The question is not, "Who ARE you?" It is, "Who will you BECOME?"
Being a business owner is so much more complicated than being an employee. It tests you as a human being in a way that punching the clock just never can.
It requires that you become an incredibly well-rounded person.
-If you are naturally detail-oriented, you have to find a way to think big picture.
-If you are inherently creative, you have to find a way to also be structured.
-If you are naturally gregarious, you still have to find a way to work alone.
In a job, you can be hired to do the things you are naturally good at. As a business owner, you have to find a way to be at least decent at everything. If you don’t, you will struggle.
Business has a way of finding your cracks and breaking them wide open, exposing them to you and the world.
It is not uncommon for a business to shutter because the owner was a good Technician, even a good Salesperson, but not a good Business-owner Advisor.
I see this all the time with financial advisors. We tend to see two primary types, with a third far more rare.
Salesman- Likely the most ubiquitous advisor, the Salesman often lacks the skills or personality traits to deliver a truly comprehensive financial planning experience. He or she is fabulous at client relationships, client acquisition and closing the deal. However, if you look very far under the hood, you will find that there isn’t a lot to back up their value proposition.
Technicians- With the advent of financial planning degrees and CFP® programs, we are seeing more and more Technicians enter the game. They love the details. They are incredible planners. They love to play in the weeds, but they often lack the Salesman’s finesse with clients. They deliver a ton of value, but they struggle to get enough people in the door to keep the lights on.
Business-owner Advisor- third is the true Business-owner Advisor. He or she is a good technician and/or hires that skillset. They tend to have solid sales skills and are great at working with people. They can work with the details AND hold the vision for the company. The successful Business-owner Advisor has to be creative, disciplined, visionary, gregarious, detailed and self-motivated. It is a rare-human being who comes out of the womb with all of those strengths intact.
"Business-owner Advisors are not born. They are created."
I have come to realize that Business-owner Advisors are not born. They are created. They are forged over years of struggle to become who you have to be in order to be successful in this business.
Natural Salesmen and Technicians end up facing a choice, become more well-rounded or work for someone else. They can be in business alone, but they will struggle if they don’t choose to develop and grow.
If you are the Salesman, you will live with the fear of being discovered; the fear that people will stop being willing to pay you for very little on-going value.
If you are the Technician, it is all about the money. You will struggle to pay the bills and get the support you need. You do such great work, but you can’t get enough people to say yes.
We all have our natural bias toward either the Salesman or the Technician. If we want to be successful in this business, we have to take stock of our weaknesses and actively work to develop them.
If you don’t, you will get slapped in the face with your weaknesses over and over and over again…
So...The question is, "Who will you BECOME?"
I would love to hear from you! What is your natural tendency and are you actively working to become more well-rounded? Where are you struggling and how can we help?
Join the conversation in our advisor-only Facebook group