My Wife Wants Me to Hire a Partner

Beverly FlaxingtonBeverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

I am a financial advisor with my own practice. I need to do a better job of time management and I know that probably means bringing in someone with administrative or operational skills. But I’m not excited by the prospect. I live a very nice life, take off when and where I want to, serve my clients well but let them know when I will be out of touch (and they respect this) and have developed an approach that works well – for me.

Can I continue to do this for the next 15 years until I retire? I write because my wife keeps bugging me to “hire someone to help” and I am dragging my feet to do this. She thinks it will free me up, but I believe it will tie me down in ways I don’t desire.

Al P.

Dear Al,

I’m often asked to intervene when partners or people in a firm disagree on something. But you are the first to ask in response in a marital situation. It’s dangerous territory so I’ll take your question very seriously.

It’s hard to answer this question without knowing a bit about where it comes from, from your wife or you. For example, is this a succession issue? Is it because you are working long hours when you are in the office doing things your spouse believes could be done by others? Is it because, as with one of my current coaching clients, you have had a bad situation and don’t want to take another risk to bring on someone? Is it because you like to do things a certain way and someone in your office would cramp your style?