I’m an entrepreneur in the financial services industry. But I must admit that it took me a while to realize it.

So I’d like to ask you: Are you an entrepreneur? Do you see yourself as being in business? Do you think like a business owner?

Personally, I find that our industry offers us extraordinary opportunities that very few other fields can match. However, I think most of us start out in financial services without giving it a lot of thought. We’re given a successful formula for earning our living: make a fixed number of calls a day, set up a minimum number of appointments per week, ask for referrals, etc. We then throw ourselves into the venture without really understanding that we’re setting limits to what we can achieve based on our immediate environment. Quite naturally, we look to the most successful advisors. We compare our efforts to theirs, get inspired by them and think that if we achieve their figures, we’ll have succeeded. Today, I see things a little differently and think that we are the ones who limit ourselves …

Let me give you a concrete example. In 2013, our firm decided to introduce its own mutual funds. One year before embarking on this adventure, our reach and commercial activities basically covered a 200-km radius from our main office in Quebec City. Never did we imagine that within a few years, over 245 advisors would be doing business with us in several different provinces across the country. Never did we imagine that in 2016 we’d hire our first employee in Toronto.

What fascinates me in the financial services industry is that every entrepreneur has a different business plan! I’ve met hundreds of independent advisors over the years and every one of them achieved success in their own way.

Think about it! The financial services field is incredible!

Imagine for a second that instead of being a financial services entrepreneur, you were in a different field.

If you had car dealerships, you’d have to buy a huge building and maintain a large fleet of vehicles. If you had a company that built homes, you’d probably have to buy lots or big pieces of land before you could build and sell your homes. If you had a transportation company, you’d need to invest in dozens of heavy trucks. In most sectors, you’d need a significant amount of capital to do business and generate earnings similar to your current compensation. In financial services, we don’t have an inventory to maintain, there is no fleet of vehicles to keep, no buildings to build, etc. All such constraints simply don’t exist! Getting into financial services is relatively easy for an entrepreneur and our only limit is, essentially, our own creativity.

I’m certain that we are the ones who set the limits on ourselves. And I strongly believe that those limits are strongly influenced by our environment.

For our part, four years after launching our mutual funds, I can quite easily envisage our firm doing business anywhere in Canada. Our horizons have expanded and our playing field is much bigger today that it was five years ago. I must humbly admit, however, that the thought of doing business in the United States seemed almost impossible. Once again, I probably set that limit myself …

And you? What’s your limit?

In fact, it doesn’t really matter … I’m certain you can go beyond it!

François Beaudoin

 

 

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