When providing advice on risk, how far does your responsibility go? Is it enough to simply address clients’ own personal risks? What of the risks of those around them, with who their lives are intertwined? Expanding the risk analysis beyond the actual clients in front of you and considering their immediate family as a standard rule with every client is not only good for the client, it can be great for your business.
The last few years have been long and hard for many in financial services, with difficult markets, legislative change, squeezing margins and negative publicity creating a perfect storm that for some, has robbed them of their drive and energy. I wrote an article for RiskInfo magazine last year, which spells out some proactive measures you can take after the last few years, when we have seen some major hiccups which could get anyone down.
There is a big difference between working for someone and being the big kahuna, the head honcho, the boss! Are you the sort of person more suited to working in a salaried financial planning position, or do you see yourself calling the shots, with all the extra demands and responsibilities that brings?
It’s often said (mainly by sports-mad people) that sport is a great metaphor for life. I believe this is true and there are lessons we can learn from sport that we can apply to our businesses.
"The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished" - George Bernard Shaw Ever experienced a situation with your peers or clients that caused someone anxiety, or where an issue blew way out of proportion? I have one rule for communicating sensitive or negative messages...
Some business owners will wait for the right time forever. Perfect timing is a myth I’d like to bust. Over the years I’ve heard many people talk about it not being the right time. It’s not the right time to start a family, it’s not the right time to go overseas, and it’s the wrong timing to start rebuilding the business at the moment. The right time is a bit like the Tooth Fairy, it’s a myth we create because it’s something we want to really believe in…. Nirvana anyone?
Okay, so we may be a bit slow on the uptake here at Elixir in embracing social media and the blogosphere, but that's not going to hold us back from getting into it now! We've been exploring and learning as much as we can about social media - especially from gurus like Baz at The Social Adviser. (And I can't help but plug him - I've heard lots of people talk to advisers about harnessing social media but there is noone who understands it better than Baz - what he doesn't know about successfully engaging with people as a professional adviser online is not worth a tweet!) Our coaches have been writing articles for industry magazines for years, and we've even published books. But in all honesty, our team has been so busy with our clients, and I added to my workload with having my twin girls, that my plans to start a blog have taken some 18 months to come to fruition. Am I disappointed about that? Not really, I like to see it as an opportunity - we've learnt a lot about it, and we can now show all our clients and our followers that it's actually not that hard to get started.
There's an arguable quote if ever I heard one.... "A change is as good as a holiday". Whilst I would be the last to agree that I could get just as much fun from changing the car I drive or the clothes I wear as I could from a week on the ski slopes of the French Alps, there are a bunch of changes that I am indeed looking forward to. When it comes to the changes that many advisers are making in their businesses right now, I'd be the first to say that if they do them well, the result could be better than a holiday. Could in fact, put them in a position to take more holidays - and relax to enjoy them - more often!

Welcome to the Elixir Consulting blog. First a quick introduction. We are a group of business coaches in Australia who are really passionate about helping financial advisers to run better businesses. Some call this practice management, some call it consulting, we call it great fun. We...