Advisors often face challenges in running their business. Some are caused by external forces and some are self-imposed. Read on to see if these diary entries resonate with you.
Sometimes I wonder what is going on here. Things might be going so well and then, poof, nothing seems to be going right. At times, I’m not sure if we’re heading in one direction or another – much less the right one. The future feels looming and uncertain. I’m excited, confused, stressed, happy and a tad scared, all at the same time. I’m tired of the constant highs and lows and the sense that we’re just wondering aimlessly.
I have tried several things to mend what I’m feeling:
- I haven’t taken any time off for a year, so I thought, “maybe my brain just needs a break.” I took three days off last week, but I found that I spent most of my time thinking even more about these things. When I got back to work, the issues seem to be magnified due to my time away.
- I remembered hearing something on a WebEx about optimizing technology to run more efficiently. I signed up for free trials on three different optional technology platforms. After a day of learning the new systems, I was more overwhelmed and felt as though I was only making things more complicated.
Finally, it dawned on me during a meeting with a prospective client. He wanted me to review his statements as well as learn about my philosophy and fee schedule. I assured him that we would cover those items toward the end of the meeting, and instead started with the financial planning conversation. This guy had a hard time articulating his goals and discussing his values. Due to the distractions, I wasn’t on my game, either. When he asked, “how can you help me?” I almost laughed! How can I help the man if he doesn’t know what he’s working toward…? Then it hit me!!! I was this prospective client in my own situation. I realized that I lacked context, direction and purpose. It was time to put pen to paper and revisit my initial business goals to help make sense of what I was feeling and my priorities.
I’ve worked through why I do what I do – my mission statement. I’ve determined where I need to be in five years – my vision statement. In doing so, it became abundantly clear what to focus on and what to let go of. I am not quite there but am able to put into perspective the stress and frustration that I’ve been feeling. I now have the beginnings of a litmus test to gauge business decisions, and I feel like I have direction.