Written by: Erin Botsford
When there’s a lot of turmoil in the market, the stress of being an advisor can feel like it’s ever-increasing. If you’re the firm owner, you have to manage clients, expectations, your team, and your own time. It can all feel overwhelming. I remember when I first got started in the industry and would hear other financial advisors talk about burnout, I thought, “That will never be me, this is my passion!”
I simply thought you couldn’t get burnt out on something you are genuinely passionate about. However, after more than a few years under my belt, I’m much more empathetic to the notion. Even though I’m passionate about my clients, my team, and the business itself, trying to manage everything has left me absolutely exhausted at the end of more than a few days.
Personally, I’ve never hit what I would consider the official wall of burnout, but I have come awfully close.
Burnout comes from lack of resources, overworking ourselves, and failing to take a much needed (and deserved) break.
Burnout can do much more than give you disdain for what you once felt passionate about; it can manifest physical ailments like fatigue, forgetfulness, and irritability.
If you have experienced – or want to avoid – burning yourself out of a career you love, then stick with me for some proven strategies to stay on track. Here are five steps to avoid burnout as a financial advisor:
1. Recognize the Good
We’ve all been there – you’re feeling sad, so you listen to the saddest song you can think of. Negativity can be awfully seductive. You know this to be true if you’ve ever joined the complaint bandwagon even though you didn’t have to. There’s something about being down or angry that seems to rope advisors and business owners in. It’s a trap you have to recognize if you want to stay out of it.
When early signs of burnout start to creep into our lives, it’s easy to focus on all of the things going wrong at work. We may even force ourselves to ignore the positive moments, falling into the trap and stunting the growth of the business. When you start feeling like nothing good is happening, take a break.
Step away for an hour – whatever you can do to get away from your desk for a short break. Grab a pen and paper and take an inventory of every win you’ve had up to that moment. You can go back as far as you need to in order to start feeling a little less frustrated and a little more confident.
How many prospects have you closed this month? This quarter? This year? Those are wins. Did you hire someone new? Did you learn something you could then use to help your clients? Have you written out your goals? What accomplishments have you completed in the last 24 hours, last week, last month?
Take an inventory of your wins, no matter how small. The big ones we remember, but the small ones are just as important and can often be the difference between burnout and break through.
2. Take Time for Yourself
Possibly the most crucial step in avoiding burnout is this. For many years I wrongly assumed the person who lived at the office or took their work home was the most efficient or successful.
Turns out, I was wrong. I’m glad I recognized the value of dividing my focus and taking some time away from work before I experienced burnout. Of course, we all want more vacation time, but it doesn’t have to be as large or involved as a vacation – it can be as simple as 10 minutes each day.
Even on full days, whether it’s away from phone calls or meetings, take a few minutes to walk around outside and get some fresh air. If you break down your waking hours into percentages, for most working adults, 1% of the day averages around 10 minutes.
Dedicate at least 1% of your day to yourself and things you love outside of the office. It may only be 10 minutes, but those minutes are important. They all add up to help you avoid burnout as a financial advisor.
3. Change Your Mindset
When people say “strive for perfection,” they should be saying “strive for excellence.”
Not one single person on Earth is perfect, and we will never be. Whenever you remove the pressure of being something you cannot, you are tearing down the barriers that can prevent success.
You are much better served looking at the goals you’ve set for yourself. Make sure they’re written out (writing them out with a pen and paper is proven to make them more powerful), and more importantly, make sure they resonate with you. If you’ve set yourself up with goals that are either too grand or not interesting enough to you, you’re going to struggle.
This is why it’s so important to discover what drives you in your business, and what your WHY is for being an advisor in the first place. Modify for focus from being an advisor with lofty, difficult to reach goals, to a financial services business owner that’s accomplishing a lot with the resources you have.
4. Pat Yourself on the Back
There’s a difference between bragging and celebrating hard work. This goes hand-in-hand with point number one. Celebrate your wins. The big ones, the small ones, and the ones you may not even recognize as wins at all!
Giving yourself credit when it is due is appropriate and can have a positive effect on your mindset. If you’re struggling to recognize the wins in your business, take an inventory of the personal difficulties or setbacks you’ve had to overcome to get you here. What obstacles have you overcome – or what do you overcome everyday as part of your routine?
You may have more wins than you realize.
5. Examine Your Business Model
If you feel burnt out because you are overworked, it’s time you realize that just because you’re the leader, doesn’t mean you have to be a part of every meeting, project, or even decision.
When you were building your practice, you spent time handpicking quality employees – so give them appropriate responsibilities and learn to loosen the reigns a bit. Delegation is your friend.
This is why the Elite Advisor Success System is designed to shift you from a successful advisor to a Financial Services Business Owner – teaching you how to delegate tasks, build a team of rockstars, and confidently transfer clients from you to your team. It’s a model I know works because it’s exactly what I used to build a seven figure firm.
If you’re in a business that is only successful because your name is on the door and the clients must see you in every interaction, you risk burnout because you are the only resource and you’ll inevitably get stretched too thin.
The Elite Advisor Training can help. I can help you learn the proven blueprints that show exactly how to build a self-sustaining seven-figure financial services business without working more hours. You’ll also learn to successfully avoid burnout as a financial advisor too! Get in touch with me here!
Related: Aston Martin Lagonda: Free Cashflow Should Be Around the Corner