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Your Business is Begging You to Let Go

Gain control of your business by giving up a bit of it.

You might read the title and assume we’re suggesting that you be less involved in your business. Hardly the case. We want you to be more involved, but with the highest-impact activities possible. Too many advisors are stuck in day-to-day routines that are counterproductive. Our message is about letting go to gain control. Here are three ways to make that happen. ...

Let Go of Always Being Right

let-go-1.pngSome people fall into the trap of feeling like the right answer has to be their answer. For example, the senior advisor insists on doing client reviews a certain way, even as the team presents new and better ways of engagement. Be in search of the best option available, regardless of source. 

Not only does this result in better business practices, but better team dynamics as well. The need to be “right” has the tendency to push your team away. They learn that their ideas aren’t valued and start to provide fewer of them.  You’ve built a group of smart and talented people around you for a reason. Don’t let your own ego hijack your ability to lead.

Let Go of Always Being in the Middle

let-go-2.pngAs a leader, you may feel a sense of paranoia. A need to be in the middle of every aspect of your business. We get it. This is your livelihood we’re talking about. But being in the middle of every task and discussion puts a ceiling on your growth potential. If you owned a car wash, would you inspect every car? Or wash them? No, you’d build a team for that and focus instead on marketing and expansion.

Not to mention, forcing your involvement in every project, planning meeting and strategy session sends a signal to your team that you simply don’t trust their abilities. The result? Your team starts anticipating your involvement and becomes reliant on you. 

Err on the side of giving your team more autonomy and letting them prove you wrong, as opposed to making them prove that they deserve autonomy.

This means you have to be able to delegate with confidence. There are a number of methodologies for delegation, if you’d like to see ours, check it out here: The ABC Solution to Delegation. But the ability to execute a delegation strategy starts with understanding that you have to give up control in order to maintain it. 

Let Go of the Status Quo

let-go-3.pngWhen you initially built your business, you took risks. Frankly, you had no other choice. Maybe you cold called, door knocked or networked like you were running for mayor. Maybe you tried billboards or wasted money on print ads. Regardless, you experimented. You tried new things as a means of finding what works.

As many businesses mature, they stop taking those risks. Over time, often without realizing it, they became complacent and less innovative. They live the mantra of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”

If you feel your need for certainty could be holding your business back, ask yourself the following questions.  What marketing ideas have crossed my mind but I’ve yet to execute? Am I neglecting or embracing new technology? What will my business look like in 10 years, and am I prepared for that? 

Most advisors need to come up for air and let their business breathe. They need to refocus their energies on the next great milestone instead of obsessing about maintaining the current.  

Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols are partners with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. @StephenBoswell @KevinANichols

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