3 Choices in Business that Lead to Success or Failure

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Success or failure is a choice—whether conscious or unconscious—a choice nonetheless. The thing about success and failure in your business is that you are constantly stepping toward one or the other.

Abraham Maslow, renowned psychologist, echoed this belief when he said, You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.”

Watching which direction you step is to choose each step wisely. Choosing to step forward toward pursuing your goals could bring with it the fear of the unknown. Choosing to step backward toward complacency could bring with it the comfort of familiarity. But you must ask yourself this, is it better to boldly succeed or is it better to safely fail?

Understanding Your Daily Direction

Most advisers start each day without any thought of what direction their business is going. Granted, some may have what I refer to as proactive activities scheduled—such as prospecting appointments; but many advisers spend their day on reactive activities—such as putting out client fires and other interruptions to their schedule.

At the end of the day, many may feel like it was productive or unproductive based on their perception of the amount of proactive or reactive tasks they accomplished.

One example of this is an adviser who would be feeling accomplished because they opened a new account, thus, growing their business. On the other side would be an adviser who felt they were productive returning/taking calls, thus keeping clients satisfied.

The real question is which adviser moved toward accomplishing their goals? Let’s explore the answer below by looking at three choices and how each pertains to business.

Choice No. 1: Stepping Backwards

Stepping backwards in your business is a slippery slope that seems to be paved with good intentions. While putting out fires is important, your client base will never consistently grow unless you incorporate daily prospecting. An adviser who only works with their current client base is, in fact, taking a step backwards by doing so because over time the client base decreases due to client attrition. The solution is to schedule time to prospect daily so you can fill up the pipeline and grow your business.

Choice No. 2: Staying Stationary

Staying stationary in your business is a misnomer because a business is either growing or shrinking. However, many advisers who are on a production plateau feel comfortable because their business is not trending downward—that is until they experience a bad market and quickly realize that their assets under management are spiraling south. It is oftentimes at this crossroad where any unhappy clients leave as well.

Again, the solution here is to prospect daily. The reason why growing a client base is more important than just the returns on investment growth is because the more qualified clients you have, the less dependency you have on any one client.

Choice No. 3: Stepping Forward

Stepping forward with your business takes dedication and discipline to integrate the activities that are needed to grow and to maintain and service your existing client base. It’s done by ensuring structure to the day and having a method to prioritize and/or delegate interruptions. In also requires that you work smarter by getting more effective at everything you do and not just by working harder doing more of what you have already been doing. Look for areas of your business that you believe need improvement and find ways to make those areas stronger.

Finding Your Path

Before we explored these three choices, I asked you the question regarding which adviser took a step forward toward accomplishing their goals? The answer is neither, because each adviser focused on only one aspect of the business. To find your path to success you need to create a balance between all facets of running a business by evaluating and implementing best practices.

If you are ready to take your business to the next level, schedule a complimentary 30-minute coaching session with me by emailing Melissa Denham, Advisor Solutions’ director of client servicing.

Dan Finley
Daniel C. Finley is the president and co-founder of Advisor Solutions, a business consulting and coaching service dedicated to helping advisers build a better business.

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