50 Up!

“He that waits upon fortune, is never sure of a dinner” – Benjamin Franklin

In this article, I will explain why it is important to make changes now, not to procrastinate, and by ‘getting things done’ makes for a happier tomorrow.

Like the previous two articles in this summer series, I will use our business model and its progress as an example.

You are forgiven if you think this article is about reaching age 50. It’s not, but it is about time.

We are more likely to reach the age of 100 than ever before, so what I want you to appreciate is, having reached age 50, the later years appear to go by much quicker than the earlier years. You can deduce also, that the time to 100 is likely to feel even faster, as if time is accelerating.

A reasonable target

In 2010, we launched Truly Independent with the aim to expand adviser numbers to 100 nationally and organically.

Expanding without funding is not easy. You have to earn the money before you can reinvest it. Organic growth is low cost but slow. Like maturity, you first have to learn, understand, invest time and energy and become wiser before you reap the financial benefits later on.

We have grown to over 50 financial advisers and it has taken the best part of 8 years to do so.

The thing is, slow growth is typically exponential growth. Most of the growth arrives late in the day. Slow growth however, provides space to develop, to adjust, to discard what does not work and to embrace what does. All making your business more robust and ready for the surge of interested parties wanting a piece or to be involved. The bigger the business grows, the greater the distribution channels and the greater the spread of your message.

This all points to the fact that while it has taken 8 years to grow from 2 advisers to 52, it will take much less time to grow to 100.

A window of opportunity

We currently allow advisers to join us with a very low entry criteria of just £32,000 of total production/earnings. However, when we reach 100 advisers, this minimum is planned to increase and as a result, many advisers will find themselves excluded from our new entry criteria.

When we started, the average production from our advisers was £54,00 per annum. This is now £130,000 per annum. When we reach 100 advisers, we expect this average to be more like £150,000 per adviser. A lot of this growth comes from the kind of adviser that want to be part of Truly. They tend to be very productive, even ambitious, and like to have time to focus on their clients. They insist on being unbiased and unrestricted and they want more control of their client charging; product selection; and self-management, but also recognise they need the support of others too. Their production growth is also aided by our own lead generation: ‘Find a Truly IFA’.

The point is, we don’t just want growth, we want growth and quality. So, at 100 advisers our minimum entry criteria will be changed from £32,000 to the then ‘average production’, estimated to be £150,000.

The reason for this is simple, while expanding to 100 advisers, we are happy to stick with out minimum criteria, however, when expanding to over 100 advisers, we need to ensure this high average is maintained.

We want all our advisers to be on a similar production level; each having the same working ethics, the same desire to achieve and the same ambitions to help each other, to be part of something bigger and better than being just individuals – to be altogether Truly Independent.

So, if you are thinking of joining us and your production level is well below £150,000 then you have a window of say, 2 years to make the move. Time is not on your side. The earlier you move, the quicker you arrive.

You may be familiar with the quote ‘procrastination is the thief of time’ by the poet Edward Young. The saying comes from Night Thoughts (1742-5). Here is an alternative version:

“Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried”

Both quotes describe succinctly the fact that if you put off making a decision, or failing to act on something, you will change nothing. If you are unhappy and change nothing, you will remain unhappy.

Everyone should be aware that time will go by very quickly and so will opportunity. I am convinced that someone will want to join us when we are at 100 advisers and sadly, despite my warnings, they will not satisfy our new criteria. It could be you.

Decision time

If a great opportunity should come your way and you ponder over it, you focus on action tomorrow or even to ignore it completely, then you risk a life of stagnation.

So allow me to help you make a decision. Follow the path of these 3-stage questions:

  1. Are you unhappy where you are? (The job, relationship, location, financial position). If so, then you must be prepared to change.
  2. Do you like the alternative you have sourced? (The job, relationship, location, financial position). If so, then you must be prepared to change.
  3. Have you answered yes to question 1 and 2? Then just do it! 

Many people get to question 3 and answer yes, but for some reason put off change, they fear it. They lack commitment.

Life is a constant change. It is changing around you while you wait.

50 came slowly, in both my age and my business plan, but I know the next 50 years and 50 advisers will come quickly. Act now, time is not on your side.

Visit our Decision Pathway page here to see the recommended steps for becoming part of Truly Independent.