In my business, I find myself talking with advisors in two different groups: those with one to three years of experience and those that have three or more years of experience. What I’ve seen over and over is that true advisors know they’ve learned all they need to learn from a large firm after 18-24 months. That’s when things start to go downhill. If you’re wondering whether you should go independent now or wait for another few years, here are some reasons why sooner is almost always better than later.
What happens in the 18-24 month mark
When a brand new advisor joins a large firm, the first 18-24 months are all about training. The firm trains the new advisor how to serve clients, help them get the education they need about the financial world, and gives them tips on building a business. This is all valuable information and necessary for advisors who have just gotten into the industry. But that’s when things start to change.
What happens after the 24-month mark
The advisors I’ve worked with quickly realize that after they are fully trained, the large firm isn’t interested in helping them build their own business or create strong relationships with clients. Instead, they want to turn them into producers with one goal and one goal only: to bring in more business for the firm. Not only do they encourage the hustle culture where advisors come in early, stay late, and neglect other parts of their lives, but they also rank them based on how much they are producing (and little else.)
How this affects the advisor
If an advisor stays too long at a large firm, they start to “drink the Kool-Aid” and develop the mindset of a producer instead of an entrepreneurial advisor. Instead of focusing on building a business, they instead try to sell as much as possible so they can climb the ladder and make their managers happy. If advisors don’t enter a big firm without a plan to exit it, they will end up getting trapped (and trapping their clients.)
What advisors should know
What I always tell advisors is that building your own business isn’t as difficult as they are led to believe. Many advisors think the value is all with the name of the big firm—but this is only true in the very beginning stages of their careers when they don’t yet have experience under their belts. After they learn everything they need about finances and the other aspects of the industry and have started to build a book of business, the value they offer has nothing to do with the firm and has everything to do with them as an advisor.
Why to leave sooner rather than later
When you make the decision to leave a big firm sooner rather than later, you can avoid developing a “producer” mindset and start building a business on your own terms. You can serve clients in a way that is best for them and best for you and start building long-lasting relationships that change lives.
Ready to take the next step and start building your own entrepreneurial firm? Reach out to me so we can talk more.