10 Take-Charge Lessons From “The Boss”

Have you ever been to a Bruce Springsteen concert? If so, you’ve probably marveled at the energy Springsteen and The E Street Band put into their three-hour-plus shows night after night. Once again he is out on the road, doing a coast-to-coast tour that will feature the complete playing of his 1980 platinum double album The River.

Now in his mid-60’s, Springsteen is no rookie, especially in the tough business of rock and roll. For over 4 decades, he’s a living example of the type of drive, determination and positive action it takes to make it to the top and stay there. What can you learn from the ongoing success of this rock legend? Here are 10 lessons from some of his songs.

The Rising 

Can’t see nothin’ in front of me,

Can’t see nothin’ coming up behind.

I make my way through this darkness.

I can’t feel nothing but this chain that binds me.

All of us encounter adversity in our careers; the question is whether or not we can find the strength to rise above it. Springsteen overcame a number of setbacks before finding his groove;his father discouraged him from pursuing music, his first few bands flopped, major media such as Time and Newsweek slammed him as the hyped-up flavor of the month. Forty years later, Springsteen is one of the most powerful rock icons in the world. We all have challenges — the best FA’s tackle them head-on and keep moving.

Prove It All Night 

Everybody’s got a hunger, a hunger they can’t resist,

There’s so much that you want, you deserve much more than this.

If you’ve ever seen Springsteen live, you know that The Boss is a man who delivers every time. Regardless of the city, regardless of the tour, critics, longtime fans, and newcomers alike consistently rave about Springsteen’s unfailing ability to give a great show. Can you make the same claim? Remember: having occasional favorable interactions with clients or prospects isn’t enough. You want every performance, whether a cold call, a first meeting with a prospect, or a seminar to represent your best effort. And be sure you have a a solid band backing you up.  A great work ethic alone won’t cut it.

Waitin’ on a Sunny Day 

I’m waitin’… waitin’ on a sunny day…

Gonna chase the clouds away,

Waitin’ on a sunny day…

A positive, upbeat attitude is a prerequisite for success in this industry, but in stormy markets, finding the sun can be a challenge. The Boss’s albums, even the darkest ones like Nebraska, include anthems of hope and opportunity.  You want to bolster your attitude every day to stay productive.

Meet Me in the City

Coming across your radio station

Calling out nation to nation

If you can hear me then say alright

And if you can, meet me in the city tonight

Are you actively networking with other professional to help them grow their business? Networking is not about going to Chamber of Commerce lunches, giving out your card to everyone there and hoping you’ll get a call. It’s about sitting down one-on-one with Centers of Influence (CPA’s, attorneys, etc.) and getting to know, like and trust each other enough to provide introductions to potential prospects. Go deep with a few rather than wide with many.


Spend your life waiting for a moment that just don’t come…

Well, don’t waste your time waiting!

Springsteen’s protagonists often feel doomed to a life of drudgery, yet they never stop looking for a way to break out. You may have missed a few opportunities or lost a few good clients, but that doesn’t give you permission to dwell on your failures. Time’s slipping by. What’s your plan for the rest of the year?

No Surrender 

We made a promise we swore we’d always remember…

No retreat, baby, no surrender.

Money gurus, talking heads, personal finance magazines — your clients may hear a lot of hype about the newest and hottest investment strategies. Remember: you’re not in the fashion business. Have you nailed down your core principles? An ideal client profile that identifies which prospects are right for your practice and helps you stave off client conflict  down the line? Do you have a philosophy your clients know and trust?


Trying to learn how to walk like heroes we thought we had to be…

And after all this time to find we’re just like all the rest…

Stranded in the park and forced to confess…

To hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets…

The Boss is clearly loaded — most advisors would love to count a client as wealthy as Springsteen among their roster.   Still, he’s true to his roots, consistently championing the causes of blue-collar workers and staying in tune with what’s on the minds of his fans. When you’re thinking about your niche, bear in mind that lots of FAs pursue prospects in traditionally affluent professions. Could you be overlooking a low-profile millionaire in your midst?

Out in the Street

When I’m out in the street, I walk the way I wanna walk,

When I’m out in the street, I talk the way I wanna talk

Baby, out in the street I don’t feel sad or blue,

Baby, out in the street I’ll be waiting for you!!!

You’re never going to land new prospects sitting around your office. When was the last time you got out there and did a little cold walking? What about attending an industry conference or annual shareholders meeting and repurposing it as a prime networking opportunity? Golf lover? Take your prospecting to the links. If you’re a sports fan, what’s the next game you can attend with prospects? If you love live music, when is the next concert your prospects would enjoy?

Human Touch

Tell me, in a world without pity,

Do you think what I’m askin’ too much,

I just want something to hold on to,

And a little of that human touch

What’s the constant in roller-coaster markets? Relationships. Reaching out and giving clients a little of that human touch helps reassure them that you’re on top of their accounts even when their portfolios aren’t at their peak. When was the last time you let clients know how much you care?


Now I know your daddy he don’t like me,

‘Cause I play with the stock ‘n bond plans …

But a rich new client, Rosie, just gave me a big advance!!!

Sure, the market conditions have changed since the bull’s retreat, but don’t let negative feelings about what you do for a living undermine your performance and productivity.     Changing markets mean new strategies and approaches, and potentially, a giant leap forward for your practice. There are still plenty of high-net-worth clients out there looking for expert guidance.

While it’s inspiring to watch great performers from the sidelines, I challenge you to bring the energy, commitment and excellence to your profession that Bruce Springsteen brings to his audience every night. That’s how you’ll become “The Boss” of your own career. Rock on!

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