Happy birthday to The AGC!
Today marks the official third birthday* for The AGC (Advisors Growing As A Community) and I could not be more proud of what this community has become and where it is going. What originally started off as a conversation about an advisor-focused newsletter focusing on marketing and branding (a small idea) turned into a community for financial advisors to come together and support each other’s growth both personally and professionally. I have to give Taylor Schulte all of the credit for bringing the idea of a community to the table–once he mentioned it I was all in and threw away my idea for the monthly newsletter.
Currently, the community sits at around 170 financial advisors and is a GLOBAL community with advisors not only in the U.S. but also Canada, the U.K., and India. There are advisors in all different stages of their careers and representing all of the different business models a financial advisor could operate under. We have young, old, and in-between advisors. We have CFP® practitioners, non-CFP® practitioners, and all of the other designations. We’ve had advisor join forces to work together and we’ve had multiple advisors launch their own firms thanks to the support and advice of other members.
In general, we have a great community of people who happen to be financial advisors.
As I sit back and look at what the community has accomplished over the first three years I am in awe. A few of the many highlights:
- Starting with one of the most exciting…we are publishing a book with Harriman House that will be out in March 2023. Help me reach my personal goal of seeing the 29 advisors who contributed to the book make the New York Times Best Seller’s list by pre-ordering your copy of More Than Money. All of the author proceeds are being donated to organizations in our profession like BLX and Foundation For Financial Planning
- Created a mentorship program for college students with AGC members–we’re currently working with Michigan State as we perfect the program before taking it to other colleges. My personal goal is to not only take this program not only to the major financial planning colleges but also to smaller colleges and HBCUs to do our part to bring more diversity and inclusion into our profession. This mentorship program was born out of our One Step Forward group, which is some organizations would be called DE&I but since most DE&I groups are all talk and little action, we decided to call the group One Step Forward as we focus on efforts to move our profession One Step Forward.
- We’re launching a series of informational webinars for financial advisors to expose them to different aspects of the business they may not be aware of. I can speak from personal experience that many advisors don’t know what they don’t know, which often leads to great advisors leaving the business because they found themselves in the wrong firm or business models. Our first webinar in November will cover all of the different ways a financial advisor can work with their clients and structure their practice and focus on women in the profession.
- Our first AGC event (since the first attempt was canceled due to Covid) in Huntington Beach prior to the Future Proof conference. We spent an afternoon together talking, laughing, and learning from Jay Clouse and Khe Hy.
- Multiple in-person meet ups for members across the country to take the online relationships to real life.
- Multiple advisors launch new content efforts—blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, and even TikTok
- Multiple advisors appearing as guests on Michael Kitces’ podcast
- Multiple advisors included in Investment News 40 Under 40
- Multiple advisors included in Investopedia’s 100 Most Influential Financial Advisors
- And finally, not one hateful conversation centered around advisor fees, investment preferences, or any of the other dumb debates we see daily on social media.
I’ve learned a lot over the last few years and with communities being all the rage right now, I thought I’d share one thing I KNOW we did right…well two things we did right.
First, we hired Mallory Clouse as our Community Manager and we knocked that out of the park. Mallory keeps the community thriving, engaged, and knows every member by face and name. Without Mallory there is no way The AGC would be the strong community it is today…so that’s one thing I’d recommend. Find someone who loves the community as much as the founders and can nurture it with love and care.
Second, we were intentional from the very beginning about making The AGC all about the people–the community. We aren’t the only community for financial advisor and we aren’t even close to the biggest. However, unlike the other advisor communities we are community first. Most communities form as a byproduct of something else–tech stacks, coaching programs, etc. There’s nothing wrong with a community starting as a second thought, but it doesn’t lead to the closeness and strength we see in the AGC. The advisors are in the community because they want to be surrounded by other like-minded, forward-thinking, and abundant-mindset financial advisors. The guest speakers, social groups, vendor discounts are just bonus–we tell advisors looking at the community to come for the people, not the other stuff.
So if you’re thinking of building a community, make it about the community first.
I’m not ready to rush through 2022 (well I am from a market standpoint) but I am excited for 2023 in The AGC. After seeing our community together in person at Future Proof and knowing we will have more opportunities to be together, in addition to minor improvements inside of the community, I believe this will be the best year yet.
So happy birthday to The AGC–I’m so proud to be a member and learn and grow with so many great people.
Cheers to many more years!!
If you’re a financial advisor interested in joining us or learning more check out our website and feel free to reach out to see if it would be a good fit for you!
* I say official because technically our OG 50 beta members had access in September of 2019 but we didn’t expect to sell out the open spots in 72 hours and didn’t have anything planned until October.
Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining to your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.