Creating a succession plan can be a momentous task, leading to a transition that transforms not only the business, but lifestyle of everyone involved. It often takes a team approach to cover all aspects of the transition and the personalities involved. We understand our strengths and our limits in the planning process, and embrace the opportunity to work with diverse professionals, coaches and consultants. Each brings something new and valuable to the table, and their role in the process can be as unique as the business going through transition. This guest blog is part of a series featuring some of our partners and colleagues who contribute to the succession planning process and supplement FP Transitions’ analytical and strategic skill set.
Our first guest blogger, Marty Kurtz, CFP, is a past president of the FPA and a terrific example of an advisor who transformed his business and gained the flexibility to move on to a new, meaningful chapter in his career. After completing his own succession plan, Marty launched Turning Point, a coaching program centered on a 3-day getaway where successful advisors can gather with a small group of their peers to focus on their vision for the future. In his own words, Marty explains what led him to create this valuable retreat, and how Turning Point fills a void for his fellow professionals.
When I started thinking about my succession plan for eventually exiting The Planning Center, like most people I started with “the numbers,” but I was struggling with a lot of emotions. It’s a touchy subject, because many advisors who are leading a practice don’t want to exhibit what we sometimes think of as a weakness. But I realized I needed a “safe place” to have conversations about my transition out and my plans for chapter two. That’s when I brought in Elizabeth [Jetton, CFP]. Having been through several turning points herself, Elizabeth was familiar with the hard work needed for a successful transition. Eventually we decided to form TurningPoint because we knew that many others were going to be in the same position – advisors who have listened to and solved everybody else’s problems for decades, but now have their own issues to work through related to relationships, self-identity, vulnerability, uncertainty and honoring the practice’s culture and clients as you transition out.
“It’s often hard to see it at the time, but I’ve always found that the next phase was better than the one before, but not without hard work on me,” says Elizabeth. “I had to learn to let go, reflect, listen to the voice telling me what to pay attention to, and keep my values at the center.” That reflects our number one principle at TurningPoint: succession planning should be undertaken with integrity and be values-based, authentic, in service to all stakeholders and aligned with vision. Succession planning really is a transition journey – in a career and in a life. The journey requires new understandings, changes in behavior, discovering what and who matter, time for reflection and, perhaps most of all, letting go. We often think of this quote from Marcia Reynolds’ book, ‘The Discomfort Zone,’ and believe it really applies to those going through a succession transition: How do you create a life that feels fulfilling after one that felt amazing?”
Working with Marty and Elizabeth has been fascinating. They bring perspective to a complex topic that some advisors find to be the missing link in the succession planning process. Marty and Elizabeth host several retreats per year, with events currently scheduled in January and March of 2016. The venues are beautiful, sites far from the noise of and clutter of the office, where advisors can confront their personal worries and apprehensions with peers who understand their concerns. Learn more about Turning Point and their Retreats at www.turningpoint.vision.