2017: What’s in store for you?
It’s still early in the year and I’m pretty excited about it. Are you?
This is the perfect time to be revisiting your business plan, especially ‘why’ you are doing what you are doing. In my experience, unless you are crystal clear on the payoff for all the hard work, it can quickly become just hard work.
Here are a few ‘get started’ questions for 2017 if you haven’t already, to triple check that you’ve got the level of clarity you’ll need if you want to succeed.
Does your business plan excite you?
Funnily enough many business owners I talk to have done the business planning thing, but in no way would they describe it as exciting. What a wasted opportunity.
Recently we launched our new online course, The Ultimate Guide To Managing Your Financial Planning Business, which includes a fully facilitated business planning session. The outcome of that session is the creation of a business plan that excites you and your team.
If your plans are not exciting, why would you want to get out of bed and hit it hard every day to bring them to fruition?
Why would your team be enthused about helping you bring those plans to fruition as well?
Where’s that energy going to come from?
What will your business look like in ten years time when it’s perfect?
I want you to really take some time to visualise this. What does absolute perfection look like for you?
With a ten-year goal you can let yourself go nuts because it feels pretty unrealistic anyway. It’s almost impossible to see that far ahead. So go wild and dream big.
Don’t give me the ‘if we grow at 10% p.a. for 10 years we’ll be at £xxx’ version.
Boring, boring, boring.
Live a little. No one but you is going to know that you want to be revered as a financial planning business guru on the global speaking circuit. But if that floats your boat then write it down.
What does amazing look like to you?
What is a perfect outcome?
How many people are on your team? And how good are they?
Are you mentoring other younger advisers coming through?
Have you sold the business to internal successors because you are so financially secure already, you didn’t need to sell out to the highest bidder?
Have you won all the awards there are to win?
Have you made £20M?
Do your kids think you’re a legend as a parent and as a businessperson?
Are you an esteemed and respected member of your local community?
Give it to me. In spades.
Dear Future Me…
If this is a struggle in any way (and I acknowledge that sometimes it’s tough to really go there), try this:
Write a letter to yourself in ten years time, describing all of the amazing things that have happened to you as a result of your business and personal success.
This is often an easier way to get the detail and the soft facts around your success vision. In ten years time:
How amazing is your life?
Does the business run itself?
What do you do outside of work time?
Was there a goal that was bigger than money?
What difference has achieving your goals made on the world?
How do your family feel about the way you achieved your success?
Can your children look to you as a role model in society?
Are their members of your team that will carry on your legacy?
Has the profession of Financial Planning been enhanced by your involvement?
Most importantly, how does this all feel to you?
It’s the emotions around it all that are the real pull toward your future. Grab a pen and paper and do it longhand if that works better for you. Do it now.
Why do all of this?
Because when it gets tough this is the stuff that pulls you onward.
When you feel like you’re walking through treacle, trying to solve technology challenges, this is what keep you going. Or when you’re treading water for 18 months, while you sort out your support team, this is what you focus on.
If the pull of the future is not strong enough you won’t stick with it. Or as I mentioned in a previous article, How To Be The Best In The World: Persistence Pays Off, you’ll effectively surrender your ambition and accept mediocrity. Don’t do it.
Take some time right now at this early stage of 2017 to get absolutely clear on who you are, what you want, and why it matters. If you can do that, you’re in great shape for now and into the future.
Let me know how you go.