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Achieving Balance for Financial Advisors

How to achieve work life balance for financial advisors

Being a Financial Advisor has historically been a profession, at least in the early years, where one had to work way over 40 hours a week, miss special moments with their loved ones, spend nights and weekends on the road, all while not having a consistent paycheck. Can we say stressful and out of balance?

I was one of these advisors. Looking back at the first couple of years as an advisor, I sometimes wonder how I ever made it! After becoming overweight, overstressed, and not excited to go to work every day, I had to make some changes.

The funny thing about being an advisor is that a big part of the work we do is to help our clients live their best lives, planning to do it today and many years in the future. Yet what most advisors aren’t told or realize is that many of us put our own lives on hold to help our clients live theirs. This never made sense to me; talk about a contradiction!

Work Life Balance is Real

Being a financial advisor is not a zero-sum game. There’s no reason we can’t help our clients while also realizing a healthy work life balance for ourselves in the process. But it won’t happen by accident. In my early years I just thought that things would eventually get easier as I made more money and acquired more clients, but all that happened is that things got harder and more stressful.

But since making some fundamental changes to the way I live and work I have been able to realize the most amazing life! I work less (like only 10 hours a week as an advisor), make more than I ever have, and am able to do it with location independence. Yes, you read that right; I am no longer tied to a physical location.

I spend more time with my family, pursuing my passions (like travel, surfing, and cars), building new businesses, and enjoying a calmer and more fulfilling life.

You may ask how is this possible and what do your clients think?  Well, I have one simple response.  Be the shining example of what is possible when living your best life to your clients.  Do this, and anything is possible.  Your clients don’t want to work with a burned-out advisor who is always chasing the next sale and missing special moments with their family. Your clients want a guide to help them use their money to live their best life. The analogy I love to use as a million-miler on Delta Airlines comes from their pre-flight safety announcement. You’ve probably heard it before, “Make sure to secure your own mask before assisting others….” How can we help our clients if we can’t help ourselves?

How to Achieve Work Life Balance as a Financial Advisor

Buying into this ideal of balance yet? I sure hope so!  But just because you have decided to take your life by the reigns doesn’t mean things all of a sudden come into balance. So how do you achieve work life balance as an advisor?

Now, this is important; hear me out. Start with You. Start with identifying your hopes, dreams and goals. Don’t just jot down some bland, general ideas like “I want to retire” or “I want to travel”; those aren’t real enough. Instead, get specific, when do you want to retire, and what date exactly? Want to travel? Where, specifically, and why do you want to go there?

The list should include things you want now, in the near future, mid-term future, and way down the road. Of course, the list is not static either, but a living document that will change as life happens and you achieve the different things you are looking for. But, without a specific target to focus on, you will never realize what is important to you.

The next step? Create a physical vision board. I mean it, don’t do this on your computer. Instead, get some poster board, print out pictures, cut out pictures from a magazine, etc.  The more this board is real, something you can touch, the more you are setting yourself up for success. It may feel a little hokey, but our minds were built to interact with physical things, and when they do, your subconscious will go to work 24/7 to get what is in front of it.

Think I’m crazy? Well, once I created my vision board, I realized more success and did more in life than I had without one. In addition, I’ve updated my vision board multiple times over the years, which is a clear sign I’ve achieved things on it!  But hey, don’t take my word for it, take it from someone who has a Ph.D in this stuff, my friend, Dr. Travis Parry.

There is a lot more to achieving balance than what I just outlined, but they are the foundational steps. Achieving balance is simple but not easy. It will take time, effort, thoughtfulness, and a willingness to do the work if you truly are looking for a better way to live and run your business.

Achieving Balance

Travis and I have never met in person, although that is changing in the coming weeks as we prepare to get our families together and go surfing. Still, we knew early on that we both firmly believed that financial advisors deserve to live a balanced life.

Heck, I created Conneqtor for financial advisors as a way for them to achieve balance while building the business of their dreams. Travis has done the same with his Make Time Institute & Advisor Coaching, and his awesome book Achieving Balance.

In fact, we are on the same page (pun intended!), so much so that he asked me to write the forward for his book. It was not only an honor and privilege but proof positive that the work we are doing matters and that lot of financial advisors feel like something is missing from their product & sales focused training.

Work Life Balance – A parting thought

Should you read Travis’s book? Yes!  Should you check out Conneqtor? Yes!

But let me leave you with one parting thought on work life balance. Flip it. Change it to Life Work Balance. Unless you intend to live to work, flip the mindset to working to live. Starting with this one simple yet profound mindset change will open up your mind and life to opportunities you never knew existed.

Sending positive vibes your way,

Derek Notman

AKA The Balanced Advisor

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