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How Financial Advisors Can Set Measurable Professional Goals

Get a Baseline for the Present

Before you can determine where you’re going, you need a snapshot of where you are today. This requires taking a clear-eyed look at both your successes and failures in all areas of your financial planning business. For example, maybe you’re a marketing guru or a natural people person. Perhaps your processes leave a bit to be desired when it comes to organization or your prospecting suffers from procrastination. The idea here is to examine honestly what’s working and what’s not and to pinpoint those areas of your business that need attention.

Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • What are the top three accomplishments from this past year?
  • What are the top three disappointments from this past year?
  • What are my key skills or areas of knowledge?
  • What skills or knowledge do I lack?
  • What goals from the past year did I achieve?
  • What goals from the past year did I miss?


If you’re in your first year of running a wealth management business, you won’t have a track record to review in this step. Ask a more seasoned financial advisor for input on what they think an ideal first year should entail as a means to getting your baseline. This will help ensure your goals are reasonable.

Picture Your Future

Now that you have a better idea of where you stand, determine what you want your future to look like. Do this by defining long-term goals. How do you see your wealth management business in five years? Are you looking to acquire a certain number of clients by that time, or do you have a monetary goal in mind? Be specific. Instead of saying “I want more clients in five years,” say “I want to get three targeted clients each month for the next five years.” The more articulate you can be about your long-game perspective, the more specific your actionable goals will be.

Devise a Way to Measure Your Goals

Your goals will need to be measurable so that you know when you accomplish them. You’ve established what you want the future of your business to look like; now is when you’ll create the actionable goals that will serve as the building blocks for long-term gains.

Think of it like a simple math problem.

To get three targeted clients each month, set a goal to send out 50 LinkedIn messages. If, at the end of the month, you see that you’ve only sent 30, you know you’re off track.

Don’t panic! Thanks to this measurable data, now you know you need to course-correct next month by making some tweaks. The purpose of goal-setting and goal-achieving is not to be perfect every time but instead to be continuously responding to feedback and making ongoing adjustments.

Assess the Risk

In short, have a Plan B. There will always be challenges to overcoming your goals, so be practical. Ask yourself what might go wrong along the way, and have a plan in case that happens.

Grow Your Business

If you’re ready to grow your wealth management business, let’s talk. Farm Bureau is looking for experienced financial advisors for Farm Bureau’s Wealth Management offices.