The following is based on one of Norm Trainor’s clients. All of the names and telling details have been changed to preserve client privacy.
Initially, Ted’s success as a financial advisor was based upon his charisma and status as a former professional basketball player. Standing 6 feet 7 inches tall and a muscular 230 pounds, he is an impressive man.
His athletic prowess and warm personality drew people to him. Having played and coached professional basketball for 11 years, he returned to his hometown and started a new career as a financial advisor. In just three years, his income exceeded $500,000. However, when I started working with him, he was frustrated and the growth rate of his business was slowing. Until that point, growth had come naturally.
In our work with financial advisors, we’ve learned that an advisory practice does not grow in a linear progression. Instead, growth follows a series of “S” curves with breakpoints or “ceilings of complexity” that determine whether the practice will evolve to the next level. Each curve consists of an initial stage of formation or building the base for growth, a second stage of significant growth and a final stage of slowing growth and reaching a plateau.
The peak of the “S” curve is the breakpoint. At this point, future growth requires a new approach and the formation of a new “S” curve. Typically, the breakpoints occur around $125,000 of revenue, $250,000, $500,000, $1 million and $5 million. Talented advisors like Ted can get to $500,000 or even $1 million solely by leveraging their unique ability. For many advisors, this is exactly what they want to accomplish.