The People Behind You
What do you think is the biggest problem of most firms in our industry/profession?
Can you take a guess at what the answer might be?
Take a shot.
I have posed this question to many of you and here are some of the responses – “I need more clients, I need to grow, “marketing”, I don’t know who to meet or how to prospect or how to get HNI clients/or what to even say to them.” While all of these are valid problems, the first one to be fixed (or the biggest one) is a very different one. It’s often easy to miss it. Many don’t even see this as a problem.
Have I given enough hints?
And did you come up with a different answer now?
Let me know if you actually did because I have seen many of the seasoned professionals having this blind spot. They can’t figure this one out.
Even if I did a Kaun Banega Crorepati (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire) type Audience Poll, the most common answer I am likely to receive is – I need more clients.
We all think we need more clients. Isn’t this evident?
But this answer is the wrong answer (Galat Jawaab).
In fact, I am about to say something that you might not even agree with initially.
The biggest problem is that we have too many clients.
Yes, you read that right and let me repeat it again.
We have too many clients.
We need fewer clients. We don’t need more clients; We need better clients. We need the right ideal clients.
What about you? Do you have too many clients?
In fact, this is such a sneaky problem that you won’t even realize it as a problem.
The key part here is that your best clients subsidize everyone else. Your best clients compensate you for all the others, often leaving you with very little time for them. Your non-ideal clients simply take up too much of your time.
Too many clients lead to the second key problem – too much work. There is hardly any time left to focus on the business. You are always working in the business. You are running from pillar to post. From this meeting to the next. From this email to that WhatsApp Message to respond. Market Events to attend. There is hardly any breathing time.
Have you ever thought about the cognitive load in our industry/profession?
You are thinking about the stock markets. You are thinking about your client’s portfolio. You think whether they need to get out of equity or rebalance their portfolio. You are thinking about their long-term financial well-being. You think about their retirement. You think about an additional investment to include in the portfolio. There are hundreds of such things that you think about. All of this might be taking a toll on you. While you are unlikely to admit this to others, you internally know this is happening.
Don’t underestimate this cognitive load.
Besides the cognitive load of the technical aspect of your work, there is additional stress of building a business, managing a team, professional (and personal) development and family responsibilities.
Instead of being the Chief Executive Officer, you are now the Chief Everything Officer.
All of this happens because you are trying to do everything yourself.
Dan Sullivan with Doctor Benjamin Hardy in his book “WHO NOT HOW”, wrote, “Do you have WHOs in your life that give you the perspectives, resources, and ability to go beyond what you could go alone?
Or are you keeping your goals so small to make them easier to accomplish on your own?
Do you really think you must be the one to put in the blood, sweat, and tears, bearing the whole load to prove your capability?
If you are ready to realize a much bigger and more powerful future, then you must stop asking yourself, “How can I accomplish this?”
That question, although common, leads to mediocre results, frustration, and a life of regrets.
A much better question is “Who can help me achieve this?”
Think about this for a moment.
How would your goals change if you could find people- WHOs– that could help you achieve everything you wanted in your life?
How would your confidence change if you had several WHOs producing the results with you?
How would your time be spent if you were no longer the one doing everything?
How would your life change if you had brilliant WHOs that made your goals easier to accomplish?
However, it takes wisdom to recognize that 1) other people are more than capable of handling much of the How’s, and 2) that your efforts and contributions (your How’s) should be focused exclusively where your greatest impact is. Your attention and energy should not be spread thin, but purposefully directed where you can experience extreme flow and creativity.
You will need world class collaborators to help take your thinking and work to places that not only you, but your competitors, could never imagine.
“And when the vision is important enough, the right team of WHOs will come together for you.”
This is exactly what I have experienced in my professional journey over the last 17+ years in this profession.
The right WHO’s come knocking for all of us, but we must know how to collaborate.
As Charles Darwin noted, “In the history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” In short, those who found their WHO’s have prospered beyond their wildest imaginations. As Asian saying comes to mind here – “Behind every able person, there are always other able people.”
The question then is – Who are the able people behind you?