All Business is Show Business

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Tom Peters wrote In Search of Excellence in 1988, and the book revolutionized business from that point forward. His observation that “all business is show business” became one of my foundational entrepreneurial beliefs. That idea drove excellence in the companies he studied for the book, and it drives the best advisory firms today.

But the idea isn’t intuitive.

Advisors are analytical and practical. They live in a world of numbers and spreadsheets and tax forms. They puzzle over budgets, expenses, and projections. Most are organized, detail-oriented, and thorough. In fact, those are entry level skills to any career in the field of finance.

It takes creativity to build an advisory business. To succeed, you must engage other people. You must draw them in, assess their needs, design practical solutions, explain those solutions, and finally convince and help them act. That’s a lot of steps. It takes more than numbers and spreadsheets to create profits!

Show business matters. Lots of people can sing, but only a few make a good living at it. The elements that make any kind of good show define an advisor and build healthy relationships. With thoughtfulness, a good show can help your client through the planning process, too.