Many independent advisory businesses and their owners are riding high these days: The stock market is up, which means that for lots of advisors their asset levels and business results are, too.
But as we all know, this market has been going up since 2008 —and that’s a long bull market.
I’m not saying that the market is going to take a nose dive in the coming year: I don’t know what the market will do, and neither does anyone else.
But I do know that if history is any guide, it will go down eventually. When it does, we’ll most likely see tough times for independent advisory firms, and tough times call for sound leadership.
This weekly blog aims to help advisory firm owners and those who would like to become advisory firm owners someday—all of whom likely will face market-related and/or other challenges in 2018. And one of the major mistakes they tend to make repeatedly—and can correct—are “listening too much” and “not listening enough.”
That may sound confusing. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that advisory firm owners tend to take criticism too much to heart.
Consequently, they often quit listening to employees, clients, and/or others who might give them valuable information.
Here are suggestions for being a better leader/business owner in difficult and other times:
1. Try not to be driven by fear.
Everyone has fears; it’s part of being human. Most of us are of afraid of change, being wrong, being alone, letting people get too close, failure, success, looking bad, etc. The list could go on.
To be a successful business owner, it’s important not to let these fears drive your thinking.
To be a leader of any kind is to set yourself up for criticism — it just comes with the territory when you sit in the big chair.
Some people won’t like some of the decisions you make. Others, won’t like the fact that you didn’t make some decisions.
Often it will seem that you can’t win, but that’s only true if you believe that “winning” is not getting criticized.
As a business owner, your success is running a successful business. How you define that “success” is up to you: whether it’s helping your clients, mentoring young advisors, supporting your ideal lifestyle, or any combination of these goals.