Recently, I was thinking about an Aha! moment I had about 8 years ago. We were at an event in Phoenix, and one of our top producers was sharing the many keys to his success.
This advisor was a huge success, but he didn’t fit the normal description of what you’d think a top producer was like.
Case in point: He was only 26 years old and had less than 5 years of experience.
Oh, and one more important detail: It was 2008. Other advisors just couldn’t believe this guy was doing as well as he was, given the economic conditions and his lack of experience. And so the question we kept getting was:
“How does an advisor go from being a total beginner to one of the best in the business in less than 5 years?”
Well, that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Fortunately, the answer to this question, in my opinion, is quite simple.
First, you need to become the CEO of your own business. And second, you need to become what I call a student of the game.
The two business models for financial professionals
When an advisor starts out, he is the “advisor in charge” of his business. He finds a handful of people he can delegate tasks to, but nobody he can delegate responsibilities to. Here’s what that business model looks like:
As you can see, if you’re the “advisor in charge” who always has to delegate tasks, you will quickly become the bottleneck. You will still have to work long hours even though you do have some people to help you.
If you really want to grow your business while working fewer hours, you need to become the CEO. Here’s what that business model looks like:
As the guy in charge (first org chart), you are in total control of your business. You have all the power, which is a feeling that can be very satisfying for some. However, as satisfying as it may be, it comes with a string attached. You have to carry the weight of every problem and responsibility that your business has. The weight can be so heavy that you are destined to not only stunt your growth, but to have a business that’s just one big time-sucking headache.
So the “advisor in charge” model is very limiting because you will simply run out of hours in the day.