Many, many years ago when I was a kid, we obviously did not have things like cell phones, laptops, or the internet. Phone service was expensive (it was a big deal to get a long distance phone call), so people wrote these things called letters. When someone would travel, it was not usual to not hear from them for days or even weeks at a time. This idea of “let me know when you get home” was inconceivable.
I think we create our own sense of urgency about being connected as if others expect an immediate response.
Last week I was in a remote area of Ontario, Canada, fishing for a variety of salmon. I brought along one of my clients to enjoy the experience. Five days of incredible fishing. No cell service, no internet, and barely any electricity.
The first two nights a black bear paid a visit to the camp and even stuck his nose in my tent. (I kid you not). Also ran into a bobcat, fox, wolf (that was fun), and countless eagles.
When I returned to civilization last Sunday, I made a very pleasant discovery: I am no longer an essential employee in my practice.
New clients were signed, existing clients were served, and all inquiries about the Equifax hack were quickly answered.
I even received over 20 emails from clients telling me how happy they were with our services.
All of this happened because of the systems that run my business. As fate would have it, every client received an email while I was gone inquiring as to whether we were meeting their needs. You can imagine how good it felt knowing I was hundreds of miles away on an Ojibway Tribe fishing camp while they expressed their satisfaction.
The goal of every business owner should be to become “non-essential.” You will never achieve your fullest potential as long as you’re the center of your firm’s universe.
Here’s the best part of all: you don’t need to have $200 million of AUM to have this type of freedom. You can have it with $20 million. Even less.
Systems and the freedom that comes with them do not require massive amounts of capital. Quite the opposite. More importantly, once in place, you will find it much easier to rapidly expand your business.
But it takes more than a marketing system. It requires an accounting system, a profit system, a selling system, and automation system, a client retention system, a referral system, and a succession system. Without them, you’re flying blind. You’re off the reality grid and wolves will eat you.