Every year we establish a theme. It keeps us focused. Not only do we use the theme to concentrate our internal efforts, we also use it as a guide for what we bring to the market. If you follow our content, you are likely to recognize many of our past themes: Relevance, Simplify, Intentional, and, most recently, New Normal. 

With these themes, we found we were constantly reminding and/or asking ourselves these questions throughout the respective years: 

  • What does it mean to be relevant in today’s market and how do we position ourselves to ensure that relevance? 
  • What can we do to simplify everything we touch? 
  • Are we building, and helping others build, intentional rather than accidental businesses? 
  • Knowing its no longer enough to be a better version of what we’ve always been, what does our new normal need to look like? 

Not only have our themes kept us focused each year, but we’ve learned firsthand that when you spend a whole year asking yourself the same question, that question becomes engrained in the fabric of who you are as an organization and how you build your business.  

We regularly ask ourselves questions from each of our themes even though their year in the spotlight has passed. Those ideas have just become a part of how we operate.  

The theme is a very meaningful tool in ensuring we achieve our goals each year. Without focus, you wander. You wander, and then wonder why you fell short. And that, friends, should be unacceptable for any of us. 

So, with that in mind (drum roll please!), the Q4i theme for 2019 will be . . .  

Get your SHIFT together 

One theme, two intentions 

Yes, there is a very intentional double meaning. We are in the midst of the biggest SHIFT our industry has ever experienced. For some, the industry shift is going to expose the vulnerability of an antiquated, irrelevant business model.  

Of course, with threats, challenges, and SHIFTS comes opportunity; we believe unprecedented opportunity. We have committed to helping our clients, and those who are kind enough to listen to our message, navigate that shift successfully.  

As you start to think about how you might get your own SHIFT together, you should be asking, “What kinds of shifts are necessary to drive successful navigation?  

  • Value proposition 
  • Messaging 
  • Marketing strategy 
  • Sales conversations 
  • Client experience 
  • Team development 
To name a few. It’s a long list.   

But, to the second, not so subtle, meaning of SHIfT. Your foundation has to be solid in order to survive the inevitable turbulence. So, you might say, if you don’t get your SHIfT together, you have no chance of getting your SHIFT together.  

Reader warning: Skip this next paragraph if you are easily offended (as if you’d be reading our stuff if you were.) 

In case I’m being a bit too cryptic, I’ll spell it out. We all gotta get our shit together, otherwise our efforts at SHIFTing our businesses are doomed to fail. 

Be honest with yourself, do you have the basic business building blocks in place? Do you have your SHIfT together?  

  • Have you set well-thought-out goals for the year?  
  • Do you have workable plans in place to achieve those goals?  
  • Have you defined your ideal client?  
  • Have you documented efficient/effective processes? 
  • Is everyone on your team held accountable for their contributions? 
Again, this is a long list. 

Put it out in the universe 

We believe in the power of accountability, and nothing creates accountability like announcing your intentions and goals If you want to increase your odds of SHIFTing successfully, tell someone else what “Get your SHIFT together” means for you and what you need to do. 

For us, it means SHIFTing how we work and what we provide to better enable our clients to successfully drive their own SHIFT. More specifically, we commit to, and want to be held accountable for, the following three items. 


For those agencies with whom we coach, we are going to focus on no more than three to-dos at a time. We will be very intentional in helping them choose those to-dos, which should fall into three core business categories: marketing, sales, or operations.  

For those with whom we don’t work, but whose ears we are privileged to have from time to time, you will regularly hear us discussing the need to find focus and some suggestions as to what that might include. 


Our Purpose/Why at Q4i is to transform the industry. That purpose isn’t shifting, but we are going to SHIFT our offerings to introduce starter-level engagements for both marketing and sales. While we are selective about those with whom we work (must be mission aligned and willing to work hard), we are working to remove financial barriers that may have prevented access in the past. 


Building SHIfT gets us as excited as just about anything we do. And we are committing to creating the tools and resources for our clients to use as the building blocks that enable them to be the drivers of SHIFT within the industry.  

We are going to make you wait/watch/listen for the respective rollouts, but here’s a sneak peek at one of our projects: calculators to help advisors more effectively identify, quantify, and communicate the impact they have on their clients’ businesses WAY beyond the spreadsheet. Pretty cool, huh? 

Oh yeah, it’s gonna be fun 

Focus + Access + Cool new SHIfT = SHIFT 

And, isn’t that what we all want and need in 2019?! No doubt, we are all going to work hard together as a community. While we’d love to tell you it’s gonna be easy, SHIFT never is. But what we can promise is that when we work together the way we are planning to, 2019 will be the year we help you kick the SHIfT out of your competition.  

Back to you and the Universe 

Remember how I said nothing creates accountability like announcing your intentions and goals? Now it’s your turn! 😀

What does “Get your SHIFT together” mean to you/your agency for 2019?  

Let us know on LinkedIn and add a hashtag so we can all share in the accountability! 

#GetYourSHIFTTogether  #GYST  #SHIFT 

Photo Credit: grafner

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