We are one....

...can we start to run now?

The old cliché of walking before you run has never felt more apt to me. I have at least 25 things on my business to do list and treble that in ideas for the years ahead. I love this part of running a business. The part where I’m walking my dog and I’m listening to Tim Ferriss give a golden piece of advice that I think I could implement, or when I hear a Michael Kitces podcast telling of a new piece of tech coming for financial advisers which could be used immediately within Engage. I literally WhatsApp our group with details of what I’ve heard and how it’s going to help.

Stevie and Michelle are well used to this by now. They usually just say “ok, let’s add this to the agenda for the next quarterly meeting!!”

It’s never quite that easy though. Having spent a lot of our first year figuring out our processes and monitoring the systems we use, to change things up on a whim or new fad seems a little misguided. And not necessarily prudent financially. So I add these thoughts to the quarterly review meeting as requested and go about my day once again.

The days at Engage vary, Mondays are usually team meetings where we discuss our clients and any work in progress or coming up. We preview the week’s meetings and make sure we’re up to speed on the prep for them. Tuesdays to Thursdays are for meetings with both current clients and potential clients along with creating plans and our suite of one-page documents. Fridays are often quieter and are used to work on the business.

One of my strengths is being able to look at myself and Engage objectively. Now, the behavioural experts out there will tell me I suffer from biases here about my own ability and I’m sure they’re correct, however assume I can look at us objectively for the sake of this blog.

I believe our first year has been a success. The families we work with are happy, have provided us with some good feedback and are happy to refer us. The business is sustainable and able to stand on its own two feet. Our team (and families) have just spend a Saturday together celebrating our 1st birthday with lunch and taking the kids swimming. These three things demonstrate the foundation of our future. Happy clients, happy staff, sustainable income.

With the burden of surviving year one behind us now, it’s time to look to the future. I see lots of room for improvement as I alluded to before.

  • I see us building on the number of client families we look after

  • I see us developing our charitable work to become more meaningful

  • I see a path for our staff to develop and fulfil their potential

  • I see continued learning and growing as individuals and as a team, working on the softer skills and understanding of how people think

  • I see us building a marketing/PR strategy to bring some brand awareness to the work we do in the sectors we do it in

  • I see us developing our insurance business and maybe stepping into mortgages

  • I see us building the team out

Really though, I see us developing and refining everything that we already do. Every aspect of our business needs to continually evolve. We want to understand what our clients like about us, what they don’t like, what can we do better and where we’ve excelled ourselves. The constant evolutionary process is the journey and where the real fun lies.

In Ryan Holiday’s book, ‘The Obstacle Is The Way’ he writes ‘The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve’ and ‘compare yourself against the progress you’ve made’.

Wise words. That’s my first item for the agenda for the next quarterly review sorted!