As a financial planner and business owner, you’re at high risk for burnout. You are constantly surrounded by other advisors and financial planning professionals, and the temptation to compare your journey to theirs often can’t be avoided. You’re also fed a steady stream of media that promotes the idea of work life balance, running a successful company, and somehow achieving bigger and better goals with each passing year.
More than all of these things, financial planners tend to be their own worst critics. The pressure you place on yourself to be exceptional in life and in work can be exhausting.
The truth of the matter is that most businesses are launched by dreamers who are good at providing a specific service. Financial planning entrepreneurs have an admirable set of skills. But they aren’t trained to launch, scale, and run a business. There’s no shame in this, but it does mean that as an owner of a financial planning practice, you need to work extra hard to build a successful business – and that’s where burnout comes in.
What Is Business Burnout?
Business burnout typically feels like exhaustion. You might be tired all the time, and chalk it up to putting in longer hours. However, there’s more at work here then a good night’s sleep is going to fix. Burnout feels as though you’ve lost your “you”-ness. Your joy, drive, passion – it all dries up, and you’re left running on empty. As a business owner, you’ve likely experienced this already – possibly more than once. One client described it to me as a feeling as though they were jogging endlessly on a treadmill. They were out of energy, continuing to burn energy that they didn’t really have, and weren’t ‘really getting anywhere. Sound familiar?
The Dangers of Business Burnout
As entrepreneurs, burnout is a fact of life. At some point, you will experience it – we all do. It’s not fun, but with the right tools you can bounce back and flourish in no time. However, there are some moments when business burnout spirals out of control, and it becomes detrimental to both you and your business.
While a feeling of overwhelm is manageable for a short time, it will get worse if left unaddressed. Many entrepreneurs deal with depression, anxiety, panic attacks and more when they don’t take care of themselves or set up supportive systems within their business. This can derail the success or growth of your financial planning practice, wreak havoc on your personal and professional relationships, and stop you from doing your best work and helping clients. As much as we love being business owners, these negative impacts dictate whether or not our business is a success – and whether or not we have a thriving life outside of the office.
Setting Up Support Systems
To avoid becoming (or staying) burned out in your business, it’s important to set up supportive systems that allow you the flexibility to practice self care. This often means creating a virtual (or in-house) team, building out automated processes, and finding ways to ensure your business runs smoothly even if you need to step away for a breather every once in a while.
At New Heights Solutions, we like to focus on building systems that support you in your business. Sometimes that system is a software or tech tool that helps you to automate a process. Other times, the system is a hands-on process that you outsource to a virtual assistant, operations consultant, marketer, or paraplanner to free up time in your own schedule.
Processes to Automate and People to Hire
There are several process that financial planners can focus on automating in their business. A few of these are:
- Appointment scheduling. For this, we suggest you use a tool like Calendly or Schedule Once to create an easy way for clients and prospects to book time on your calendar. This eliminated the frustrating back-and-forth to find a time that works for everyone.
- Social media. Using a scheduling tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite can help you to queue up a week or more social media posts in one sitting.
- Billing and bookkeeping. Using a bookkeeping software like FA Bean Counters or QuickBooks can help you keep your books virtually organized. You can also look into using a payment software like Advice Pay that automates client payments – so you’re not constantly chasing after unpaid invoices.
You can also hire out aspects of your business to free up your time to be more client-facing. A virtual assistant service, accountant, marketer, operations consultant, or paraplanner may be a good fit. To know who you need to hire, track where you spend your time in a given work week. What are your biggest “time wasters”? What do you find is draining your energy rather than igniting your passion as a business owner? Find a way to outsource those tasks first, then decide what additional tasks are going to benefit your clients and consider whether those need to be outsourced, as well.
At New Heights Solutions, we help financial planners create systems that can be automated, step in to assist with tasks that a business owner no longer has time to focus on, and build custom, detail-oriented processes that promote an efficient work environment. We’d love to talk to you about how our services can help you avoid, or escape, business burnout – contact us today to set up a call!