The thing about the American dream is that it is unique to each person. For some, it means rising to the top of a large, well-known corporation. For others, it means creating their own large corporation and having their name atop a tall building downtown. For others, it means being an independent financial advisor with a small staff and a nice building in the suburbs. For still others, the dream means being an independent advisor who has the ability to work out of the home.
As the spirit of entrepreneurship has shown, none of these dreams is right or wrong. They all can work, and they all have. For those with the last dream – working at home, eliminating the commute and realizing the freedom of total independence – it is within reach. And it isn’t just small-time advisors who are doing it. One marketing organization executive says he knows of an advisor who has annuity sales of $9 million and works out of his home.
“It’s all a matter of what you want to do and how you want to do it,” says Bo Johnson, chief marketing officer, Financial Independence Group, Cornelius, N.C. “You can do it and be successful.”
To help advisors define and design their home-office space, we talked to a home-workspace expert about design elements and what makes a home office work, and also an advisor who has successfully transitioned from a traditional office building to his home.
Made the change
A decade ago, Bob Adams believed successful advisors had to have a traditional office space outside their homes.
“I was adamant about having an office,” recalls Adams, CFP, CPA, president of Winter Park, Fla.’s A Safe Harbor (www.asafeharbor.com). “I wasn’t sure I had the discipline to do a home office.”
A series of events – his assistant’s death, a move to a smaller space, encouragement from his wife – led to Adams’ decision to base his office out of his home. He knew immediately that if he was going to have a home office, he was going to have a home office – not working off his kitchen table and calling it the office. He dedicated two of three bedrooms on one side of his house as office space, and he set out to decorate them as well as he could.
“You need that, because it leads to confidence,” Adams says of his nicely decorated space. “I was insecure early on and I used to apologize for working out of my home. Not anymore.”