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Michael Kitces #FASuccess Podcast: Lisa Kirchenbauer on How Advisors Can Take a Sabbatical

Lisa Kirchenbauer has taken two six-week sabbaticals in the past six years. She tells Michael Kitces how.


Welcome back to the 108th episode of Financial Advisor Success Podcast!

My guest on today’s podcast is Lisa Kirchenbauer. Lisa is the founder and president of Omega Wealth Management, an independent RIA in the Washington, D.C., area that oversees more than $100 million of assets for nearly 100 affluent clients.

What’s unique about Lisa, though, is her targeted focus with two specializations: entrepreneurs and people in transition, to whom she charges a financial planning fee that starts at $7,500 a year while forming deep client relationships by implementing George Kinder’s EVOKE Life Planning process and has still managed to achieve what is completely impossible for most advisors, take two six-week sabbatical vacations in the past six years.

In this episode, we talk in depth about Lisa’s unique financial planning services for clients. The way she truly differentiates her services from the very start in prospect meetings by discussing everything from communication preferences to George Kinder’s famous three life planning questions, the additional assessment tools that she uses, from Riskalyze to Kolbe, to better understand and connect with her clients, the four-meeting financial planning process she takes all clients through before she ever talks about signing an investment management agreement, and the way she’s further honed her services into two niches: for entrepreneurs and people in transition, which aren’t the only types of clients that Lisa has but are, as she puts it, the specialties where she does her best work with clients.

We also talk about how despite developing a financial planning process with clients that are especially a deep on the advisor-client relationship, Lisa still managed to take two six-week sabbatical vacations in the past six years. The way she works with her staff for an entire year in advance to prepare the firm, train the team, and transition relevant and necessary tasks to take that sabbatical, how she trained clients as well to become less dependent on her and more comfortable working with the other members of her team, the way she breaks the news to clients, and her lessons learned about how she might have still done the sabbatical a little bit differently for the next time.

And be certain to listen to the end, where Lisa shares how the growth of her firm ultimately led to a rising level of turnover until she began to reallocate her own time to focus less on just the clients and more and truly on managing and developing her team, and the entrepreneurial operating system that she ultimately implemented to help better run and scale her practice.

So whether you’re interested in learning about what it takes to really unplug and take a sabbatical as an owner of an advisory firm, tools you can use to develop and deepen your relationships with your clients, or how to set a clear strategic direction for your firm, then we hope you enjoy this episode of Financial Advisor Success!

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