August 22, 2018

Four Principles of Success, with Cody Foster

Episode 5:

Cody Foster is one of the Founders of Advisors Excel. In 2004, after leaving a corporate job to partner with David Callanan to be independent financial advisors, they realized the support system for independent advisors was dramatically insufficient. So, in 2005, along with Derek Thompson, they formed Advisors Excel with a goal of building a world class support structure for independent financial advisors across the country. Today they have over 500 employees and are responsible for over $7 Billion in annual sales. Their success in achieving this has led to their story being featured in Success Magazine, Darren Hardy’s book “The Entrepreneur Rollercoaster” and Tony Robbins’ #1 New York Times bestselling book, “Money, Master the Game.”

Cody graduated from Washburn University in 1999 and has made Topeka his home ever since. He is a big believer in the future of the Capital City of Kansas, and has been a lead investor and developer in quality of life initiatives including The Cyrus Hotel, The Pennant, and Iron Rail Brewing. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Greater Topeka Partnership and was one of the five founding investors in Top Tank Topeka, a unique entrepreneur challenge patterned after the successful TV show, Shark Tank. As much as he enjoys business, his real love is family. Cody and his wife Jennifer, a Topeka native and fellow Washburn graduate, have been married for 16 years and have two children, Dylan and Ella.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The insufficient support for independent advisors Cody Foster and the other founders of Advisors Excel discovered when striking out on their own
  • The growth of Advisors Excel to the point where it now has over 500 employees, who are responsible for over $7,000,000,000 in annual sales
  • Cody’s story of growing up in a small town, surrounded by entrepreneurs in his family, who made business seem possible
  • The shift Cody was forced to make from his initial dream of being involved in sports to providing help to his family when his grandmother’s business was about to go bankrupt
  • Why Cody and his friend Dave began working as financial advisors and ultimately decided to strike out on their own, but found it challenging due to a lack of support
  • How through identifying the need for more support for independent advisors Cody and Dave were able to create a successful company that grew quickly, encountering few challenges along the way
  • Cody’s four principles of success
  • That millennials make up about 70 percent of Cody’s workforce and how caring about them personally in addition to caring about their performance has decreased turnover
  • How by building a solid company culture and acquiring employee buy-in, a company can reduce potential challenges
  • How to be a constant learner and continuously adapting to your surroundings

Ways to contact Cody: