Self-employment brings with it freedom and flexibility, but it also presents a host of new challenges. As an independent financial advisor, there may be times when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or unsure of how to stay focused and energized. Whether you’ve been in the game for awhile, or you’re just starting out, these tips will help you keep moving forward.
First and foremost, know what you want and where you’re headed. Without a plan, your practice is likely to flounder. Goals enable you to take concrete action. Remember that it’s okay to change that goal down the road, but clear direction helps you gain momentum.
There’s a reason why the “used car salesman” is such a negative stereotype. People gravitate toward authenticity. Don’t forget that your personality, experience, and skill set are all part of the package you’re selling. Don’t hide who you are behind the fear of appearing unprofessional. Be genuine, and you’ll attract the kind of clients who are right for you.
The world is moving faster every day. If you don’t keep up with changing technologies and standards, you may find yourself left behind while even your clients pass you by. Set aside time to study the latest trends and innovations in the industry. Staying ahead of the curve’s will make you that much more valuable to your clients. Attend the annual T3 Technology Conference or subscribe to Bill Winterberg’s FPpad newsletter to help you stay relevant and up-to-date.
Know Your Limits
Running a successful practice requires endless determination and drive––so much so that it can be hard to say no when things get overwhelming. Taking on too much can result in missed deadlines and unhappy clients, not to mention serious burnout. Keep your workload manageable. Know when it’s time to seek outside help.
Treat Yourself Well
This last one can be tough for independent advisors. While salaried employees can often forget about work as soon as they leave the office, you might have a harder time leaving your work behind. Making ends meet often requires working long hours. Just remember, if you don’t take time to sleep, eat, and relax, you’ll pay for it later. Illness, mental fatigue, and burnout will all cost you more in the long run. Take care of yourself and don’t lose sight of why you chose this business.