Yesterday on a coaching call with a female advisor I asked her how much time she takes off a year, she said a few days here and there. My inner voice was saying “Are you crazy?” but my outer more tactful voice said “Why”. At first she didn’t understand the question so I clarified, “Why are you only taking less than a week off each year?” She told me she is always so busy and doesn’t want to let her partner down (odds are her partner is many more vacations with many intermittent days golfing). I was struggling to control myself.
While I would like to say this is rare it’s not really. This is a common phenomenon more frequently experienced by female financial advisors. Their desire to be all and do all for everyone often causes them to lose sight of their priorities.
This client is a working mother (as are most of my female clients). She comes in early and stays very late, always feeling there is more to do. While she is actively booking appointments her appointments are two hours long. She hesitates to shorten the appointments thinking this is how she adds value. Basically she is in her comfort zone when she feels busy and feels needed.
So I had to ask her, “What are your 3 top priorities in life in order of importance?” Without hesitation she said her kids, her marriage and then her business. I then asked “Why are you putting your business above everything else?” she looked at me perplexed. I told her there was no need for her appointments to last more than an hour, the next time she went over an hour I wanted her to realize she was stealing time away from her kids, “You have to ask yourself is this person valuable enough to my business to steal time away from my kids?” I saw the light bulb go on.
We then focused on her time management I encouraged her to evaluate every activity she does in a day and ask herself is this worth taking time away from my kids? I told my client there is no reason why she can’t be home every evening at a normal hour, even if she has to stay late one night then leave early another and give your kids the time they need, want and deserve with their mother.
We then talked about vacations, she should be taking a minimum of at least 4 weeks off a year, not only do her children need that time with her but SHE needs it to refresh and replenish herself. While for years in the corporate world women had to prove they could compete, as a female financial advisor the only person you are competing with is yourself. For centuries women have been paving the way so you could do and have it all, so why do we continue to sacrifice what we hold most important?
No client will ever gain more value nor appreciate the time they spend with you than your children. You only get one chance at raising kids; you have many opportunities to grow your practice. Clients will come and go but your kids are yours for LIFE.