The Tenth Year


I started my business on December 1st, 2005. The past nine years have taught me a lifetime’s worth of knowledge as I’ve been an advisor, counselor, business owner, accountant, and janitor, among other roles. Some time ago, I started planning for my tenth year in business. This included looking critically at all aspects of my business including customer service, investment research and implementation, and marketing and client acquisition.

Fred Wilson recently wrote this post about the process entrepreneurs go through to build their businesses. In his post, he describes two paths: the pivot and the Grind. In the start-up world, a pivot is a well known term for when a business switches directions to have a better chance of success. The Grind, as Fred defines it, is a business that works with tenacity day after day, month after month, executing their business plan to success.

Usually the entrepreneur who chooses The Grind is obsessed with the problem they are trying to solve and can’t let it go. This tenacity is often rewarded if everyone is patient enough.” Fred Wilson

Fred’s post resonated with me as a business owner. Building a financial services practice, like I’ve gone about building mine, would fit his definition of Grind. As I’ve grown my business I’ve tried to take what has worked for the most successfuly advisors in the business, overlayed my own beliefs about investment management, transparancy, and advisor compensation, and done my best to grow my business. I’ve had official and unofficial partnerships. I’ve been affiliated with a larger firm and then left to set up my own Registered Investment Advisor. Through it all, the end goal didn’t change, but much of the business did. In fact, I can say that every element of the business has been worked on, upgraded, and improved through the years.

By the middle of 2014, I had revamped my marketing strategy and was focusing on adding more (the best) wealth management services. I bounced ideas off of clients and colleagues. I researched software solutions and read books and white papers on theory. I spent more time with my mentor asking for help. By late summer, my discussions with my mentor had turned more seriously into not just developing the best wealth management solutions possible, but how we could do it better if we worked together.

So as 2015 starts, I’m excited to announce that I’ve joined VW Advisors full time as an Investment Advisor Representative. Together with the firm’s founder, we hope to continue developing a premier wealth management company by focusing on our processes and being as efficient as a we can be while delivering a premium experience for clients.

If there is a takeaway in this post, it is to keep working towards your dreams and goals. For me, it’s now year ten and I’m still growing, still feeling challenged, and still hungry. I’ve got some personal goals and some new client goals for the year, but I also want to focus on being a better writer here on this blog and on doing more reading and research including starting the Certified Financial Planner designation.

I am really enjoying writing in this blog and the conversations it has started online and offline and I’m very excited about 2015. This year, I will continue writing about business and financial planning topics with a sprinkle of posts on topics I find interesting and I hope you find them interesting. I appreciate you reading and I hope to hear from you. Find me on twitter at @paulhassebroek.

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