Recently, whilst looking through some old coaching material, I came across a statement that leapt out at me.
"The number one reason that most business people do not achieve the results and reward from their business that their efforts, time, and in many cases passion deserve is due one simple mindset shift most fail to make. Most business owners don't think about what they do the right way"
If you follow the logic, a lot of advisers see themselves first and foremost as advisers who happen to run an advice business...
....instead of entrepreneurs whose focus is on creating wealth for clients and ourselves, and for whom advice is the vehicle to do that.
It's a profound difference in thinking which got me thinking about what Michael Gerber (The E-Myth) had to say on the topic:
"Technicians end up so deep in the detail, which restricts their ability to help themselves, let alone clients!"
THE FAMILY TREE
When researching my family tree, I discovered that an ancestor who happened to be a farm labourer.
I called my Mum, who's really into this stuff, and said, "Mum, I found an ancestor who was a farmer!"
She corrected me, "Hmm. not sure they were. It says they were labourers, which usually means they didn't own the farm. They just worked on it"
Totally different beast.
THE WRONG ROLE
Here's what I wonder...
If you think about yourself solely as an adviser building an advice business, are you unknowingly setting yourself up on a path that ends with you always working way too hard, trapped in a cycle where even if you succeed, you're trapped?
It's a dangerous idea right now, that adviser/ business owners should have profit as a focus.
It seems to fly in the face of so much that has driven our industry to the point it is.
Shouldn't the focus just be on great advice?
There lies a misconception; that profit and great advice lie on opposite ends of the spectrum.
THE CHARITY PRACTICE
The simple fact (to attribute Michael Kitces) is that any practice that delivers great advice yet is not able to master the commercial model...
...is just as much at risk of failure as a practice that makes profit its' Master.
The two need each other.
At the core, surely the goal is about being a better adviser AND a better business owner.
Call it high performance. Call it being the best. Call it Elite. Call it whatever you want. What I've found those who aspire to be better than average tend to have more...
- Clarity of purpose,
- Understanding the behaviours and habits needed to succeed.
- Ability to measure progress (and lack of) accurately,
- Commitment to creating repeatable systems.
- Openness to technology and anything that improves things for all parties.
Our industry feels like it's been going through a transition for an age, and it's changed up a gear again. No doubt it will continue.
Two years from now, I believe the advice businesses we see at the top of their game will be better businesses in a number of ways:
- more professional,
- more systematized,
- fundamentally great businesses in any industry.
...and they'll be lead by people who are good at wearing two hats.
Hat 1: Being a great adviser, leading a team who are great at delivering great advice to people who need it and value it.
Hat 2: Entrepreneurs who apply the commercial overlay to ensure it's underpinned by a sustainable and profitable business model.
If the promise is to guide clients to achieve their financial goals over the longer term...
...I can't see how it can be done any other way.