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Brett Davidson: Find your big, bold business goal

Dare to be audacious and start chasing the transformation

Growing a business successfully is an exercise in personal development. Your business will not grow faster than you do. A healthy self-awareness, and the ability to change, is essential throughout your business career.

There are two important reasons for embracing continued personal growth:

  • Continuing to grow is one of the keys to achieving your goals;
  • Constantly learning and improving is the key to happiness in life.

My advice to every financial planning business owner, regardless of your age, is to find yourself a big, hairy, audacious goal for the next 20 years. I do not care if you are already 20, 40 or 60 years old – set yourself a massive and transformational goal for your business and get after it.

You do not necessarily have to be working for the next 20 years but if you think you will be there for another three, five or seven years, you will make your life much more interesting by chasing the big vision. Coasting at any stage of your career will put that fire inside you out faster than a bucket of cold water.

It is easy to talk about big goals and transformational visions but it is much harder (and scarier) to come up with them. Here are a few guidelines if you are up for the challenge:

1. Take your time

Sometimes it takes some time and reflection to really come up with a bigger vision for yourself and your life. Give yourself that time and work on it slowly. Take six or 12 months if you need it; keep returning to what might be possible and what would excite you.

2. Map out your five key steps

Once you have got a big goal do not get too hung up on the specifics of how you will get there. It kills the creativity.

That said, do think about the five big steps you will have to take to make your vision a reality. For example, you might want to:

  • Create a world-class team of advisers and technical staff with the core culture and standards for what amazing financial planning looks like;
  • Become world class at marketing and promotion to attract a sustainable flow of ideal clients;
  • Create depth of leadership throughout the organisation, mentoring and bringing through talent capable of running the business in the future;
  • Partner with complementary or adjacent service providers – businesses that add value to your clients and are world class in their space;
  • Be masters of execution daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually.

These five big areas will give you a sense of what you will need to be working on, and get you started on your business plans for the next one- and three-year periods.

3. What will you have to learn or become?

When you start thinking about the future, you will realise you will have to learn some new skills and grow as a leader to achieve your vision. Ask yourself the following:

  • What will I have to be better at?
  • What new skills will I need to master?
  • What type of person will I need to become?
  • What new habits will I need to learn and develop?
  • What will I need to pass on to the next generation coming through in my business?

A great question to ask yourself is: what is worth doing even if I fail?

I am not talking about catastrophic failure here, or betting everything you have worked so hard to achieve on a harebrained next step. I am simply asking you to consider what big, hairy, audacious goal you might go after from here.

It is OK to aim large. It is OK to sometimes fall short. Is there something that excites you and scares you enough to take the risk of failing publicly?

Sports people do it all the time. In every Grand Final, FA Cup final, or Super Bowl there is a winner and a loser. But the loser does not really lose, do they? Despite what gets written about no one remembering who came in second. They tried. They came up short. So what?

Author and sociologist Brene Brown quotes Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena speech as an example of the courage and bravery required to grow and succeed as a fully-formed human being.

It was written in 1910, so excuse the male-centric language. However, the central theme still stands for all of us:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

So, what is next for you? Let me know how you go.

Brett Davidson is founder of FP Advance

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