I always had trouble deciding whether I was a ‘cook’ or a ‘chef’ and what was the difference?
The burning questions
Perhaps you can start to answer the question, “Should I become an advisor” by understanding your views on being an advisor. Firstly do you call yourself an “adviser” or an “advisor”, most people see the spelling interchangeable? Just as the terms ‘cook’ and ‘chef’ are interchangeable to many people because they can both be skilled at cooking.
It doesn’t matter whether you are an advisor, facilitator, coach, mentor or consultant, or a specialised advisor such as a finance broker, insurance broker, business broker, real estate agent, accountant, lawyer, or a technology guru, the following questions cover some of the important issues:
- What will you call yourself and feel comfortable with?
- What sort of clients would you like to deal with?
- Where will you find the right sort of clients?
- Do you agree that with most clients full recovery of your time is difficult?
- Do you agree you need to leverage your time on higher value issues?
- Would you prefer to be transactional or relationship-centric?
- Do you agree your practice should become service-focused as against a product-focused?
- Do you agree that your field of expertise is an integral part of the business development process?
- Do you agree that to be the best advisor you need to understand the complete picture when it comes to assessing client’s problems and frustrations?
- Are you worried that your business development advice will not reach your clients in a cohesive and consistent manner for their long-term development?
- Just like any other business, will you be able to finance yourself and your new advisory practice until it reaches breakeven?
- Do you agree that the clients need to become more responsible and accountable for the management and development of their own business?
Moving to become an advisor
To reach your destiny as a respected advisor you must be prepared to adopt new actions and approaches until they become a habit and change the way you think and behave.
It is that simple – a lifetime dedicated to improving one’s own life and business so you can be of value to others. No matter how you label yourself the same principles will apply. We can all advisers of some sort. Some of us will be ‘general practitioners’ and some of us will be ‘specialists’, both being equally important.
How will you know if the business, non-profit organisation or community is heading in the right direction? How will you know if you are leaving the clients in a better place than when you found them? How will you know when you are successful and what will you need to do on a daily basis to achieve this? These are all questions that have answers and today the necessary information, knowledge, tools and methodologies required can be more easily obtained.
The truth is who knows whether you will ever be a good advisor? All we do know is that it is a lot harder learning to be one on your own. A good network of quality people will provide the right questions to ask yourself. The human brain is an amazing thing capable of dealing with very complex issues. Put simply, if we want better quality answers then we must ask better quality questions.
Let’s be honest. We all want the knowledge and processes but are we willing to put in the hard yards to really understand what we need to do. The value in success is not in success itself but the lessons learnt in the process.
Opportunities are in abundance
By joining in with the FAQ Support team you can enter into a period of rapid transformation into the way you approach your life and your advisory business practice. How much? That is up to you.
A prerequisite for any successful business advisor is to always be learning new ways and approaches to help clients. The lessons you learn in discipline, persistence, overcoming barriers and dealing with setbacks are all the skills required to become a better entrepreneur, business manager, advisor, and a better person.
Small-medium businesses, non-profit organisations and communities are facing uncertain times. No longer does the standard business development theory and practices cover all the issues that need to be covered.
But one thing is certain. Without business coaching and network support, it is “too hard doing it by yourself”. To be a good business adviser you will be the sort of person who understands and realises that:
- There is rarely a ‘right’ answer but only an opportunity to further develop a concept, opportunity or an idea.
- Change is inevitable and is the result of increasing knowledge.
- Personal improvement coincides with business development.
- Work and life begin to merge together to provide better lifestyles.
- There are some questions that will never be answered.
- Life becomes easier as you become better at what you do.
- You must be prepared to contribute more to the world than you take out.
- Trust is a critical attribute and your sixth sense.
- To grow your self-esteem should not be at the expense of your clients.
- You are only the chosen messenger, not the message. This gift is given by a higher power.
- You understand that whatever you read and profess becomes part of our library and your vocabulary and will start becoming a part of your life.
The outstanding benefit to an adviser is that of being able to serve clients anywhere, through the integration of information, knowledge, tools and processes, and supporting clients in a collaborative way, assisting them to implement their plans and ideas beyond their expectations.
Once you have all the parts of you practice set up and working well, you will most likely receive a pleasant surprise as clients will want more and more from you. In fact, you could be quickly overloaded and overwhelmed causing you to have to revisit your business model, business plan, value chain and budget.
For more information on becoming an advisor, please contact us.
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Some 35 years ago I decided to take on Chinese cooking as a hobby. It had a big impact on how I viewed business and business advising. See my article “What’s Chinese cooking got to do With Business”
One of the important things I learnt was that there are so many different ingredients that can be used and there is a myriad of tastes and preferences you have to cater for. The interesting thing is that it all had to pass through one central point ‘the wok and the cook’.