Patricia Abram

Achieving Your Ideal Practice

Six steps to get you closer to your professional and personal financial goals.

March 2, 2009
by Patricia Abram

CPAs and other financial advisors are in demanding professions. If your life and career aren't going exactly the way you want them to, then you owe it to yourself to take the following steps. Each will bring you closer to your ideal practice and financial goals.

  1. Get Real. Be very realistic, especially about your quality of life. Have you worked hard your whole career, been fairly successful, but haven't reaped sufficient personal rewards? Then you must be willing to admit where you've failed and what you really want. How willing are you to change your behaviors?
  2. Dream big. Be very specific about what you want to achieve. It isn't "I want to have fewer clients but still increase my income over time," it's "I want to have only 60 clients yet double my net income in five years."
  3. Know yourself. Know yourself. Complete a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis on your firm. Perform research and analysis on every facet of your existing business, and then work backwards to determine what it will take to achieve your ideal vision.
  4. Share your vision. You cannot achieve your ideal practice vision in a vacuum. Openly discuss everything of importance with your family and staff. Your staff must be actively engaged in the vision, in thinking it's possible, and in understanding and accepting their roles. Most important of all, they must know what's in it for them.
  5. Get the right people on board. Get the right people on board. Some staff adjustment may be necessary. For example, if you want to work fewer hours, then you'll need people who can take up the slack. This will require you to manage the expectations of your staff, your clients (who may require some handholding as you transition them away from your constant attention), and your own expectations as well (letting go of the idea that your constant attention is irreplaceably necessary may be harder than you think).
  6. See past the obstacles. If you get bogged down as you begin implementing your vision, ask yourself "What would I have to believe in order for me to achieve this?" Asking yourself this question amounts to a 180-degree shift in emphasis from excuses and obstacles to possibilities and activity.

Patricia Abram is a Senior Managing Principal of CEG Worldwide, LLC, a leading research, publishing and consulting firm serving independent financial advisors, CPAs, insurance representatives and registered investment advisors. Learn more about our coaching programs for financial advisors.