that try to solve the problem.

Dan Hager: That was my mindset Going into the conversation. When the problem was presented to the coach.

Dan Hager: I got the kind of the John Gruden like snarl just like staring at me, and I’m like, oh, this isn’t going to be good!

Dan Hager: And he immediately starting to go on the offensive and attacked me. He said, well, here’s what I’m hearing from parents and coaches, and they believe that you shouldn’t even be on the field. So why are we talking about one of your teammates when we should be thinking about just taking care of what you can control, and it’s like that wasn’t the point at all. But instead of addressing the problem, he addressed the person which was me to this day, and all in all vulnerability. This is a challenge that I work through literally daily. I still I kid you not. I still have dreams about that moment, and dreams about how I felt playing there for the rest of my career.

Dan Hager: And now, as a result, not intentionally by any search of imagination. But it’s so ingrained in me because of his choice, to address the person. Enough problem that now I second guess whether somebody really wants me to be a part of their team or not, whether somebody really trust me, whether somebody really believes that I can do what I think I can do. And that was twenty years ago, right, but it’s still hardwired into me, and if I’m not proactively addressing it, it’s an issue my point, and that is, when we elevate people, it starts with the assumed positive intent that they are great people with eight ideas and opportunities, and they are here for the right reasons. If there’s a challenge, if they’re not getting the job done or not meeting expectations. Well, I got to start asking questions like, what part of the problem, if I clearly communicated the expectations. Are they on the right seat on the box? They might be the right person. But are they in the right seat and does the environment that I’ve created allow this person to truly flourish.

Dan Hager: So now I’m. Addressing the problem, I am elevating the person,

Dan Hager: Because I’m not addressing them necessarily.

Dan Hager: Yeah, so good. Thank you for your vulnerability, and just like sharing with us. Um! That difficult example, I think a couple of things is like what you said is, you know that happened many years ago. But still, if you’re not aware of it, and noticing how it impacts you right, it can hold you back, and I think that’s what I want people to hear is that it’s easy to like rejections, or what other people have said to us in the past like impact us now many years later. Um! And I think that takes a lot of conscious awareness to work through. Um. But

Cindra Kamphoff: You know you learned a lot from that. And I’m hearing that you’re like a stronger leader because you don’t address the person you address the problem.

Dan Hager: Yeah, we have to take a step back any time. There are unmet expectations, and instead of just allowing our motions to create an instant reaction, we need to slow down and focus on our response.

Dan Hager: And I think that builds trust, and that’s going to build a more cohesive team long-term.

Cindra Kamphoff: Excellent well, Dan we covered so many things today. I appreciate uh everything in your insights, and specifically at the beginning, we are talking about what you’ve learned from training your mind like you talked about the morning priming um exercise just how to embrace and expect stress you talked about really stay focused in the present moment and um, and in that area. And then we talked about your race, acronym resilience, acute, consistence, and elevate.

Cindra Kamphoff: I know people enjoying the podcast and get a lot out of today. How can they reach out to you or follow along with what you’re doing.

Dan Hager: Well, you can find me just by typing my name into the normal Google Search. You’ll find me there. Otherwise, my email is just Dan

Cindra Kamphoff: Excellent.

Cindra Kamphoff: Thank you, Dan. I appreciate you being on and thanks so much for sharing your wisdom today.

Dan Hager: You’re very welcome. Thank you.