As we head into the holiday season, it’s good to remember no one wants to go through life alone. Sharing experiences with friends and family is how we create wonderful memories.
As busy financial professionals, though, it can be easy to become isolated and feel like you’re building a business as an individual without outside support, especially if you own a small advisory firm and have no employees or very few.
Being involved in a community of peers is important for business development, but it’s also critical for developing ourselves and growing personally.
Community groups in financial advice aren’t a new thing, but smaller groups of like-minded individuals are growing; and it’s an international trend that deserves your attention.
All advisors can benefit from being in a professional community and network of their peers. Here’s how to define your community so you can become engaged.
Four Steps to Take
Deciding on the professional community that’s right for you is essential. If you’re a new RIA owner, you may not fit well with a group of advisors who have been running their own firm for two decades. You may be more comfortable with an online group, or you may only want an offline group.
The decision to find and join a specific community is no small feat. Here are four steps to help you define what will be best for your professional and personal stage of life.
1. Decide how much you want to engage.
Some advisors want daily or weekly engagements with the network, others may prefer to check in once a month or less. The rate at which you want to engage will help keep you from burning out or feeling frustrated.
2. Pinpoint what you want to learn.
As part of this step, you need to understand your personal preference for the participation model. Decide at the outset if you want to simply be an observer and absorb knowledge or work your way toward becoming a group leader.
3. Define your desired outcome.
Your learning desires may be specific to running a business, or you may be looking for ways to be a better leader. Your objective, whatever it is, should be clear.
4. Pick the type of community you most want to join.
Many advisors get the most out of spending time with those in a similar stage of business. If you are a startup, you may want a community of young advisors, but if you’re looking at succession planning, the best group may be one also dealing with that same issue.