Last year I flew across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time for my first trip to Europe. I arranged to meet my wife in Amsterdam and we planned to tour the Netherlands and Belgium together. I studied a little bit of Dutch and a little bit of French before my trip but am very grateful most everyone we met was more fluent in English than I was in their language. We enjoyed our trip immensely and it unleashed the travel bug in both of us.
When we arrived in a new city, we would seek out a walking tour of the city. Local guides would meet us and others at a central point and walk us through the city providing advice and context. Some were paid and others were free but encouraged generous tips. We found these guides to be a very valuable part of our trip. For a few hours we learned about the history, architecture, people, foods, things not to miss, things to watch out for and the culture of the city as we walked through the streets getting a lay of the land and learning the locations of different points of interest. For the investment of some time, a little bit of money and being willing to listen our travel experience was greatly improved and we benefitted. With what we learned from our guide, we were able to confidently go about the rest of our time in the city alone.
At the end of October, I went to Greenville, South Carolina to attend a conference for entrepreneurial CPAs. The conference topic was “The Cry of the Advisor.” My purpose was to learn how to be a better advisor for my clients. An advisor is generally a person with a deeper knowledge or understanding in a specific area and usually includes those with greater cross-functional and multi-disciplinary expertise. An advisor takes on the role of a mentor or guide rather than a consultant who has a more task-specific role. I consider my role as an advisor as the role of a guide along the path of business and financial life for my clients. They seek and find value in the insight I provide. I love being an advisor for my clients.
Just as I sought the advice of a guide while travelling, business owners and entrepreneurs should also look at seeking the advice and insight of advisors on different parts of their journey. Some clients want a fully guided tour while others only want a few hours here and there along the journey. Neither method is wrong.
As your business begins, changes in life circumstances, things that would impact taxes, legal issues, insurance needs, growing your business and exiting your business are all points along the journey where a guide or advisor can help you the most. When advisors provide objectivity and clients provide trust, advisors can deliver life-changing insight and impact.
As you get started in business it might be wise to select some advisors now that can help you when needed. Find a business attorney, insurance advisor, financial advisor, a good CPA and maybe even a business coach and make them part of your advisory team. If you are already moving along the business path and don’t have a team of advisors, it might be time to consider finding some. For the investment of some time, a little bit of money and being willing to listen, your business journey will be greatly improved and you will benefit. With what you learn from your guides, you will be able to confidently go about your business journey alone until you get to your next stop
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