Financial Advisors: Do You Own a Business or a Job?

Owning a business vs. owning a job.

There is a big difference between the two.  In fact, I would be comfortable saying that over 90% of independent #financialadvisors right now (the one’s that are supposed to be #businessowners) are actually the owners of their very own job.

Owning a job isn’t a bad thing, but it is very different from owning a business. 

Let’s start with one of the things I tell my clients when they decided (or need to decide) to transition to being a real business owner:  “You are a business owner the day you no longer are an employee”

Let’s unpack that.  If you have to show up to work every day in order for the business to create revenue you are an employee.  We love employees!  We want them to be compensated well so that they perform well.  Many of you are compensated quite well as the owners of your own financial services job…but, you can’t stop coming to work can you?

Owning a business, for real, means that you have established systems, procedures and (most importantly) a good team that run the day to day operations of the business without your presence being continually required.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not saying that there is more virtue to being an actual business owner vs. owning a job.  However, executed well, being a business owner can deliver a tremendous amount of freedom and happiness later on in your career.

Here are a few questions for you to consider:

  • Can your business function without you and still provide for all your living expenses?
  • If you didn’t have to be at the office every day and in fact only had to work on the more strategic and leadership focused parts of the business what would you do with that flexibility and freedom?
  • What would it be like if you had a financial practice that generated all the income you needed and didn’t require you to come to the office on a full time basis?
  • Would you feel happier if you were able to do more things in your personal life or your business life?

Lots of questions that I could ask, but that is a good start.

Point of fact:  I own a job presently.  As a business coach and consultant I only get paid when I do the work.  However, I am executing on a plan to shift towards owning a real business.  This is going to require vision, thought and patience.  The reward for me is being able to, as I turn 54 this month, be able to as gracefully as possible navigate the aging process while continuing to have impact on my target market.

Practical application:

  1. Examine your personal and business budget and make sure your numbers are current and accurate.
  2. Determine if you need to add additional staff in order to begin the process of shifting your income from your individual efforts to that of your team.
  3. Embrace your new role of ‘talent scout’.  Real business ownership is about finding and retaining the best people for your team.  You won’t work a normal ‘9-5’, but you will be investing your time in them vs. directly with clients.
  4. Double down on #referrals.  Focus on the top 5% of your client base and get as close to them as possible and appropriate.  A good transition strategy is to think of yourself as a rainmaker for the rest of your staff.  Using your #network and referral giving efforts to continually create opportunities for your team to ‘wow’ prospective clients.
  5. Most of all:  shift all your language from ‘I’ to ‘team’.  You, and all the other members of your team need to start selling ‘we’ instead of me.

Too many business owners are miserable even thought they are earning great money. This is because they own a job. You can do better. There is a life that integrates and transforms your personal and business lives into a purpose filled and joyful way of living. There will always be challenges and adversity, but you at least should know you are doing what you want to as opposed to what you have to. After all why work so hard and make so much money to not enjoy it?!?

Related: Why You Aren’t Getting More Ideal Clients