The pinwheel paradigm can help an advisor move energy in a single direction to create a congruent business life
There are a lot of things that might motivate a successful advisor to leave the security of a big firm and go independent but, from where I sit, the common ground amongst all who make the move is a need for congruence.
When one’s internal governor feels “out of sync” with how he is living his life that creates incongruence. Nothing causes headaches, ulcers, unhappiness, irritability, and the like more than knowing deep down that what you are doing and how you are doing it no longer feels right. And nothing wastes more time and energy—two things no one ever has enough of.
An advisor who manages more than a billion dollars in client assets or an advisor with less than $100mm under management is as likely to feel the desire for greater freedom, flexibility and control, and know with every fiber of his being that he just won’t get it if he continues to stay the course in employee-land. It’s a calling, I suppose, that says:
“I am ready and willing to take the leap of faith required to become an entrepreneur because I put my personal contentment and my clients’ wellbeing above all else. No matter how big a check the major firms wave in front of me, accepting that incentive just won’t satisfy that nagging feeling deep in my soul.”
And those that have chosen entrepreneurship will tell you that once that “ah-ha moment” is upon you, there is just no turning back.
So, what do you do once you get that bright light of clarity about how you want to spend the rest of your professional life? Certainly, there is no shortage of reading material, recruiters, business development officers and the like that can help to inform you on the ever expanding waterfall of possibilities. From quasi-independent models to independent broker dealers, to fee only RIAs and RIA hybrids, an independent-minded advisor has lots to choose from in terms of ways to practice and how to support his professional dreams.
Yet it all starts with truly understanding what is incongruent in your business life to define what happens next. And that’s where the “pinwheel paradigm” comes in. In a pinwheel, all petals connect to a common core. Consider that common core to reflect your values, beliefs and vision. When all are connected, a force of energy moves in a single, focused direction. If a petal or two are weak or in the wrong place, the forward motion becomes limited and uneven – even though energy is being channeled to support the momentum – resulting in incongruence.
In many cases, advisors haven’t taken the time to identify what’s working and what’s not. And forward momentum suffers for it.
What does your pinwheel look like?
By visualizing what’s important to you, you create a frame of reference to define not only the right business model, but ensure that you have properly identified all of your important needs and requirements in the process.
To understand what your pinwheel looks like, choose one answer from each of the following five questions:
- Is familiarity more important than control?
- What do I value most: turnkey support or the freedom and flexibility to customize the way I serve my clients and run my business?
- Do I value a big brand name over entrepreneurship?
- Am I looking for a short-term payout or to build equity?
- Do I prefer a captive environment or one where I can build a legacy?
You’re likely to find that the answers to your questions revolve around traits shared by the employee or indy business models reflected in the pinwheel paradigm images shown above.
The good news is that there is no right or wrong answer. The goal is to identify that focused energy that is the congruency you are looking to achieve in your business life: that is, where energy is not lost on those factors that do not represent what will move you forward. When examined from this perspective, you can better understand if you’re in the right place to conduct business based on your needs and desires. So for example, your pinwheel may be primarily green, yet you are sitting in an employee seat—a good reason why you may be feeling that you’re not running on all cylinders.
Essentially, when one does what is inherently “soulful” – that is, when all is in sync with your needs and desires – you’ll find that work isn’t all that much “work” after all. Your energy is channeled in a more positive direction and in line with where you want to be and where you want to ultimately go. And that making money doing what you love to do, where you want to do it, is a far more satisfying and far less stressful path to your “best business life.”
More on this to come…