When you’ve worked with lots of advisory businesses, you start to see common patterns among firm owners. One recurring pattern I see each year around this time is what I call “autumn angst.”
Autumn angst occurs when firm owners realize the current year is coming to an end and that many of their “goals” for the year have not been achieved. They shift their firms and themselves into high gear for one final push of activity.
These owners often want my help with these projects — think comp plans, org structures, new hires, attracting new clients, launching a new Diamond Team, etc. — causing a work overload on my business.
While your sympathy is much appreciated, the real problem is the harm these firm owners do to their businesses with these “rush” projects.
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Over the years, I’ve found that owner-advisors do much better when they stop thinking about their businesses in arbitrary time segments, such as quarters or years, that have beginnings and ends and instead think about the business as fluid — as one continuous stream of actions and results moving toward their goals.
With this approach, they can stay focused on what they’ve just done and then turn to what needs to be done next.
To help my clients stay focused on what tasks must be done next, I ask them to pay special attention to three key areas of their businesses.
Here’s what they are, why they are most important and how focusing on them can help you beat August angst:
By this I mean sorting out your goals.
We all have goals, and we usually want to work on achieving them as quickly as possible.
But most advisory firms just don’t have the resources to be working toward more than one goal (or, in rare occasions, two) at a time.
Successful business owners need to think about what is most important for the firm to be working on. Is it launching a new project, fixing problems created by the project you’ve just finished or taking a breather (so you and your staff can recover your mental and physical energy to get ready for the next project)?