"You are making promises.  You have a duty to survive." -Tom S.  


I am not sure I have ever heard it said so succinctly.  You make clients promises every time they hire you.  You have a responsibility to them to run a viable business so that you can honor those commitments.  


You hear me talk about Advice-based Planning and Ideal Clients all the time.  It would be easy to take away from that the idea that I am a purist.   


Advice-based Planning or die… 


I am a realist!  In the early years of your business, you have to sell stuff to stay alive.  Maybe you are lucky, and you found your way to a planning focused firm that gave you a salary from day one.   


You might be the unicorn, but more likely you are more like the rest of us.  You have to sell to stay alive so that you can build the business you envision. 


I want to tell you, that is OK!  And being a purist will likely lead to your failure early on.  If you want to stay alive to keep those promises, you have to hustle!  And keep hustling, until you have built a foundation under you to support a 100% Advice-based Practice.  


So, how we can we reconcile the desire to be a more evolved advisor with the financial realities of the business?  It isn't hard, you just have to have a code of conduct in everything you do that allows you to feel good about everything you "sell". 


What might this look like?    


For me it was something like this… 

  1. There are families and individuals out there who need what I have to offer.
  2. My job is to put myself out there and make it easy for them to find me.
  3. I will help clients understand what they need and can afford to improve their financial life.
  4. I will offer only those solutions that best serve a client's needs.
  5. In that process I will identify Ideal Clients and offer my comprehensive Advice-based Planning services.


You don’t have to use manipulative sales tactics.  You don't have to sell things that aren't a fit for the client.  Always do the right thing and find a way to serve everyone who comes into your office.  


Over time, you will find enough Ideal Clients to make you less dependent on those one-off product sales.  But if you don’t make it that far, the Ideal Clients you do have will be back on the street.  


In Tom's wise words, "You are making promises.  You have a duty to survive." 


With Purpose,




PS I would love to hear what you think about this!  Do you struggle to balance your financial reality with the need to stay alive?  If so, come share your story with us in The Intentional Advisor Mastermind!  We would love to hear from you! 






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