Have you left your large broker-dealer to start your own independent advisory business? If you have, you’ve taken the first steps to building a company that allows you to serve your clients in the way you see fit and create a legacy for yourself. Congratulations! But just because you’ve made the move to become your own boss doesn’t mean all your work is done. Too many independent advisors I coach are still acting like they work for a larger company even though they’re completely on their own. If they don’t change their mindset, they’ll never reach the levels of success they are capable of. Are you still stuck in the producer frame of mind? Here’s how to flip the switch and start acting like a business owner.

Why Do Advisors Neglect Their Businesses?

Most independent advisors come from a background of working for a large broker-dealer. Though there are plenty of drawbacks to working for a large company like this, there are some perks—mainly that someone else takes care of the business side of the business for you. When you go independent, those things fall on your shoulders and many advisors fail to recognize that. Three signs you aren’t running your business like a business:

  1. You haven’t separated your personal and business funds.
  2. Your business is running you instead of the other way around, meaning you’re working long hours and putting out fires instead of running your business in a way that fits your preferred lifestyle.
  3. You’ve not realized that cash is king and has no free cash flow.

Getting Away from the Sales Mentality

So how do you start acting like a business owner? It starts with changing your mindset. If you still see yourself as a producer or a salesperson, you’ll continue to operate the way you did when you worked for a broker-dealer. If you want to experience success as an advisor in 2022, your habits and ways of thinking need to change now. Start thinking of yourself as a business owner first and an advisor second. Put your efforts into marketing and growing your business as well as developing habits that grow your profits. You also need to realize that your product is no longer the investments you sell. Your “product” is now your advice and to continue giving advice that is best for your clients, you need to create a sustainable business you can continue running for years into the future.

Investing in Yourself, Investing in Your Business

As a business owner, investing in yourself is just as important—if not more important—than investing in your business. In fact, the two are almost the same thing. When you invest in yourself, you demonstrate value to your clients. You also ensure you’re showing up as your best self every day—for yourself and for those you help. Investing in yourself can take the form of taking courses, scheduling your life before meetings, or getting a coach. It’s whatever makes you feel the best and adds to your enjoyment of and excitement for what you do.

Are you still operating as if someone else is running your business? If you want to be successful as an independent advisor, that needs to change. Set new intentions and start paying attention to what matters to take your advisory business to the next level.