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Perils & Pleasures of Working From Home: An RIA Tells All
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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After years at a larger firm, Dave Grant launched his own financial planning business, Finance for Teachers, in Cary, Ill. Follow his high's and lows of starting his own RIA in his bi-weekly blog, The New Generation's Practice. Click here for more of his posts.

For the past six years, I have started work at 8:30 a.m. and been able to leave at 5 p.m. (most of the time). I’ve had a structured day in which I know what tasks I needed to accomplish. Given the places we have lived, that has meant a 45 minute commute in the morning and at least an hour at night.

Now that my office is in my bedroom, I can fall out of bed and be at work.

I love getting back those two hours a day I spent commuting. It allows me to start work earlier in the morning and then at 5pm, I can finish up and go play with my two boys. But, structuring my time in between those hours is still a work in progress.

My list of things to get my business running is almost complete, and all of my major expenditures are done. Now it’s time to start building my practice, but to try and do that without a structure and processes in place would be a disaster! One task that will be worked on incrementally is to implement procedures for every task that I carry out. Along with my intern, we’ll be writing down everything I do with prospecting and working with clients, marketing, and compliance. It won’t be fun, but to have a framework in place will be essential.

Another thing that I will be putting in place soon is RescueTime. While social media is one of my marketing strategies, I need to be aware of what is “marketing time” and when it evolves into “wasting time”. I need to ensure I’m being productive so I can attract clients and start making money. I also need to have alerts in place to get focused but also when to take breaks. I love the flexibility of being self-employed, but internally I’m screaming for a schedule.

Got some ideas for Dave? Leave them below.

Grant is also the founder of NAPFA Genesis, a networking group for young, fee-only planners and the founder of Fee Only Consulting, which focuses on developing the skills of Gen Y planners. In addition, he’s

 

(3) Comments
Leave your bedroom, Dave. I have a home office that was once a bedroom. I can close the door and shut out all the distractions. The family knows, when I havet he door closed, not to interrupt unless it is an emergency. I had a challenge with clutter for a while, but have gotten it under control by converting a closet into a supply closet. You have to feel like you have "gone to work". You just have the benefit of going to work in your PJs if you don't want to get dressed first.
Posted by Anita R | Friday, June 28 2013 at 2:58PM ET
RescueTime is a terrific resource. I like the weekly report that summarizes how many hours I have worked and how "productive" I have been as well as a comparison to the previous week. I also like making task lists which are a great place to track how long certain tasks take. Good outsourcing and accountability technique of having the intern log and create your policies and procedures. I bet join.me would enable you to record some of your tasks with video and voice that could be helpful to when you hire a full-time employee.
Posted by Julie A | Friday, June 28 2013 at 6:37PM ET
Anita - thank you for your comments. The bedroom setting is a blessing and a curse. But with a big window to look out of, I can enjoy the view and see my son playing - a good reminder of why I made this move in the first place. I have done freelance work from home before so find the switch a little easier than I thought, but to switch off at the end of the day is hard.
Posted by Dave G | Monday, July 01 2013 at 5:22PM ET
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