What If Your Business Could Become More Profitable and Efficient and You Had More Time to Really Enjoy Life?
Are you working 50 hours a week plus nights and weekends?
Are you always feeling “out of control” and putting out fires?
Are you constantly being reactive when you’d rather be in control and proactive?
Do you often jump from one project to another, yet feel like you’re not getting stuff done?
Do you wake up in a panic in the night worrying that something was done wrong or incompletely?
If any of this sounds familiar, you are not alone.
A Financial Planning Association survey of 750 advisors found that:
Nearly 75% are working over 40 hours per week
At least one third are working 50+ hours including nights and weekends
40% are working more than 3 nights per week
But, according to that same survey, an elite group (just 10%) of advisors feel in complete control of both their time and their business. AND a majority of that small group also has clearly defined business and personal goals.
How do they do it? And how can YOU learn to feel the same way while bringing in more profits and having more time for yourself?
Time Management is the one near universal practice management challenge financial advisors face every day in this business.
Nearly all advisors I know struggle with time: How to smartly use it…How to stop wasting it…How to feel in control of your business when hours, days, and weeks just whizz by at warp speed.
Maybe you can relate…
I Hate Seeing This
If there’s one thing I know after 22 years in this business, it’s that the vast majority of financial advisors work their butts off.
They’ve got solid businesses. They’ve got strong work ethics. They’ve got their clients’ best interest at heart. And they want a successful business that rewards them and their teams for the great results they produce for their clients.
But I hate it when advisors find themselves plateaued and spinning their wheels. And I hate it when all their hard work doesn’t always pay off. And I know time management is a critical issue that continues to bedevil you and your colleagues.
That’s why a light bulb went off in December.
Meet Teresa Riccobuono
Teresa is a practice management specialist who has an important competitive advantage over others in her field. She worked as a financial advisor before launching her own business, SimplyOrganized, to help advisors get more organized and be more successful in their businesses.
That means she brings a unique, tested perspective to her work. She knows the financial advisor world.
Last fall we were meeting by Zoom and getting to know each other. Here at Horsesmouth we’d been publishing some of Teresa’s article to rave reviews. I wanted to learn more about her and her business.
As we chatted, the topic of time management came up. Teresa told me it was a classic challenge many of her advisor clients face. She said she’s had great success teaching advisors to approach time management differently.
Here are some of her notes from advisors she’s worked with:
Jeff: Seat of the Pants
For many years, Jeff ran his business “by the seat of his pants, always reacting to what came at him.”
He had gotten to a point where he was fairly unhappy with his business and felt tired, frustrated and out of control.
After working together, Jeff was able to create a critical new document for his business: a Model Week. The next step was to get used to following the new schedule. It took time, but Jeff got to a point where he was running his business proactively and felt reenergized about his business, something that had been missing for some time.
Once he got into the habit of following the model, his happiness quotient went up tremendously.
Greg: Worried About Flexibility, Now Business and Referrals
Greg knew he could benefit from a Model Week but felt he would lose the flexibility he was accustomed to. We started by designating meeting slots on Tuesday through Thursday, leaving Monday and Friday with maximum flexibility.
But Greg felt he was wasting time on Monday and Friday and decided he was ready to develop a schedule for those non-client meetings days. We developed a detailed schedule for Monday and a list of tasks for Friday.
Now Greg challenges himself to stay on schedule on Mondays. Since this is his primary meeting prep day, he feels better prepared for his client meetings which is leading to new business opportunities and referrals.
Abe: Time Management for Your Staff, Too
Abe is a client service associate. New to the position, it was imperative he had a Model Week.
What he found most beneficial about having a model week is the fact that when he is interrupted by a client request, he is able to get back on track by determining what priorities remain for the day and what tasks can be pushed out to complete later.
Dave: From Kids Sports to Training Himself for Triathlons
Dave’s Model Week has changed over time. When we first created his Model Week, both of his children were in school and involved in sports. His original Model Week started his workday at 8:30 AM after dropping the kids at school and ended at 3:30 PM so he could pick up the kids for sports activities. Once we put his Model Week together, it became apparent he needed support staff to get everything accomplished. He added a terrific and supportive associate.
Now, his kids are older and no longer engaged in after school sports. We edited his Model Week to coordinate with his current lifestyle. He trains for triathlons on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. His designated appointment slots work for both his clients and his personal goals. Just as with Greg, Dave has improved his meeting prep process and feels much better about the service he provides his clients.
Frank: Why You Need to Test Out Your New Approach
Frank and I put together a terrific first draft of his Model Week, until he started putting it into action.
What he came to realize is his client meeting slots needed to be adjusted. His client service associate worked part-time. When clients come into the office for their appointment and his associate is not working, he is the one to greet them, offer them coffee or water and let them know he will be with them shortly. This is awkward and disruptive.
On version two of his Model Week, we adjusted it to coordinate his client meetings with his associates work schedule which works much better. This is an example of why it takes three to four versions to get it right.
After reviewing Teresa’s materials, we decided there was a program she could create for Horsesmouth advisors. We’ve been meeting weekly since then and I hope, if you’re challenged by time management, you’ll consider joining this exciting new program.
3 Keys to Seeing the Opportunity of Smart Time Management
In its simplest terms, the problem advisors face is that they feel overworked and overwhelmed with all they have to do, and as a result they’re not maximizing their happiness or their profitability.
If you are not managing your time, you’re:
Constantly fighting fires, but when you catch your breath it takes 20 minutes to figure out what’s next.
Unprepared for client meetings, and not properly following up.
Managing an equally stressed-out staff who are under constant time pressures and are unhappy at work.
Waking up in a panic about what didn’t get done and feeling uninspired about your practice.
Unable to enjoy the benefits of having built a successful practice, and missing out on family events.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s take at the opportunities presented to advisors when they actually have a smart time management strategy.
#1: Integrating The Right Time Management System Will Boost Your Revenue
That FPA survey of 750 advisors found that better time management can result IN 50 MORE CLIENT MEETINGS PER YEAR!
That’s just a lot of money to leave on the table due to disorganized time management!
But that’s not the only way your lack of time management expertise is costing you money.
Financial Advisors who operate by the seat-of-their pants often report that their client meetings and interactions are sub-par due to lack of time to properly plan, being rushed during the meeting, and inadequate and late follow up.
Is it any surprise advisors report that they don’t get the client referrals they feel they should get?
#2: Time Management Also Boosts Revenue By Enhancing Client Experience
Happy clients are your best source of recurring income and referrals, but you won’t secure them if you don’t have the time to prep for meetings, wow them at their meetings with you, or to follow up as needed.
Preparing for client meetings well in advance allows your subconscious to continue to work on the case (behind the scenes) often coming up with critical insights, but it won’t happen if you are always feeling rushed and out of control.
Not only will good time management allow you to provide better service directly to your clients, but it will also allow you to spend the time needed on client care that can make or break a relationship.
Here’s a little of story of how having control of your time can make a big impact on clients:
Good Time Management Allows You to Pay Attention to Important Details
I had a female client and her husband was not willing to have his assets managed by me. He had had a bad experience with an advisor. My client’s cat died and I happened to call the day he had been put down and she was sobbing. I sent her a sympathy card with my feelings on what it is like to lose a pet. He saw the card and told her that day he was willing to be my client – his thoughts were that if I had the time to think of such a small detail, I would take care of his assets well also.
Gina, N., a Morgan Stanley advisor who attended a Horsesmouth practice management webinar with Teresa Riccobuono
#3: Insight Into How You Actually Spend Time Is Your Steppingstone Toward Reaping Time Management Dividends…
Most Financial Advisors never investigate how they are spending their time, they just constantly feel that they don’t have enough of it.
BUT those advisors who don’t feel out of control have learned that when they do analyze their business, they learn how much time they waste doing what seems important but is not really important or that could be done later.
AND, by looking at how and when they are wasting time, Financial Advisors gain critical insights into:
The best times of day to schedule specific kinds of work
The need for strategically scheduled “brain breaks”
The true amount of time it takes to do things that are most important to you
…And To Setting Yourself Up For Real Flexibility and Agility
Have you ever felt like your business requires you to jump from task to task, with interruptions and emergencies popping up all the time?
It’s easy to have your day derailed when not using good time management practices; an emergency or interruption can easily:
Leave you spinning your wheels for 20 minutes trying to figure out what you should be doing next
Give you that brain fog that makes it hard to move on to the next task
Take up a huge amount of time that isn’t close to being one of your priorities
The strategies and techniques you will learn in this workshop give you true agility, by freeing up mental space from worrying about what you are not doing right now and giving you the structure to stay proactive in making adjustments to how your time is actually spent in the moment.
Model Week? Master Calendar?
Does that sound too rigid for the hectic pace of your practice?
It’s actually the opposite.
I Now Have Systems and Sound Direction
“I struggled for many years with marketing, client service model, model week, and tracking. With Teresa’s help, I now have systems and a sound direction, with a plan to make sure I am executing. If I get off track, she helps me get back and focused.”
The Model Week is the planned out idea of where and what you most want to spend your time, providing the guardrails and guideposts that prevent those interruptions and emergencies from becoming time killers.
By planning how you want to spend your time with a model, it’s much easier to get back on track when an emergency pulls you off plan by. . .
Letting you see quickly how much time you lost
Allowing you to make immediate adjustments in the rest of your day or week that minimize the impact of the lost time
Getting you to rapidly refocus by pointing you in the direction of what you should move on to next when the emergency is over.
In fact, the Model Week will also free you up to make strategic changes to your day or week based on YOUR desire to do something different than planned, due to mood, current energy levels, or other personal preferences, without losing sight of what’s important.
Time Management Is Actually a Misnomer
Time Management is really a misnomer. You can’t manage time; the world keeps spinning and the clock keeps ticking. What you can manage is your activity. Learning how to manage time is really about learning how to manage your activities.
So, no, Time Management is not just one more item on your to-do list.
You need to be the driver:The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. This program will show you exactly how to do that, so that you are in control of your business and your life!
More Free Time to Do What I Really Love? The Time Management Dividend
If better time management could provide 50 more client meetings per year, what if instead of scheduling more client meetings, you scheduled 10 more and took the time it would take to use the other 40 and did something fun with it? Road trips to see your favorite performers. Long weekends at the beach or the mountains? More time to visit family. Dinner with your friends or your closest client friends.
By operating your business from a proactive, activity management stance, YOU get to decide if you want to use your extra time to bring in more business, or have more life, or some combination of both.
And you get to feel that you have real command of your business. That peace of mind when you know your business is being run well, because you are leading its direction, rather than feeling frazzled all the time, is maybe the biggest Time Management Dividend of all.
In this program you will learn:
When, why and how you are wasting time, and how to stop doing it.
How to leave the daily grind and never-ending work weeks behind, making you a happier and better advisor.
What critical shift of perspective enables you to succeed where other time management approaches fail.
How FAs have transformed their practices into life-affirming experiences, rather than life-crushing.
Why having clear business and personal goals help you feel in control.
Why using a Model Week gives you more flexibility and agility in running your business than the default seat-of-your pants approach.
How a Model Week keeps you focused on your priorities even when emergencies arise.
Why a Master Calendar will provide the key to never missing those important but not urgent tasks that boost your practice’s success.
Who Should Attend the Time Management Program?
Gave Myself a 4% Raise!
“It is official: I made the $190K cut, and gave myself a 4% raise this year. Thank you for all your support, encouragement, and hand holding in the past year. I hope for a repeat performance of 50% growth this next year. How? I don’tThe model week is the planned out idea of where and on what you most want to spend your time. know. But I am sure we can work together to get there.”
Are you constantly putting out fires? Do you wish you could spend more time with your family? Are your staff members feeling the same stresses? Have you missed deadlines you set for yourself? Do you want to figure out how to service more clients?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, this program is for you. Not only will it teach you everything you need to know to manage your time in a way that will make you a happier financial advisor, but it will also provide the structure and support for you to test out your new knowledge and find success with it.
The Time Management Program Agenda (April 20, 2021 - June 15, 2021. All live sessions recorded and available for 60 days)
This 8-week program runs every other Tuesday, with participants meeting with Teresa Riccobuono for four 90-minute, in-depth instructional sessions, one 90-minute session for drop-in help, and ongoing support from the workshop leader between sessions.
(Sessions run 90 minutes and starts at 1 PM EDT/ 10 AM PDT and are recorded)
Session #1, April 20
Time Tracking: Get It Right, Avoid Pitfalls, and See the Path to a Better Work-Life Balance
Goal: Understand the scope of the workshop and set the foundation for building your best practice and life.
Objective: Learn how to analyze your time and establish a balanced schedule:
Learn the importance of time tracking as a diagnostic tool that enables you to:
Identify your time wasters
Quantify the tasks that are important to you
Understand which important tasks are taking more time than you think
Review the mechanics of time tracking, and how to avoid pitfalls when doing it
Understand what a balanced schedule is, and how it enables you to ensure:
Your life goals are integrated into your day-to-day business activities
Your clients’ needs are met well and at the right time
Master how to design a schedule that provides just the right amount of client interaction, at the right time of year for you and for them
Session #2, May 4
The Model Week: How to Regain Control of Your Practice, Protect Your Priorities and Increase Happiness
Goal: Understand what a Model Week is, and why it’s the key to your sense of control and happiness
Objective: Prepare to develop your Model Week
Learn how a Model Week will protect your time and your priorities
Investigate the considerations specific to your practice and life that affect your ideal Model Week
Identify your personal working style that will be maximized in your Model Week
Gain insight into how a Model Week supports your ability to be flexible and agile
Session #3, May 18
From Model Week to Master Calendar: Fine-Tune Your New Work Style and Learn How to Never Miss Important Activities Again
Brought Important Things to the Table
“Wow, Teresa—thank you! I like having a concise list of “homework” : ) You’ve already brought important things to my table that I had not considered and probably would never have thought of!”
Goal: Understand How to Ensure Important, Non-Recurring Tasks Won’t Be Missed
Objective: Create a Firm Master Calendar and Revise Your Model Week
Analyze Model Week test drive experience to determine what’s working and what’s not
Learn from Peer Model Week Case Studies
Workshop Version 2.0 of Model Week
Develop Master Calendar
Session #4, June 1
Open Classroom for Drop-In Coaching and to Share Insights
Bring your challenges and successes to this 90-minute open classroom discussion and coaching session with Workshop Leader, Teresa Riccobuono.
Session #5, June 15
Keeping the Time Dividends Coming: How to Overcome New Challenges and Ensure Continuing Success
Goal: Understand How Activity Management Impacts Your Entire Practice for the Long Term
Objective: Learn how to continue to consistently implement activity management strategies and techniques.
Understand the next steps in maintaining your proactive, life-affirming FA practice
[Or Understand next steps in building your best practice and life]
Learn how to use your new activity management mastery to enhance client experience
Prepare to lead your entire team in activity management
[Or Why your team needs to follow suit with model weeks]
Discover when to revisit time tracking and measuring of key business and life indicators
Mini-personal coaching: Throughout the program, if you encounter any specific challenges, you have email access to Teresa and if necessary, a brief phone call. And you’ll still have access to her for six weeks after the program ends!
How to Tell if Teresa’s Time Dividend Program Will Help You
Please take a minute and count how many of these statements apply to you. Then check your score to see if the program will help you.
I read my emails more or less as they arrive in my inbox.
Technology is slowing down daily progress.
Interruptions of my time are routine.
I feel I must satisfy a client request immediately.
Sometimes I spend an inordinate amount of time deciding what I should work on next.
More than 30 minutes per day is spent on social media or playing games.
I prefer not to delegate tasks because I can get them done quicker and without error myself.
I often feel my business has taken over control of my life.
I hate to admit it, but sometimes I am preparing for a client meeting just minutes before the meeting is scheduled to begin.
Good client service means meeting with clients at whatever time they want.
More often than I prefer, I wake up at 2:00 in the morning in a panic about what I might have forgotten to do.
The saying, “Spend time working on the business” is something I strive for, but never fully attain.
0-3: Time Master…Congrats! You’ve clearly got your business and life under control. Keep it up!
4-8: Time Challenged…Managing your time is likely difficult for you in some areas. Like 85% of advisors, you could benefit from the program.
9-12: Time Troubled…You probably already know it: You’ve got a major challenge with managing your time. Make participating in this program an immediate priority
Meet Teresa Riccobuono, Your Workshop Leader
Teresa Riccobuono is a Practice Management and Recruitment specialist in the Financial Services Industry. Having worked as a Financial Advisor, she is uniquely familiar with the pressures and demands of the job. Her business, Simply Organized, works with individuals and teams to organize their Financial Advisor practices for profit and peace of mind. Teresa is a regular contributor to Horsesmouth and a frequent contributor to Advisor Perspectives and an occasional contributor to the Nerd’s Eye View blog. She was named the 2020 Client Experience Coach for the Financial Planning Association.
Join the Great Advisor Time Management Dividend Project
Now is the moment for you to finally get control of your schedule and your life.
If you’re like nearly all advisors, you definitely face time-management and schedule challenges. Teresa’s Time Management Dividend Project will guide you through the process. You’ll get to analyze new insights into your business. Devise a new way to structure your daily business life. And create a process that makes sure nothing slips through the cracks. But it’s the next part that’s especially attractive.
You get to decide how to use the Time-Management Dividend. Will you leverage it into more activities meeting clients or engaging in prospecting activities? Or will you choose to put the new-found time into a more visits to the beach or the mountains, more time with your boat or horses, more time coaching a team or pursuing a new physical activity like hiking, fishing, yoga, or gardening? The possibilities are endless.
Teresa’s program is just the right mix of learning, implementation, experience, and adjustment. Your journey to collecting the new time dividend in your life happens over an eight-week period and meets for 90-minutes every two weeks. (You’ll see big changes once you get started with the program!)
Remember, the program runs for eight weeks You’ll soon be enacting the principles Teresa has helped dozens of advisors successfully integrate into their businesses and lives. Worried about hitting roadblocks? You can always get Teresa’s input by email or even a 10-minute call. Plus, here Office Hours session gives everyone a chance to bring their new challenges or issues to Teresa’s attention for a custom response.
Turn $500 Into $5,000, $10,000, or Something Priceless!
Advisors understand ROI, the return on your investment. When your hard work leads to a new client, you know you can count on recurring revenues and view that future revenue as an important return on your marketing investment. When your new approach to time management gives you 50 more hours a year of open time, it’s up to you how to apply that dividend.
If you use some of that new time to dedicate to bringing on a new client or two or three, you know how that translates into future income. One client household with $500,000 in assets will generate $5,000 a year in new revenue. That’s a fantastic rate of return on your $500 investment in the Time Management Dividend Project.
So, honestly, for such a small investment, you’ll finally overhaul how you run your day and enjoy:
More time to think. You can finally stop working in your business and start work on your business. When you can regularly slot in uninterrupted time to think, you’ll be a lot closer to pursuing new approaches, innovations, and services that will be profitable to you and happily received by your clients.
More restful sleep. You won’t wake up in the middle of the night anymore worried that something fell between the cracks. You can’t put a price on this sort of burden lifted from your mind. It’s yours when you implement Teresa’s approach to time management.
Reduced stress. We all want to be there for our clients. We want to fix problems. When you’ve got full command over your time, and know how to smoothly transition from your schedule to addressing a sudden problem, and then easily get back into the flow, it’s a major stress reliever. Knowing emergencies won’t constantly throw you off when they happen is a major stress reliever.
Everyone Will Want Her
“I am being a bit selfish about Teresa. She is doing such a great job but I do not want to say too much as then everyone will want her.”
More time for marketing. Many advisors want to grow their business, but often can never clear the space and time to get over the hump to really work on new marketing activities like a retirement webinar or seminar program. Now you’ll be able to do that once you complete Teresa’s program.
Your staff benefits, too. A well-run practice includes your support team, too. They’ll also benefit from a Model Week and Master Calendar.
Enjoy the new Roaring Twenties! In the coming months and years, I think there’s a good case that one impact of the pandemic may be a return to the Roaring Twenties. I’m not saying we’re going to see Flappers dancing the Charleston. But the pent-up demand for enjoying life and good times is a real thing. So your Time Management Dividend is also your ticket to more fun times whatever that means to you and your life. That’s another benefit!
Don’t Miss This Opportunity—Sign Up Now!
I urge you to take control of your business life right now and commit to improving your time management.
It just has so many positives built in for your business and really no serious down sides. Good time management helps you grow your business. It boosts your confidence in running your own business and your staff’s confidence in the value all of you are delivering to your clients.
It makes you a better advisor. That’s the hallmark of all Horsesmouth’s programs.
So please take advantage of this time-limited offer to join the Great Advisor Time Management Dividend Project. You deserve all the benefits enjoyed by top advisors who've already mastered the art of smartly managing their valuable time.
There's never been a better moment to improve your business. Don't procrastinate on this offer. Make it happen now. Your first step starts here by completing your enrollment in the program.
Sean M. Bailey
Editor in Chief
230 Park Avenue, 3rd Floor West
New York, NY 10169
P.S. Remember, the programs are recorded, so don’t worry if one of the sessions conflicts with something already scheduled. Plus, you can always get a quick email check-in from Teresa. Sign up now!
P.P.S. Teresa pointed out the other day that the 50-hour time management dividend could also be used to hire a client service associate, too. Another benefit!
FOR INSTANT SERVICE Call Toll Free: 1-888-336-6884 ext. 1 (Outside U.S.): 1-212-343-8760