How to Know When It’s Time for a Change

Oct 6, 2022 11 min read

As an advisor, giving advice is your profession. But perhaps it’s time to turn the tables and heed the wisdom of two unlikely sources: Bob Dylan and Sheryl Crow. As these musicians will tell you, “Times They Are A-Changin’” and so “A Change Would Do You Good.”

They’re calling it “The Great Resignation,” as droves of people across industries are leaving their jobs to explore something new: whether it’s a new company, a new industry, or entrepreneurship. Likewise, many advisors have recently made the shift from working at a bank to managing their independent practices.

If you’ve considered, or maybe even fantasized about, what it would be like to own your independent advisor practice, it’s important to first become completely confident in your decision.

So how do you know when it’s time for a change?

At Purpose Advisor Solutions, we’re entrepreneurs who help entrepreneurs.

If you want to become an entrepreneur, the first step is to have a realistic picture of your strengths and the challenges you’ll face — then you can confidently decide if the opportunities outweigh the risks.

Key Takeaways

  • Changing firms is a major decision and one that should not be made without significant consideration.

  • Successful independent practices rely on the delivery of exceptional client experiences, the adoption of forward-looking technology, the know-how to create and control your equity, and above all, an entrepreneurial mindset.

  • Setting up a sophisticated infrastructure to support the client and business needs requires an investment of resources and time. While this may seem like a barrier to entry in the initial stages, it will get rewarded handsomely later.


As a successful advisor, you know what your clients want and how they want to be served. If your current situation limits your ability to deliver the experience that’s needed to be successful, your growth and profitability will be challenged. Several factors will drive this: technology, compliance/regulatory rules, and the ability to invest in staff and resources.

As your practice matures, your needs will inevitably change. You might find yourself in a situation where the policies, procedures, and tools that were manageable as you grew, have now become an impediment to the goals you’ve set for the next phase of your business.

As you develop your practice, vision, and business plan, it’s essential to ensure that your firm can support your growth. If it can’t, it’s time for a change.

We’ve worked with a number of practices that found themselves in this exact scenario. Servicing clients had become so burdensome that the prospect of future growth became less appealing, as it would require more staff and become incrementally less profitable for the business. For advisors with an appetite for growth, this creates an existential crisis.

There’s often a risk in transitioning to something new, but is slowing your growth trajectory the only way to avoid this risk? When deciding whether to go independent: reflect on what is truly the bigger risk for you at this point in your career.


A common complaint we hear from advisors is that their firm’s technology doesn’t meet their practice needs and that a large portion of their time is spent on administration and compliance instead of serving clients. Often the frustration is also from the lack of sophistication with presentation tools for client-facing reports or technology to increase efficiency for portfolio management or client relationship management.

As an advisor, you can tell whether your technology investments are consistent and moving in the right direction. Look out for and take advantage of new enhancements that make your practice more efficient. Hearing regular messages about plans and vision with no result may mean you need to re-evaluate your current technology setup.

Legacy platforms are often a cause of the slower-than-normal progression of a firm.

If you find yourself frustrated by the limitations of your firm’s current tech infrastructure, it might be time to consider moving beyond both the legacy platform and the legacy company.

Having the right tools is essential to helping you grow and create value. Make sure the technology you use elevates — not impedes — your advisor's practice.


The financial implications of making a change to go independent could be significant, but the ability to create and control your equity is an even larger part of this transition. Short-term cash flow allows you to monetize the value of your practice, as long as you have an understanding of your equity value and who owns the equity rights to your book.

Giving up equity in your practice can be an expensive source of cash flow.

While the options to monetize your practice used to be limited, there are now more ways to get access to cash. At Purpose Advisor Solutions, we’ve created multiple options for advisors and can provide equity capital to support succession planning, growth, or other investments in your practice without you having to give up your control.


Another key consideration when deciding whether to go independent is based on your personality: reflect honestly on your values, identity, and ambitions. Having the independence to form your own company identity is a huge advantage if you appreciate a smaller, more closely-knit company atmosphere. It also gives you and your clients the freedom to make the best investment decisions without being confined by the policies and priorities of your current firm.

Historically, independence was about captive investment products.

Today, deciding whether to go independent is a broader question about having the freedom to collaborate with partners both inside and outside your firm to deliver what clients need.

Independence eliminates any confusion about who is at the center of your client relationship.

Think about what’s important to you at this point in your career: Going independent is all about having the freedom to work and live the way you want.

If you crave ownership of your time, your client’s experience, and your legacy — you are best suited to start your own independent practice.


Once you determine that it is time for a change, find the right partners to ensure your success and prepare yourself to make important decisions, such as choosing your business entity and what types of technology you want to invest in.

Anticipate roadblocks and strategize how you will lead your team. Use your knowledge to find short-term answers and design long-term plans for a variety of situations. Your experience as an advisor will be key, but the knowledge of building a business is more important during the beginning stages. Nevertheless, with the right planning and support, you can lead your team through this transition and see continuous growth and results within your business.

If you think you’re ready for a transition or want to discuss if it is the right choice for you, send us a note.

Success stories


Adopting Purpose's tech platform was like jumping 20 years into the future. This partnership has been a game-changer for us especially since we started from scratch. We're now able to accelerate our growth at a much faster pace than we ever could have on our own.



President & CEO @ Origin Wealth