You can’t unhear a challenging question.
Once it’s out there, it triggers a response – perhaps just a fleeting thought or emotion. And once that’s happened, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube despite your best efforts.
And there are days when such questions are welcomed and others when you’d be just as happy if people kept quiet. Because it’s comforting to have our heads in the sand sometimes. I get it; I’ve had my head firmly planted in ground more than once.
Today, I simply want to ask you some questions about your business (and your life). My intent is to get you thinking about what’s possible. And I do that because I’ve seen how amazing transformations have grown out of simple questions, when we’re willing to feel slightly uncomfortable and when we get intentional about change.
If any of the questions does make you uncomfortable, that’s a good thing. The reality is that discomfort has an important place in our lives. It triggers forward motion.
The Big Eight Questions
#1 Do you lead with personal vision or business vision?
If it’s the latter, where – if at all – does your personal vision fit into the future of your business? Isn’t it a personal vision that drove us to start a business in the first place? If you’ve pushed your personal vision to the back burner – or forgotten you had one – won’t that impact fulfillment?
#2 Do you have a clear vision for the future of your business that energizes and inspires you?
If not, what gets you jumping out of bed in the morning beyond some over-riding sense of responsibility for everyone around you? If you aren’t feeling a real passion, will that impact your success in the long run? The fact is that advisors can still be passionate about the business, but need to change the role they play to create enduring personal engagement.
#3 Do you ever feel stuck, despite having a successful business, yet wonder if you have the right to want more?
If you do (and even if you haven’t fully articulated that to yourself) is it possible that you aren’t ‘showing up’ for your clients, your team (or perhaps your family) in the way you really want to?
#4 Are you clear on how your role on the team will or should evolve over time?
Should your role evolve as your business grows, creating capacity to focus on the things that you can and should be doing to drive it forward? If your role doesn’t change, is it possible that you’ll become a roadblock for growth or that your energy will wane?
#5 Can you see a clear alignment between your personal vision, your business vision and your client and team experience?
If not, are you creating a drag on growth or, at a minimum, missing an opportunity to create meaningful momentum?
#6 Have you designed your client experience to intentionally and actively support the unique needs of the clients you want to serve?
If your client experience isn’t actively supporting a defined niche, are you attempting to be all things to all people? (We all know how that goes.)
#7 Have you designed your team experience to intentionally and actively reflect the client experience you want to deliver?
If not, have you unintentionally created a disconnect between your human capital strategy and your client experience? What would happen if they were tightly aligned?
#8 Do you challenge yourself in areas of your life other than business?
If not, are you creating an ‘energy drag’ because you are over-investing in one area of your life?