In my post Principles of a Financial Advisor, I talk about one of my key principles of business being surrounded by great people. I am very passionate about this because I beleive everything we accomplish we accomplish with the help of others.
When it comes to business, it is critical to build a team of great people to help you become successful. You ability to assemble the right group of people will ultimately dictate your future success. Here’s a list of some people that will surround you
1. Mentors. Mentors are successful people who have the experience and knowledge to help you become more successful. When I first became a financial advisor, I did so with the help and guidance of Tom Kofin. He was a successful advisor and the perfect person to model myself after. Do you have a mentor? If not, find one because it can only help you become better at what you do.
2. Peer groups. Building on the mentor theme, it can be good to have a group of other advisors that you can bounce ideas off of. When I was an advisor, I was envious of an advisor group of 8 successful advisor who got together a few times a year to talk about their practices with one another. What’s interesting is you could consider these 8 advisors competitors because they were all from different offices but in a simliar geographical region. But because they all had different areas of expertice, they could still learn from one another. You see, the principles of business are universal whether you sell mutual funds, life insurance, group benefits or hamburgers. Getting together with other business owners can really help your business even if you sell different products or services.
3. Staff. It’s pretty obvious that good staff can make you look good. I remember Joan who was our office ‘everything’. She answered phones, did administration, managed our calendar, helped with marketing, etc. But the one thing she was exceptionally good at was greeting clients when they came into the door. Clients loved Joan and she made us look great.
4. Clients. I remember as an advisor early in my career, I took anyone who wanted to become a client. It’s an economic reality but at some point you realize that there are some clients that are a whole lot better than others and it’s not just financial. There were some clients that were friendly, easy to deal wtih and listened to my advice. Even if they did not have big accounts, they were enjoyable to work with. There’s something to be said about defining your ideal client and also defining the clients you do not want. Wouldn’t you be much happier if you were surrounded by perfect clients?
5. Circles of influence. Good circles of influence are great for business. These people become your raving fans and not only become a great source of business but also a great way to build a brand and a reputation. As a financial advisor, there is great power in working with accountants, lawyers, financial professionals with different expertices. I know some people have found tremendous success with network groups. Whatever the case, a good circle of influence is a great person to have on your team of advocates.
Someone once told me if you want to become rich, hand around rich people and learn what they do. I guess the same goes for anything in business. If you want to be successful then you have a better chance hanging around successful people. If you want to be happy, hang around happy people. It makes sense to me . . . how about you?