- Being an entrepreneur encourages you to work better on every level.
- Surmounting the challenges of business ownership makes you more confident.
- You can sidestep dismaying corporate rituals like performance reviews.
Financial advisors thinking of going independent know that owning their own business is an efficient way to get their expertise into the marketplace. It’s not without challenges, but the rewards of being an entrepreneur run deeper than you might think —- even if you’ve been contemplating the move for a while.
So here, perhaps only as a reminder, are the 10 top reasons you should be going independent as a financial advisor, a lion tamer, or whatever else it is you do.
- You feel free Here we don’t mean “free” as in being free of this responsibility or that constraint. We mean “free” in a general, but still vital, sense. If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you probably view freedom as a value unto itself, a precondition for accomplishment, and the means to personal optimization. And you’re dead right about that.
- It’s an adventure Whether one only lives once is up for debate. On this plane of existence, however, life is what you make of it — and starting and running a business is a journey that can enrich your life by opening your heart to new realities and putting your intelligence, ingenuity and perseverance to the test — every day.
- You get to match your skills to the market If you’ve been at your trade, profession or calling for any length of time, you’ve probably developed a philosophy of what works best for you. You know what specific aspects you’re best at and happiest doing, and you know what kind of clients respond best to your products or services. Owning your own business lets you bring your philosophy to life by helping you home in on the work you want to do for the clientele you want to serve.
- You provide better client service Linked to but separate from the last point, working independently frees you to provide better and more sensitive customer service. It takes planning, because being an entrepreneur can force you to wear multiple hats at work, but the freedom that lets you produce your best work also enhances your ability to understand what your customers want and the flexibility needed to give it to them.
- Your confidence increases Owning a business means handling things by yourself like a proper adult. Everything involving your business, whether you have it done or do it yourself, falls on your shoulders, whether you’re a financial advisor going independent or have another skill set. Just a few weeks of taking on this responsibility builds a sense of accomplishment and confidence — and the longer you continue doing it the better you feel.
- Your time is your own Sure, you’ll probably be working a lot, but you know those little things you occasionally have to handle during work hours, especially if you have kids? Things like soccer games, bass lessons, doctor’s appointments. Well, when you work for yourself, you just do what you need to do, and catch up with work as you know you must. What a concept, right? You won’t have to ask anyone’s permission, not ever again.
- You’re in with the elite Being a business owner, however humble your business may be, puts you in kinship with other entrepreneurs, including household names like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. (You can even argue your entrepreneurship puts you a rung above over-hyped corporate functionaries like Jack Welch and Jamie Dimon.) Beyond bragging rights, your status as a business owner makes you part of a community of self-employed people that takes shape in business-building opportunities through industry associations, chambers of commerce and other clubs.
- You make more money Or you make less money — and you may well make less, especially at first as you work to achieve maximum efficiency. The point here is simple: how much you make is a matter of how hard you want to work, how readily you can understand what the market is telling you, and how quickly you can adapt to those signals. For financial advisors going independent, and for other owners, if you can work hard, and remain flexible, you can make bank.
- No more performance reviews Studies show that younger workers don’t mind performance reviews while older workers resent them quite a bit. Little wonder: the seasoned worker under review is probably more experienced than the manager who’s doing the scrutinizing, and whose assessments and biases impact the reviewee’s raise, bonus, and future with the firm. Run your own shop, and you can say good-bye to all that soul-destroying nonsense.
- It’s your destiny You’ve read this far because you’re hungry for insights on independence and suspect you were meant to own a business. It’s not about negatives like hating authority, or bucking structures, or wanting to flip the man off. Going independent as a financial advisor — or anything else — is quintessentially positive, as the culmination of many years of painstaking, if sometimes unwitting, preparation that has brought you, here and now, to the very edge of freedom.