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  • Writer's pictureKevin Elvington

Evolution From Advisor to CEO - Part 1: You're Fired!

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

As a new financial advisor, you succeeded despite all odds. With historical attrition rates across the industry of 80% or more, somehow you survived. That means that you’re a winner.

This series entitled "Evolution from Advisor to CEO," seeks to address the formula to move from simply surviving to thriving. By definition, thriving doesn’t only mean financially, but equally important, speaks to satisfaction and fulfillment.

As a young advisor, you’re required to wear many hats

You have the privilege of being promoted to the role of Director of training, head of business development, product expert, administrative and service liason, director of financial planning and lead portfolio manager, and so on. You’re required to be a jack of all trades, and lets face it, generally, that also means a master of none!

As in any profession where technical complexity exists and big decisions are being made, clients typically seek specialists to guide them. If you need to have a major surgery performed, are you more inclined to go to your local family physician because it’s “convenient”, or will you want to see the best in class to ensure the highest probability of a favorable outcome?

The question becomes, how do you as the family practitioner start to look more like a high-end hospital and less like a one person shop.

The answer is quite simple. In the words of a famous reality show host, now turned world leader, “You’re Fired”!

While circumstances early in our careers force us to wear many hats, let’s face it, some of those hats look way better on us than do others. The proverbial ceiling of complexity exists in our industry and for that matter, most industries. This notion refers to the fact that at some point, if we’re successful enough, invariably we run in to capacity issues. That’s the time when we need to begin to examine what we’re really good at and identify other important tasks that others can likely perform as well or better than we do.

Step 1: Fire Yourself!

The first stage in your evolutionary process is to fire ourselves from certain responsibilities and redirect that time and energy into things that really move the needle. Beginning to identify what The Strategic Coach refers to as “highest and best use” tasks positions us for growth. This takes some confidence, discipline and a leap of faith. In order for this equation to work, we need to be successful at acquiring talent and we need to re-purpose some of our new found capacity towards revenue growth to pay for the expense we’ve just incurred through increased overhead.

Key takeaway

Most businesses grow with the infusion of time, energy and capital. The latter is something that many in our space who run “lifestyle” practices have been hesitant to do. By continuing to fire yourself from key responsibilities and surround yourself with talent, you begin to look more like an institution with specialization and advanced capabilities. In doing so, you begin the journey from advisor to CEO.

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