Justin Lafazan is an acclaimed entrepreneur, speaker, best-selling author and consultant with three companies under his belt at just 20 years old. The Founder of Next Gen Summit and best-selling author of What Wakes You Up?, has been featured in Forbes, USA Today,The Huffington Post, Inc. Magazine and more. Justin is on a mission to inspire the world’s young people to design the lives they want to live, through entrepreneurship.
As independent financial advisors, we wanted to pick Justin’s brain and learn from his entrepreneurial spirit. Being independent means you have your own business to brand, market, and sell – it means you’re an entrepreneur.
We asked Justin a few questions that we’ve heard from a lot of Financial Advisors who are thinking about going Independent. Check out our interview with Justin below:
Q: Going independent can be really scary – were you hesitant, at first, to start your own company?
A: Not at all. Forbes writer Paul B Brown likes to say that entrepreneurs are actually risk-averse, and his logic makes sense. Starting a company strategically can yield the most positive outcomes even if the business fails. By operating ethically and with a focus on relationships, you can walk away from a failed enterprise with an improved network, new skills and a volume of experience a corporate job cannot compare to. And worst case, you’ll be a better candidate to go back to the corporate world.
Q: In your TED Talk, you said: "Don't decide what you want to be doing, but decide how you want to be living your life." Why do you feel Financial Advisors would take hold of their entrepreneurial spirit and run with it?
A: 81% of Americans are unhappy with the work that they’re doing. That is 4/5! But the status quo continues to preach climbing the corporate ladder, because so many folks are scared to take that leap. Entrepreneurship is one of the few tools we have as professionals to lead satisfying lives with tremendous upside, as well as capturing value for an enterprise that doesn’t share it equally.
Q: In your opinion, what are the biggest benefits of being an entrepreneur?
A: The fundamental benefit of being an entrepreneur is the ability to live life on your own terms. Most folks hear that in popular culture, and think about vacation days, and being home for dinner. But it extends the opposite way, too. You’ll have the chance to work on projects that excite you, and decide how and when you want to work on them. You’ll have the chance to create impactful partnerships and relationships, and decide how and when to pursue them. And you’ll have the chance to find the ‘why’ that drives your business, and spend each day dedicated to solving a problem or creating a solution that can truly impact the world.
Q: How do you think a Financial Advisor would benefit from an Entrepreneurial Spirit?
A: An entrepreneurial financial advisor can experience faster career acceleration, stronger relationship growth with management, and superior peer and executive recognition within an organization. Financial advisors can use entrepreneurial tactics to grow their businesses, too. With a focus on lead generation, a consciousness of efficacy, a passion towards customer orientation and more, financial advisors can show their clients that they’re in it for them – they’re in it for more than just a paycheck. They can communicate genuine value, both through verbal word as well as their operations.
Q: In your experience how does this spirit help to expand your reach to new, different, or better clientele?
A: Entrepreneurs realize that the only limitation placed on their business comes from themselves. While corporate advisors have to operate within a strict set of corporate-imposed restrictions, entrepreneurial financial advisors can skip the bureaucracy and focus on what matters most: finding ideal clientele, and proving (and eventually providing) tremendous value. Entrepreneurial financial advisors can also build powerful personal brands that help communicate what the advisors stand for.
Justin’s experiences and successes make him an expert in entrepreneurship– he practices what he preaches. He spends his days searching for similar talent as a consultant helping to build businesses. As a leader of entrepreneurs, Justin starts each day with the mission of finding the smartest, most ambitious, and most successful young entrepreneurs around the world and connect them to figure out how they can use their resources and collaborate, compounding their potential for success.
You may remember a blog we wrote last year called, Top 3 Advantages of Being an Independent Financial Advisor, if not, check it out. There are so many benefits to going independent especially when you embrace your entrepreneurial spirit to take your business to new heights.