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The Financial Advisor as Entrepreneur: 10 Entrepreneurial Skills

By ClientWise | November 16, 2012

The word “entrepreneur” is of French derivation (entreprendre, to undertake) and is defined as: a person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk of a business. With this definition, it is clear that most all financial advisors are entrepreneurs.

Of course, in some cases the broker-dealer shares some of the entrepreneurial risks of the business. The b/d might pay the light bill, or be responsible for the office lease, or provide for many of the other fixed costs that are important in sustaining a financial advisory business. However, even in these cases there is little question that the financial advisor is ultimately responsible for the long-term success of their business.

No one else but the financial advisor will be responsible for the organization, operation, and overall vision for the business that they build.

With that said, ClientWise research has observed that there are 10 Entrepreneurial Proficiencies that contribute to the future success of those financial advisors who are, or aspire to be, entrepreneurs. As you review the proficiencies below, consider how you rank in each category, and what you might like to work on to better yourself...now and into the coming year.


10 Entrepreneurial Proficiencies

1. Vision: Creates and communicates a compelling and inspired vision and sense of core purpose. Leads on the vision of the future, not on the reality of today.

2. Strategic Agility: Can see ahead clearly and anticipate future consequences and trends. Has broad industry knowledge and perspective. Future-focused. Can articulate vision, possibilities, strategies and plans.

3. Client Focus: Clear understanding of client’s needs, preferences, interests, timelines, and decision-making criteria. Can walk in the shoes of the client and speak their language.

4. Communicator: Relates well to all kinds of people, inside and outside the team, and firm. Ability to influence, persuade, and build constructive relationships with others.

5. Motivator: Ability to inspire and motivate others, communicates and sells the vision and future. Charismatic and persuasive.

6. Flexibility: Ability to adapt to dynamic environments with ease and speed. Thrives on change.

7. Low Risk Aversion: Ability to take and manage appropriate risks and use to the organization’s advantage. Can step into the unknown and allow the company/team to take steps to outpace the competition.

8. Business Acumen: Knowledgeable in current and future trends, practices, and exogenous factors affecting the industry and business. A firm understanding of competitors and a good grasp of effective strategies and tactics that work in the marketplace.

9. Embrace Ambiguity: Can cope with and embrace change and use it to advantage. Ability to act without having the total picture.

10. Continuous Learner: A quick, relentless, and versatile learner. Can analyze the successes and failures and learn from experience.


As you review and consider these 10 Entrepreneurial Proficiencies, where are you exceptional? What would you like to improve upon? As you build your business plan for 2013 and beyond, you may want to use this learning to enhance your professional development and standing as the financial advisor as entrepreneur.

We trust that you have found our posts this week helpful and/or thought-provoking. To the extent that we can help you embrace your role as entrepreneur, please do not hesitate to connect with us.

As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), ClientWise has been paying special attention to the role that financial advisors play in this space…as entrepreneurs themselves, and as consultants and advisors to other entrepreneurs. We feel that the connection between entrepreneurialism and financial advisors is a close one, and welcome the opportunity to increase that bond.


For the ClientWise Learning Tool that guides you to build the wealth management enterprise that you really want, please download below:


8 Wealth Management enterprise

Topics: Leadership Entrepreneurs

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