(From the July 2023 Edition of eFORUM)
By Robyn K. Thompson
You work hard for your clients. Nights, weekends, holidays. That’s the nature of the business. And it can be immensely rewarding both psychologically and financially. But you also need time off to avoid burnout, which is a common affliction among financial advisors who often find it tough to “turn off.”
So how do you square your goal of top-notch client service with taking a vacation? I can almost feel the pangs of guilt rising! It doesn’t have to be that way. You can, in fact, get the best of both worlds with a bit of planning and a change in your mindset – at least for a couple of weeks.
If you’re heading up to your cottage or off to a resort, you’ll mostly likely want to have some means of staying in touch with your clients and/or your office. Of course, your laptop, smartphone, and tablet are now your travel essentials along with the sunscreen. With these, you’ll be able to continue posting to your blog, social media channels, sending email blasts, and recording podcasts if that’s one of your favoured means of communication.
Remember, though, that it’s vacation time for you and your clients too. Scale back your communication efforts so that you don’t become off-putting. Keep your messages light and topical for the season. If you’re vacationing near your clients’ geographic area, consider messages related to local real estate, businesses, retirement opportunities, and so on. Interview locals about business opportunities, benefits and amenities of living or retiring in the area, the cost of living, the real estate market, and other issues people often daydream about while on summer vacation.
If you’re recording podcasts, try interviewing interesting locals – successful business owners, retirees, and so on. You won’t have your home studio with you, of course, so you’ll probably be using your smartphone. In that case, you’ll need a good external microphone and a headset to give you the best audio possible if you’re doing remote recording. Thankfully, you can always edit and sharpen the audio on your laptop before posting.
All this sounds like a lot of work. And it is. It almost defeats the entire purpose of taking a vacation to begin with. That’s why I recommended scaling back your level of e-mailing, blogging, posting, and podcasting. Instead of daily updates, consider cutting back to once or maybe twice a week while you’re away.
Finally, changing your own behaviour also comes in. On your vacation, resolve to “unplug” for at least some of the time. Turn off your social media streams, emails, and phone calls for set periods. Resist the urge “just to check in.” If you’ve left your team back at the office with clear instructions and processes, trust them to take care of it while you’re away. If you don’t think you can, use some of your vacation time planning on how to renovate, recharge, or replace that team.
Your vacation is your time to set aside the rat race, rest, and reconnect with your family. Don’t waste it by making it just another day at the office, only with a better view.
© 2023 by Robyn K. Thompson. All rights reserved. This article is for information only and is not intended as personal investment or financial advice.
Robyn Thompson, CFP, CIM, FCSI is the President of Castlemark Wealth Management Inc.
Robyn is an accomplished financial journalist and communicator, with an ability to cut through financial jargon and simplify difficult concepts for laypeople. With a high comfort level on stage, at the dais, or in front of the camera, Robyn will bring dynamic, compelling style to your professional function, event, or broadcast.