For many business owners, striking the balance between a profitable business and a healthy lifestyle seems like an insurmountable feat. Most narratives about lifestyle-focused practices become synonymous with lackluster business success.
But does an emphasis on lifestyle have to be exchanged for a notable reduction in revenue? Is there an alternative to choosing between business and personal success? How can you structure a well-balanced life and a practice that provides a solid living?
Here at ACP, we believe that building a profitable practice and living a life you love can and should be one and the same. But that doesn’t mean it comes without hard work, discipline, and tenacity to help get you there.
Our blog post today is based on our podcast episode, The Profitable Lifestyle Practice, which explores the many ways you can start to build a successful lifestyle-focused practice.
Define your view of balance
A well-balanced practice doesn’t look the same for each person. What makes sense for other business owners may not make sense for you, so it is important to start off this conversation today thinking about what balance means to you.
Balance is a unique word that actually means many different things depending on the context. It can refer to holding something up and keeping an object or group steady. It can also be talked about as a comparison agent, something that offsets the value of another object. But balance can also refer to equality and creating equal proportions between two things.
Each of these definitions of balance can be applied to your work as a business owner. Let’s walk through the following questions:
- How does balance function in your life now?
- What does a balanced life mean to you?
- In what ways can you use your past experiences to set up your work/life balance?
Take some time to think about the answers to these questions. They force you to think about how your business currently operates and some holes that exist in your structure. The thing about balance is that it takes time, introspection, and proactive action to get right.
You as a business owner need to actively create balance, in whatever way that means to you because the balance in business won’t be created for you. It needs to be carved out with meaning and intention.
Create and set your own limits
Once you have an idea of what balance means for you and how you want to see it operate in your life, the next step is figuring out how to get there. As you work to create balance, you will need to set concrete limits for your time.
Start with your non-negotiables. These are things that are important to you in creating a meaningful, fulfilling life. That might be ensuring you take a week off every summer for a family vacation, or not opening up your computer to respond to emails after dinner, or attending your kids’ sporting events, or setting clear office hours that you don’t extend beyond.
These are just a few examples of what some non-negotiables can look like. When you can define them and put them into practice you are setting yourself and your business up for success.
When you respect your own time, your clients will be more likely to respect your time too. If they see that you take your own advice and live a fulfilling life that makes you happy, they will be more compelled to respect that and develop trust in you that the tenets on which you built your practice also carry over into your personal life.
If they should live a fully balanced life, so should their advisor. Your balance comes from the relationships you create and the consistency in how you manage that. When your values, messaging, and behavior are consistent with how you live your life and operate your business, this will help create natural boundaries.
For new advisors just starting out, this may be easier to maintain. But we encourage you as you grow to continue to set limits for yourself and your clients. Creating clear, actionable, and valuable expectations will actually be better for your business in the long run.
Optimize your time
As business owners, one thing we are always lacking in is time. When you are working to create a lifestyle-focused practice, time becomes even more precious because it asks you to not only spend time on your business but more importantly that you set time aside for yourself and your personal life.
A great way to optimize your time in your practice is to embrace technology, software, and automation in your processes and workflows. Advisors spend so much time on daily workflow tasks, and when that time is freed up it allows you the space to invest the time back into your business or your personal life.
Some ways to increase the efficiency of your workflows are:
- Automate online scheduling tools
- Utilize portfolio management tools
- Build out client processes and workflows
- Employ the services of a virtual assistant
The key here is to add efficiency and scale to your time and business model. Take the scheduling tool for example. If this saves you 10 minutes for each client you work with in a week and you have 30 clients, that gives you five additional hours each week to provide added value to your clients and have a date night with your spouse or take a spontaneous camping trip.
Why a lifestyle-focus can improve your business
Clients are interested in working with an advisor who is smart, proactive, creative, and, most importantly, happy. When your clients see you taking your own advice and living according to the values you hope to instill in them, they will be more willing and open to trust you with helping them build their wealth and reach their goals.
Our members at ACP know that building a profitable lifestyle-focused practice is anything but simple, but with the right resources, time, and support it can enrich their lives and the lives of their clients more than they ever thought possible.
It is time to break the stereotype that you have to sacrifice your personal happiness to build a profitable business. You can have a beautiful life, create optimum services, and make a great living.
There is a large psychological barrier that needs to be broken through and our community is excited to educate advisors about how to do that.
Our members have access to education, mentorship, and other resources that allow them to build their practices one day at a time. Interested in how a membership with ACP will impact your practice? Reach out to us today.