July 20, 2011

Advisors Helping Advisors Finding the Work-Life Balance

Lisa Kirchenbauer and partner Phil Dyer are sharing their experiences with other advisors.

One of the things that my clients and I work very hard at is connecting their business lives with their goals and visions for their personal lives—and then keeping them connected as their firms grow. It’s an ongoing process that can never afford to be pushed onto the back burner, at least not for very long.

I’ve found this to be such a pervasive issue with independent advisors that I’ve often wondered why the life planning community hasn’t turned its attention toward its own profession, helping other advisors do for themselves what many already do for their own clients. Recently I ran into a financial advisor who is doing just that. 

Lisa Kirchenbauer has been a financial advisor in Arlington, Va. for 25 years, and is also a trainer and mentor for the Kinder Institute of Life Planning. For the past couple of years, she’s put together a program to help other advisors connect—or reconnect—their business and personal lives, called My Tuscany Retreat. As the name implies, Lisa has combined her advisor life-coaching with one of her favorite places in the world.

She has found the retreat concept crucial in helping advisors take a step back and look at their lives and their businesses from a broader perspective. “It’s very helpful for people to leave their offices and daily lives far behind,” she told me. “So they can think about what they really want to get out of their lives, and what’s missing from their current situation.” 

According to Lisa, the most important thing she and her partner Phil Dyer (also a CFP and a certified life coach), is to give people permission to design their business and home life the way they dream it should be. She calls this “unlocking the secret code” to where you want to be in your business, career, financial, social and family life. The result is often nothing short of a “total business transformation; one that’s refocused on what you love to do, and reconnects your business goals with your life goals.” 

I think Lisa is on to something that virtually every independent advisor needs to think about, and of course, there’s no downside to doing that thinking in Tuscany. I also like the fact that here’s a couple of veteran advisors who’ve been there and done that who are willing to transfer some of the wisdom they’ve gained by working through the stages they experienced in their own businesses to the younger generation.

It’s a great way to transition out of an advisory practice, and still benefit the profession. You can find out more about Lisa and her program at MyTuscanyRetreat.com.

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