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How to successfully grow your advice business

The 3 possible paths every business owner can take


It’s a word that can so universally define what we seek in life.

Transformation from toiling away 9–5, to the freedom and leisure retirement can provide…

Transformation from undervalued, overworked employee, to wealthy business owner in control of your own destiny…

In New York Times bestselling book ‘Building a StoryBrand’ author Don Miller talks about transformation in terms of the human desire for an “aspirational identity.” To leave behind an unwanted self in pursuit of something more.

And whilst our aspirational identity will vary dependent on what stage we are at in life, the journey looks incredibly similar.

In my case, as it is for many of the business owners I work with, I wanted to successfully grow my advice business so that I could call myself a real business owner rather than simply ‘self-employed’.

The Three Paths

When setting out in pursuit of an aspirational identity, it’s as though we are gifted an incredibly bright torch we can use to light the seemingly clear path ahead.

But a short while into our journey we begin to encounter unforeseen bends in the road, forcing us to question whether we really know where we are going?

We watch on nervously as the torch we are holding begins to flicker.

At this point in our journey we reach a fork in the road. We can take three possible paths:

1. There is the option to ‘retreat’

To head back where we came from, defeated but comforted by the familiarity of where we started out.

2. There is the option to ‘plough through it’

To forge ahead despite a lack of direction. Reminding ourselves of the saying ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ as the razor-sharp blackberry bushes begin to thicken and the path becomes narrower.

3. Finally, there is the option to ‘stop and ask for direction’

To seek guidance from someone who knows the way, someone with a map which shows the clear path to success. No different to the way your clients seek out direction from youtheir trusted adviser.

In the world of advice, I just wish more business owners stopped to ask for direction. To seek out help from those who hold the map to success, and who can help them avoid failure. 

Put another way, our clients pay us to be their guides, but who is guiding the guides? 

I’ve personally invested over $100k in coaches and advisers over the years, and I credit them for the success I’ve achieved. They’ve helped me grow my advice business from one adviser in one location, to now nine advisers, across three locations in under four years — ‘self-made’ I am not.

If you’re wondering what my journey looked like, I can assure you I trudged a fair distance down paths one and two, before ultimately stopping to ask for direction. Only after stopping was I able to find a mentor who had achieved what I wanted to achieve. Someone who had a proven plan, and I simply followed the plan.

If you seek transformation in your business (and in your life) don’t repeat the mistakes I once made. Find a guide and follow their plan.

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