One of the things that always surprised me about coaching consultants was how many people felt frustrated and mentally exhausted after decades in the business. Granted, it’s normal to feel exhausted when you run a big business. But the consultants I was talking to were pointing out something else.
They were hitting all their scales, increasing revenues, achieving impressive club and council levels, yet still feeling unsure, even unhappy, about their creation.
Consultants have become accustomed to the idea that “bigger is better.” More assets, more revenue, a bigger team, more ribbons and pins. The truth is, numbers don’t always tell the whole story.
Tracking quantitative goals is important if you’re building a business, but it’s equally important to track qualitative goals or what I call “non-traditional key performance indicators.” These can be very useful in helping consultants assess whether their practice is growing in alignment with their strengths, aspirations and values.
Below are non-traditional KPIs advisors believe advisors should track and evaluate on an ongoing basis. Take advantage of them:
- Help you stay deeply “tuned in” to the changing needs of the business
- Make sure you are constantly evolving and growing in your role
- Hold you accountable for activities that produce results
Personal Fulfillment and Success Level: Weekly
Is there any real way to measure your personal fulfillment? Technically, no. Still, it’s important to continually investigate yourself about the practice and your role in it. Start a quick Friday afternoon conversation with yourself around these questions:
- Do I consider this a successful week? why or why not?
- How satisfying has this week been for me personally? Why?
- How would I rate my level of success and fulfillment on a scale of 1-10?
Over time you may be able to gain useful insights from your answers. For example, you may begin to notice that you feel most fulfilled, scoring yourself a 10, on the weeks when you’re not at the office but rather networking with prospects. Or perhaps your highest level of success weeks are those in which you were able to share your firm’s value proposition with new connections. These are clear indicators that for you to be “at your best”, you must spend most of your time growing the business.
You should immediately start thinking of ways to spend more time doing it (in the short and long term), even if it means making major decisions about the direction of the exercise.
Number of meaningful business conversations: Weekly
Since you are the strongest marketer in your practice, you should tell your firm’s story several times a week – to new clients, prospects, centers of influence, friends, etc. Consider how many “meaningful conversations” you have in a typical week, where you’re sharing exclusively:
- The value your firm provides
- the way you help people
- Your long-term vision for the practice you’re building
If the answer is “not many,” try to start as many of these conversations as possible each week. You will find that just by sharing your value proposition more often, you uncover more opportunities. Here are some examples of places and conversations where you can share your value proposition or remind others:
- With CPA in the “New Year’s Catch-Up” you refer to the business
- In a review meeting with your customers where you highlight their “wins and achievements in 2021”
- In an introduction meeting with your client’s referral
- during lunch with a friend with whom you sit on the same board
- In conversation with someone you’ve connected with on social media
- With your friends and their spouses for dinner
- In your mastermind coaching group
- Over coffee with your college friend who is a property attorney
The more you become accustomed to contemplating these conversations at the end of the week, the more you’re going to prepare yourself to have more of them.
Number of daily frustrations: Quarterly
This one may sound strange, but many times advisors are frustrated in their practice about things that can either be quickly corrected, or that are actually a “red flag” about their firm. They allow these frustrations to build up over time and sometimes hinder the development of their own practice because of it.
I encourage advisors to reflect on the day-to-day disappointments of the last quarter. In other words, what bothers you the most on a daily basis? Some examples may include:
- Challenges with compliance/inefficiency to market the way you want
- The fragmented technique/technique is not providing a holistic picture of your book
- employee underperforming
- Cultural issues with the local office/home office
- your own procrastination
Are your recurring frustrations a sign that you’re focusing your efforts where you shouldn’t? Or are they pointing to a larger issue within your firm? Maybe you’ve outgrown your home office. Or maybe you need to bring in a COO. Our own reactions to our daily lives can teach us a lot about the decisions we should make is becoming.
Team Morale Level: Weekly
Have you ever stopped to consider the current ethics of your team? In a hybrid or virtual-only world, it can be difficult to tell whether your entire team is working together.
Getting in the habit of assessing team member morale and reflecting on team dynamics can help you lead more effectively. You may be able to anticipate required personnel changes earlier than you would like, and even prevent team member turnover. Consider the following before you end the week:
- What kind of week did your team have this week? Was it a productive week?
- What was the tone of your weekly meeting? Was there anything different about this meeting from the others?
- Which team member seems most engaged? Why?
If you find that it’s hard for you to answer those questions quickly, you may want to look for more ways to engage with your team throughout the week, especially if you’re left with a virtual exercise. Even something as simple as restructuring your weekly team meeting agenda can help drive engagement and communication. Remember that the success of the exercise depends on each person being successful in their individual roles.
Penny Phillips is the co-founder and president of Journey Strategic Wealth.