To create an excellent business life that supports a phenomenal personal life, you must take charge of your time and put the most important things first. Many advisors aren’t willing to do this. They tell their clients, “You want to be educated? I’ll educate you. You only want to meet once a year? We’ll only meet once a year. You don’t want to do comprehensive planning? Fine, we won’t do comprehensive planning. You want to give me a little piece of your money and expect me to help you when I only have part of the picture? Fine, I can accommodate that.” Then those same financial advisors wonder why they don’t make the money they want to make, have the quality of life they want, or have a valuable business to sell or pass on to their heirs.
So, what should you tell the client who wants to be educated or wants to dictate how the relationship should work instead of trusting you to do your job? Just tell the truth. Tell the client, “That’s not the basis of our relationship. There are a dozen people who are going to contribute to your financial plan and I can’t possibly be expected to know everything they know. The basis of our relationship is for me to understand YOU. It’s my job to understand your current financial situation, your goals, and what is truly important to you (your core values). Then I orchestrate the creation of a comprehensive financial plan that involves the collective wisdom and expertise of an entire team of professionals. This brings to bear virtually hundreds of years of experience to develop the best advice for you. Then it’s my job to hold you accountable to implement this advice over time, which will give you the highest probability to achieve your goals for the reasons that are important to you. We’ll meet once per quarter to provide you with progress updates, make appropriate adjustments so you achieve your goals, and ensure that you are doing your part to get where you want to be. Is this the kind of relationship you’d like too have with a financial advisor and his or her team?”
Put the tasks on your calendar that you must perform to create the business that will support the life you want and you’ll find that there’s no time left for anything else. You have time to serve existing clients, acquire new clients, and manage your staff and deliverables team. That’s all you have time to do, and none of these three activities can occupy more than a third of your time. When you become consumed with client service, your client acquisition and staff suffer. When you try to get “caught up” with hiring the right staff and organizing your office, your client service and client acquisition suffer. When you are over-weighted toward client acquisition, the other two aspects of your business suffer. It’s like having a balanced portfolio. You have to divide your time between these three vital areas consistently, all the time, over time.
There are only 168 hours in the week, period. How you use those 168 hours determines your business success, your client satisfaction, and your personal happiness and fulfillment. You have to sleep, eat, spend time with your family, exercise, and more. With the time that’s left, you have a business to run and build. And you have to run your current business while you build your ideal business. There simply is not enough time to do everything. You have to choose; 168 hours is all you’ve got.
In the end, you will end up exactly where your choices take you. As the renowned political leader and orator William Jennings Bryan once said, “Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” Make the choices today that will take you where you want to be. Take three steps back and decide how you want your life to look, create your financial game plan, and choose where and how to best spend your time. Create the kind of business you really want and take less time to achieve it.