If you talk with almost any successful financial advisor, you will hear a story of starting over, potentially multiple times.
I think my story is pretty classic in many ways.  
I started at a firm that served the military and I was recruited right out of the Army.  I wasn’t quite ready, but circled back to the opportunity after finishing my degree. 
I was so excited about the prospect of helping people and being self-employed.  Both were important factors to me.  I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I was not really part of a financial planning organization (despite the name of the company), but a product sales machine. 
After a very rough three years, the company began to open up to true planning.  I got my CFP and starting offering planning for a fee…a very small one. I was so eager to start over from being a product sales person to offering advice and managed money.
Over the next five years, I built a great business.  Recurring revenue went up every year and the quality of my advice improved as well.  But somewhere in there the culture of the organization began to pivot back to its salesman roots.  I spent those last couple of years fighting the reality that I was going to have to start over again…as an independent financial advisor.
So, after 8 years in the industry, I started over AGAIN! This time with a killer non-compete and a prayer.  Because payouts were so much higher, it only took me a year or so to build my practice back to it’s former glory.  It was such a stressful time, but totally worth it!
Do you see a trend?  There was a lot of starting over. 
When I began in the industry, there was not really a true financial planning option for someone just starting out.   
The career trajectory looked something like this:
-Survive for 3 years selling anything to anyone
-Pick your dignity up off the floor and get some credentials
-Start doing planning…for free
-Work up some courage to charge a fee
-Finally build a business the way you always intended
That is a lot of starting over…right!? 
If you are new in the business, you have a huge opportunity that generations before you didn’t have.
You can build your business right the first time!
You can learn to offer advice from the beginning.  You can start offering advice for a fee right away.  You can be a professional from day one.  
I am not saying you aren’t going to have to hustle and work with product-only clients to stay alive on the journey, but you can start building your business the right way from day one!
The old-timers always say the youngsters have it better.  But this time, I really do think they do!  
That also might mean that I am an old-timer!  But I digress.
If you are a newer advisor in the industry, here is my advice to you:
-Find a firm that will allow you to offer advice right way
-If you can mentor with an advisor offering advice, fantastic
-Get the training you need as soon as you can (you don’t need your CFP, get the licensing to allow you to accept fees and practical business training to build the business model)
-Start offering low-cost advice wherever you can (could be budgeting or basic retirement planning etc.)
-Have a goal of adding new on-going advice-based relationships consistently
-Improve your advice and raise your fee as your expertise grows
-Build recurring revenue always!
You have a huge opportunity to build a stable, profitable, valuable business that delivers high-value advice in 3-5 years instead of 10-15 years!
I challenge you to seize the opportunity and build it right the first time!

With Purpose,




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