Welcome back to the 130th episode of Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Ashley Micciche. Ashley is a partner and the CEO of True North Retirement Advisors, an independent RIA near Portland, Ore. that oversees nearly $200 million of assets under management for nearly 300 clients and small business retirement plans.
What’s unique about Ashley, though, is the way that she’s managed to grow her practice and her credibility despite the challenge of starting out as a 22-year-old, and the way that she’s been able to both grow a family practice jointly with her father and also grow her own family and take two maternity leaves along the way, in a world where so many financial advisors still struggle to find time to grow and sustain a practice while also starting a family.
In this episode, we talk in depth about how Ashley built her career in the early years. The way she started out cold calling for two years with a traditional regional brokerage firm and then ironically found it more successful to start cold knocking small business owners for their retirement plan business instead, the way she took advantage of an opportunity to get published in her local business journal, not to get new prospects directly, but to use reprints of the article to get credibility with her current prospecting efforts, and the successful way she figured out how to open the conversation with small business owners to quickly get their interest for a follow-up meeting.
We also talk about how Ashley tried to find the balance between growing her practice and taking time off for maternity leave as an independent advisor. Why developing a recurring revenue stream was so crucial to create the personal financial stability to be able to take maternity leave, the arrangement she made with her father to be the backup advisor or cover with her clients if an urgent issue did crop up, and the way she communicated the news to clients that the baby was coming and that she was going to take time off, and the one thing that she’d do differently in the future, returning to work more gradually over time rather than going from months of being all out with maternity leave to suddenly being all back in when it was time.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Ashley talks about both the benefits and challenges of going independent as an RIA. From the flexibility to be able to do more with small business owners than she could at her prior broker-dealer, and the stress that came in realizing that as an independent, she has to make decisions about absolutely everything, right down to which kind of business printer they’re going to use in the office and whether to buy or lease it.