IN THIS ARTICLE
What do you want in business or life and what is your plan to get it? These are the two most important questions I always want to ask when I meet someone. Call me curious. It’s my nature.
If you don’t know where you’re going, clearly you have no plan. If you know where you’re going and have no plan, how will you get there?
For me, hiring a trusted adviser, coach, teacher or guide is a no-brainer whenever I want to learn something in an accelerated, intentional way. I’ve been a hungry learner when it comes to improving my mind, body, spirit, small business, relationships and life. The older I get, the more I want to learn, serve and grow. If I really want to go off into the backcountry and learn to ski, I better have the right person help me gear up and take the journey so I make it back alive.
How do you know when you need advice to get what you want at work or life? If you’re like a lot of people, you run into a brick wall like losing a bunch of money on a bad investment, failing in a business you built, losing your career or a loved one. Just maybe you lost your health, or your mind.
Get advice before you make your move
But why wait to get advice when you already know you don’t know what you don’t know? The right time to get advice for your personal finances, business or life is before you make your move. Consider the power in this. You get advice before you move, before you make a mistake, because you’ll never know what you don’t know. Neither will I.
Here’s the most important thing I learned about myself so far. I took too much risk in business and life to get where I am. I overestimated my abilities almost every step of the way. I wouldn’t change a thing. But this happened because my nature is one of confidence based on my passions, vision and desire. And it worked out okay, because I’m never giving up on my purpose to write, teach and coach people to build the businesses, careers and life of their dreams.
Experience and wisdom come with time, practice and perseverance; often decades to become a master of anything. But why can’t you accelerate your learning and doing by paying and trading for the talents, experience and treasures of anyone who has achieved something like you see for yourself?
Do this and accelerate your learning now. Hire people who have been where you want to go. They tend to be the best advisers, because they’ve been there and back. You can probably trust their ability.
Learn before you invest
If you want to build your business, when is it time to hire a sales, marketing, technology, human resource, legal, tax or finance professional? Before you invest money, ideally. I can’t tell you how many countless billions it seems small business owners waste on various marketing and sales schemes. I notice these the most because it’s my primary business focus for the last decade.
How much could it be worth to you to find, hire and pay the trusted advisers you need in your business and your life before you hatch your next plan? Here is a list of my trusted financial, business and life advisers to whom I bring my goals, plan and data. They know what I see and where I’m going. I simply ask them to help me and I gladly pay them.
1. Trusted business coach
I either pay or trade for a business coach to help me grow my business. In 2007, I paid for a business-coaching certification that helped me take my business to triple the revenue in a matter of a few years.
My small business has always been my biggest and most important investment. So I’ve paid business coaches to help me learn organizational development, personality and value assessments, sales and sales management, training and development, recruiting, small business financial statements and planning, and more. I’ve hired and fired more business coaches than other advisers simply because my business needs and interests require business coaches with a wide range of backgrounds to help me. For example, the biggest category for coaches paid in the last five years has been those in technology because I needed to pay them to stay on the fast-moving tech curve.
2. Trusted investment, insurance and financial adviser
Why would a former highly-successful financial planner and licensed investment and insurance adviser need or want to hire that kind of adviser? First, if I get hit by a bus right now, I’ve got Mike watching my wife’s back. This is huge because my amazing wife is not a financial or business expert like I am or Mike is. Our kids are grown and she will need Mike when I’m gone. I need Mike while we’re here.
Mike has owned his investment and financial planning business for over 30 years. He’s super-successful and smart. And most of all, Mike is honest. I can trust him implicitly. I sleep better at night knowing Mike is on my team. Plus, Mike watches the market full-time. I don’t. He brings me ideas, but mostly it’s sleeping well that I cherish most.
3. Trusted tax adviser
I have always hired and paid a Certified Public Accountant to help me plan and file my taxes. I plan my taxes each quarter because I am self employed. Linda, our current CPA, is a very experienced business owner, highly-successful real estate investor and a wonderful human being with a great sense of humor and commitment to her family.
When I invest my own capital, I want to know the timing and the tax advantages or disadvantages based on the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). I don’t know about you, but I will never understand our tax code. I hate debits and credits and my CPA is one of the most essential, trusted advisers. I will always happily pay.
4. Trusted bookkeeper
Debbie has worked with me since 2003 when I launched the business I own and operate today, Conversion Marketing Experts, LLC based in Scottsdale, Arizona. I love Debbie because she never leaves me hanging on payroll, taxes, or bookkeeping. My books are always updated at the end of every month.
Debbie sends me my Income Statement and Balance Sheet at the end of every month. I review it carefully to see where my business is and how to plan accordingly. Because of Debbie, it takes me less than an hour to prepare my business and personal tax returns each year.
5. Trusted mind, body, spiritual coaches
How far will you go with your business or career when you lose your mind, body or spiritual way? I wouldn’t be in business or on Earth today if it weren’t for so many wonderful mind, body and spiritual coaches.
I read about 50 books every year, take online classes, attend seminars and conferences when I can. Mostly, though, I hire these trusted advisers and coaches one-on-one and I learn from them in highly- accelerated ways. These people are local and long-distance, working with me online or over the phone.
I am not religious and I believe my mind, body and spirit all work in harmony if I pay close enough attention to my energy, nutrition, diet, sleep and exercise. My teachers and coaches helped me learn to meditate, self heal through alternative treatments such as mindfulness, acupuncture, acupressure, yoga, tai chi, qigong, karate, kung fu and countless other things I’ve learned to practice over the years. Heck, I even learned through my “YouTube peeps” how to play a native American flute and roast my own coffee beans at home.
6. Trusted doctor
If my body fails, I can’t perform at home or work. For me, my exceptional health is the most important wealth to possess.
The doctor I trust the most is Walter. He’s a chiropractor who was trained for the last 50 years as a true healer, for me. He has worked magic and on the rare occasions my energy and health weakens, I see and pay Walter out of my pocket $75 per visit. I recently went to a medical doctor when I injured my lower back. This is rare because I tend to be extremely healthy.
This is my list of trusted advisers right now. How does your list stack up? If there’s a gap you see, maybe it’s time to do something about it. If not for you, maybe for the people you love the most at home and work.
My list of advisers is not a static list, because there will be times I make changes again to the adviser team. I also pay a premium instead of chasing the low-cost provider. I suggest the same for you. Be willing to pay for the talent you need. Don’t be cheap. That’s more expensive in the long run.
How much better could you sleep if you had the right team of trusted advisers watching your back?