Igniting the Spark!

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’m bored. I’m tired of running my practice. I enjoy my clients but I don’t feel like looking for new ones. I lack motivation to work with my staff and mentor or coach. I wouldn’t say I am depressed – just not motivated. Is this what happens to every advisor who has been doing this for a while?


Dear K.W.,

Hmm…. Your note brings up a number of issues and none of them is particularly easy to solve in a simple column! While I am not a clinician and cannot do a diagnosis, I suggest you talk to someone and make sure you are not depressed, have low iron, Lyme disease or something that is creating a mental or emotional condition. It’s not unusual for any professional to hit a wall at one point or another where you aren’t inspired and you feel same-old, same-old about what you are doing, but your note tells me this might be a deeper issue. So please do speak with someone just to make sure all you need is a “kick in the pants.”

If you determine it is, in fact, a case of needing to recharge, reinvigorate and get your mojo back, there are a few things you could do to turn your attitude around:

  1. Set some goals. You sound a bit aimless (no offense intended). It’s the same thing every day but it doesn’t sound like you are driving toward anything, or experiencing a sense of accomplishment from what you are doing. Consider setting some goals – small or large – so that you are planning toward something you care about. Would you like to see your team develop and plan for succession? Would you like to work with different types of clients? Would you like to take up a hobby, support a charity or mentor someone outside of your firm? Find something goal-oriented, write it down and make time in your day to work towards it.
  1. Go visit someone in a nursing home or rehabilitation center. I just saw a former colleague who had a stroke and may never leave the rehab center, even though this person is only mid 50s in age. Being there, and realizing how fortunate I am to have good health, and a busy consulting firm brought me back to my desk today with renewed vigor and energy. Reach out and help someone who is hurting or doesn’t have much; it may change your attitude about your employees, your firm and your work when you realize how fortunate you really are!
  1. Seek out partners or other experts and create a collaboration, support group or frequent lunches to share ideas. Often times talking with others about the business, new ideas, how to improve and what you could be doing differently can be invigorating. Make connections with other trusted advisors, or those who serve your market and engage!
  1. Bring your team together to set some goals and objectives for the firm. You sound a bit like you are operating in a vacuum and the staff is “out there” while you are sitting in your office. Can you get re-energized by engaging with your team in a different way?
  1. Get outside, exercise and do some things to get the endorphins firing in your brain! Get up from your desk, take a walk, get outside or go to the gym. I started boxing a while ago and can validate how incredibly invigorating it is! You don’t have to punch something, but find some sort of physical outlet and get moving!