November 22, 2022

#362 Morgan Hayward – Transcript

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Ben Nash
Hey guys, Ben Nash from the XY advisor team. And today I’m here with Morgan Hayward Morgan is an advisor and Director of Financial Planning at yield advisory. Morgan, great to have you on.

Morgan Hayward
Good morning, Ben, thanks for having me.

Ben Nash
It’s great to be chatting. I, you know, in chatting a little bit offline, I feel like a lot of similarities in the journey that you’re currently on and the one that I’ve been on. So I’m keen to sort of, you know, scratch the surface on some of the things that you’re working through at the moment. But I thought, a good place to start is just can you just for people that maybe didn’t listen to your previous podcast, or haven’t heard of me before, give us a short version of your advice, journey and how you ended up where you are today.

Morgan Hayward
Okay, my advice journey, I’m not sure how far back we want to go. And I started off my advice journey as a mortgage broker. And that’s 10 years ago, I always wanted to be an advisor, but I knew that I had to develop some skills. So I was mortgage broking for quite a while, you know, during that you learn how to deal with human emotions, you learn how to read profit losses. So I ended up going to a quite a complex space with, with finance, then the firm I was at, they started offering financial planning. So I kind of learned all the backwards of that. And then I moved into moves into a different firm, I became an AR at a pretty, pretty horrific for him. But sometimes I learned more watch not to do it, then it’s time for firms. And then I moved to another firm, I was there for a few years, I ended up heading the advice division, they’re completely remodeled their business the way that they do advice. And then a year and a half ago, I decided to take the leap of faith, and we opened up healed financial advisory. So your financial advisory we we tacked on Well, I tacked on to an existing accounting firm that needed financial planning. So we opened up a separate entity. And I do have a business partner in that. And we’ve been almost trading for a year and a half now.

Ben Nash
Awesome. And so you join an established accounting practice to build the financial advice arm of the business. Tell me how did you how did you tackle things from the outset? How did the planning go? And then what happened in the early days?

Morgan Hayward
Yeah, in the early days, it was a fair bit of planning to go into it. Because I think, coming from, you know, my business partners actually have two business partners. They are accountants and business advisors, and they kind of go look, this is your space, you know, you can bounce ideas off us off us if you have them. But you know, how do you want your experience to look like they kind of gave me 100% control? Guess I had a little bit of analysis paralysis. But then I think having a really good supportive network around me, I was chatting to Fraser Jack, you know, year and a half ago, and more than that, and he just like Morgan Kawit, from the back end through to experience. So what is the end result you want the clients to have? What do you want them to experience? And then create everything around that and start from the beginning. So that was a fair bit of time getting that? How do I want to structure my packages? What kind of advice Am I giving? What’s the client base that I’m going to be advising to? What’s the marketing strategy? So there was a fair bit of thought that went into that process? And that I guess a lot of that planning has kind of led to the success that I’ve seen today, just being really articulate, but then also learning from your mistakes. And improving.

Ben Nash
Yeah, totally. And you fast forward to today, you just mentioned, one, we’re chatting about 90 clients on ongoing agreements that you’re looking after plus a handful of sort of ad hoc and an insurance clients as well. So clearly, it’s working. What were the biggest challenges for you in the early days?

Morgan Hayward
In the early days, I think the first thing that I did, because I have worked in accounting firms pretty much my entire career. And I am aware of how that works. I think it was understanding the business model of yield are the same the clients that they have, because they’re very niche, and we target some very specific markets, their understanding how that works, and then understanding the team. So that guess the first thing that I did walk for the team was I understood that accountants naturally don’t like referring I thought there was going to walk into a firm and day one, they have a list of clients to me, absolutely not. That wasn’t how it was. I needed to kind of build their trust and build the clients trust over the journey. So the first thing that I actually did was a bit of presentation to the team, to the accounting team about you know what I do my processes I actually gave all of them free financial advice. So I did a SOA for every single team member, I took out any columns, anything. And I think seeing that as well was a really big thing for them going, Hey, Morgan does a great job. And then soon as I did that, then they started inviting me to client meetings. And also some of the team that I have a referral machines as well, they go help my parents help my friends. I think that was a really big key thing that I did really early on that if I hadn’t had done that, I probably wouldn’t have seen the growth that I had at all in the first six months

Ben Nash
or so. And yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I think that when people are referring when they do it from a place of experience having gone through the process themselves, then they can talk about it for them. And that obviously then leads to more trusting in the work that you’re doing or in the process itself. Plus, they just understand it better. So they can talk about where the value is coming from and what people should expect. What I’m, like, I’m just thinking 18 months in to the work, I expect that you’re you know, it’s it’s still sort of relatively early days, but what have been the biggest things that have changed or that you’ve decided to change over that time.

Morgan Hayward
I think that I’ve changed is i, we got we have our own AFSL. Now. So that was a really big thing for me is I wanted to make my processes more efficient. I wanted to make the client experience better for me, better for the client. And I know that they saw that I was at, they were great. They’ve been really supportive of me, but it just didn’t, we didn’t align anymore. So now I’ve got the facility, I think that’s the biggest change. We were approved. And we started with that October 1. So I guess it’s still a new learning experience. But I think it’s just, again, staying to my goal of what I want my client to experience and then backtracking it from there. Now I’ve got a lot more opportunities for that. It’s growing up the team, making sure you’ve got the right team in the right seats on the bus, and providing them growth in support opportunities, and then also building out the next team. So my business partner always encourages me to think one year in advance, what do you want in one year? Start planning that now?

Ben Nash
Yeah, absolutely. And I think like team is, is the biggest challenge for any business and the biggest opportunity as well. I know that you mentioned that you’re you’re bringing in other advisors into the business in the in the near future. And I’m keen to dive into that. But in terms of your team and your support around that, obviously, there’s a lot of different ways you can do it a lot of different ways that people do do it. You know, with different levels of success. How did you tackle it? How did you figure out which people you bring in first and which people you bring in after and how to create the level of support to keep consistent with that experience that you want to give but to drive efficiency as well?

Morgan Hayward
Yeah, I will say one of the key benefits of my previous experiences I’ve always done and I’ve had exposure to the entire process. So from my end, I was never in a massive firm where I just did client meetings, or I never just did X, Y or Zed, I could do the entire process. I could do the admin, I could write my own SOPs, I can do my research, I’m quite versatile. And I think that was my advantage. Although I didn’t like it, I could go in and I knew exactly where to download what form from who, who to contact. So that helped me obviously grow quite quickly. But I think the biggest thing is I want to bring in CSO administration support, because I thought what is the job that I hate doing the most and it’s calling product is calling product providers on home front. Nothing more. So I guess that was the first key team member I brought in. And then I brought in a power planner. And then I’ve got also part time support as well.

Ben Nash
And how have you gone about finding those people because obviously finding great people is a challenge and then bringing them in and setting them up for success is probably the next challenge. How do you tackle that?

Morgan Hayward
It’s been a bit of a journey. And you know, initially I like I also had a great experience. I didn’t bring someone in I figured out probably wasn’t the right person pretty quickly. I did have to part ways with them. You know, I’m very lucky that I’ve got a very good support network. I guess the first if my CSR wasn’t the right fit, I guess things could have unraveled pretty quickly. But my CSR came in was very good. I knew things were gonna get done which free up capacity for me to then look at the power planning. Now the power planning hasn’t been, again a smooth journey, my power plan and now finally, we’re at a place now it’s been said Next month where I am 90% confident in the work. But again, that’s been that’s been a little bit of a journey.

Ben Nash
And how have you how have you gone about like onboarding the team into the business and into your process? Do you have a structure around that ad running? You know, ad hoc based on the, the individual? What? Yeah, what how are you? How are you?

Morgan Hayward
Very, very good point, I guess, yield itself. So the brand, so my business partners have a very great, we have a great culture at yield. So for example, my business partner Lachlan spoke at the Xero conference this year on culture, he was invited to speak there, so they do a very good job over there. So I guess I’ve just followed the procedures that they have, which is slowly bringing people in during multiple interviews, introducing them early to the team, making sure that there are right cultural fit, because the last thing I want to do is go and undo everything that they’ve done. We do have, you know, a general manager of the business, we’ve got a marketing, HR. So I guess, having come into a business that already has procedures in place for the firm, was an advantage. I didn’t need to go and create my own HR. I didn’t need to go on, create anything, I guess I had that support that. So I think slowly during meetings, introducing that person to the team, you know, testing them, you know, what would you do in this situation?

Ben Nash
Yeah, yeah, I think it makes a big difference that that hire slow fire fast. Is, has been a big learning for us that in the early days, and, you know, I really had no idea what I was doing with with finding people having particularly not having an HR department or people to lean on the done that before. And it was only fortunate that through our business coaching community, one of the guys that I got introduced to was an organizational psychologist and helped us to really, you know, define roles to find the competency, the competencies that would drive success in those roles. And, and then we sort of built our interview process around that, and that screening, because I think ultimately, like you get someone if they’re, they might be a great person and a great worker, but just not a great fit for the business. And that’s just a nightmare for everybody. So it’s worth taking the time, and you can never bulletproof it, I don’t think Well, it’s certainly not in my experience, so far, at least. But you can, you can do a lot to make sure that the fit is there on both sides, and and on all levels as well.

Morgan Hayward
Yeah. And I think I’ve learned a lot of lessons along my journey from, you know, people that I have worked in the past of what hasn’t worked. As I said, I think you can really learn a lot from everyone and then kind of go Alright, in the ideal situation, that it was my business, how then would I want that to work, okay, that worked for that person that didn’t for that person, then kind of more than experience. And then I’ve also seen what they’ve done again, on the accounting side. So that’s been really important for me. Because, you know, in our office, it’s really fun. The jokes that flow around, it’s really great. It is a really nice environment to be in. And we’re very fearful of putting about Apple. And it just it compromises that, I guess on the contrary, you know, you meet someone, you get along great with them. Great cultural fit. And I guess, you know, for the first three months, someone can hide their flaws, pretty heavy, what they can do, and, you know, so we’re pretty good at picking a good cultural fit, I guess, you know, it’s making sure someone can also deliver good outcomes for clients, isn’t it? Yeah,

Ben Nash
I think that’s where I think the competencies are all important, because early days when we were hiring people that what I’ve been told, and what is definitely true is that you need to find someone who’s got the right values to fit in with the business. But I had one experience where we hired someone, and they were lovely, like, they were great, great person, believing our values, like just so enthusiastic and cared about people, but just didn’t have the capability to do the work. And it got it became really, really difficult because they were trying really hard. And they they wanted to do all the right things, but they just couldn’t do what we needed them to do. And in the end, we had to part ways and it was at that point that I realized, well, it’s not like values are important, yes, but it’s not just about them and values aren’t enough. You’ve got to have the capability and the competencies to be able to deliver on the outcomes as well. You mentioned that you’re you’re just about to bring another advisor into the business. I’m going to unpack that Because I think it’s a real pivotable pivotal moment for for small business to, you know, make that decision and then start amplifying the advice work that’s being done. How How have you approached that? You know, when did you know that the time was right? And then what have you done from that?

Morgan Hayward
Yeah, and again, it comes back to, you know, my business partner kind of pushing me, I think my business partner, he’s very forward thinking he’s a bit of a visionary. He’s got a very infectious kind of vibe. And he’s always going, look, look a year ahead, I really struggle with my two brains, so I can get into deep work mode, or I can get into deep visionary. And I think my vision hasn’t been great, because I’ve been in such work mode, and he kind of pulled me up. And he’s like, you know, again, thinking you’re ahead, what are you? Where do you want to go? And let’s start planning it now. So I think in around March, just with the sheer amount of capacity that I had, and the amount of leads that I was getting, and we are getting, because at the moment, my existing clients are referral machines. I think I’m roughly getting about two per week, and it is extremely overwhelming. So I thought, Okay, at this rate, I’m going to tap out here. I personally, because I want to put effort into other things. I didn’t want more than 100 clients that I was looking after. You know, as mentioned, I’m currently 90 Now on ongoing service agreements. And I’ve got a fair few transactional clients. So I’m pretty much kept out in my sense. And I thought, Okay, well, what time do I want them to join the business? And how do I want that to look like so first of all, I thought, what kind of person that I wanted in the business. And I wanted someone that wasn’t a replica of me, I wanted something that will complement my weaknesses. And I wanted someone that was super technical, detail oriented, that also fit the values and things like that, because I thought, in the ideal world, I want to be more on the forefront. And I want to be able to bring someone that I know and trust can deliver those outcomes from the back end. I had somebody in mind and within the network that have, you know, I’ve known him personally for about four years. So he ticks all those boxes. From a culture perspective, great. Blades values, here’s why it’s so strong. And I think that’s really important, making sure you have an advisor and their Why is strong, because if they’re doing it for any other reason, it doesn’t work out for like, what are you gonna pay me What’s this, like? advisor and the rest will just come. So I agreed, probably around March, April that I want another advisor, and I go, Okay, I need to hit these clear targets in the business to be able to kind of afford that. So it’s going, I didn’t want to bring on someone, you know, when I was only 50 clients, and then be sitting there, twiddling your thumbs, because obviously, licensing, etc, it’s quite costly reviser, that you haven’t at the time I was in another dealer group, I knew the cost outlay for another advisor, I couldn’t bring someone on part time as well. So it’s going I need to actually ramp up to then be able to bring that person in, we had a lot of discussions, that person will actually be coming in and set a really clear path. For him to become partner at 12 and 24 months, we’ve got opportunities presented for him. I love and adore him personally. So I think he’s going to be the great a great person for me to partner with. Whilst I’ve had an extremely great experience having accountants and business advisors as business partners, I also want that financial planner as well, to help me close that.

Ben Nash
And obviously, there’s a lot of different ways that you can go about structuring those sorts of things. What sort of resources have you drawn on to figure out what you think will work best fit for you guys?

Morgan Hayward
I think, for me, it’s just making sure that I’m retaining talent. And I guess that’s the thing that we had the discussion around, it’s, it’s hard to do you know, what if it goes wrong? What if it’s not a good fit for the rest of the business? You know, these things have definitely kept me up at night. And I’ve had multiple discussions with this other guy about, you know, coming into a business as well. But it’s not just me, I do have two other business partners. And that’s something you need to be conscious of. So you need to make sure that he agreed with the vision, he aligned with him as well, as we’ve structured so that we can obviously retain him and we’ve got about a 12 month period where we make sure the marriage is going to be right for each other. And then we’ve got a really clear defined outline from

Ben Nash
that. I think that that vision piece is so important, particularly with a higher like that, you know, looking at where the where the business is going, you know, what will how will the role evolve over time? I’m let’s make sure that they’re comfortable with that. Because with an advisor, as much as you know, there’s not necessarily an obligation or commitment to keep them long term. It’s like, you don’t you never want to bring an advisor into the business if it’s not a long term play as well. And I think for us, that’s been one of the game changes that we’ve spent a lot of time to really understand people’s motivations where they want to be going from a career perspective, talking about where we want to go from a business perspective, and then making sure that that all lines up, and that there is excited about how that will go as they are about the role that they’re coming in to fulfill in the in the shorter term. So I think definitely has been a big game changer. And, again, it doesn’t guarantee success. But I think it goes a long way to identifying, you know, where there could be issues. And I certainly have seen that in the past that way, that’s not a lie. And that you sort of, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure a bit there, as well.

Morgan Hayward
Because I think I just had those really frank conversations, what do you want, and sometimes it’s not going, oh, I want the top end salary. It’s going I want something I can grow myself, I want a partner. And I think understanding those needs if I didn’t offer that solution, and I long term, this wouldn’t be the right thing, either of us, because obviously I want to build, I see this person coming in and being kind of the operations manager have been planning and building out the teams and you know, that type of thing. And I had that vision. And I had to make sure he had that right vision as well.

Ben Nash
Totally. Wogan bit of a random one. But what would you say for you has been the most difficult skill that you’ve had to master to be the adviser and the leader in the business that you are today.

Morgan Hayward
Time management. That’s probably my biggest pain point. And what’s my biggest skill? being adaptable, and being open to change and be able to take other people’s ideas and work with it? Yeah, I guess definitely being adaptable. You know, the world is constantly evolving. We as a professional, constantly evolving, and, you know, I’ve come into a business that’s also constantly evolving, and changing and client’s needs are changing. So I think being adaptable is really important. I guess I never want to lose that.

Ben Nash
And what have you done? What have you done to work on that? If it’s been a challenge to get to where you are now? Like, what how you’re like, What have you done to build that muscle for yourself?

Morgan Hayward
I think I’ve been developing it personally and professionally for years. And I, I think it’s just listening, understanding, not saying no, being open minded. I’m always trying to develop myself, I read a lot, I listen to podcasts, I study, I love human behavior, and things like that. So I think we’re constantly evolving, growing as humans, and I think I kind of just apply that to my life in general. Another thing that we’re talking about is me in the business, being a leader, and not being a team member. Because I think that’s a really big change for me. You know, I’ve always been like, oh, I want to be the cool, fun one. I still try to be cool, fun one, but still have terrible jokes. But I think being a leader and leading by example, for the other team members is super important. Because, you know, if the top end isn’t right, it rots, it rots from kind of the head down. Totally, you know, even if I’m not having a great day, I still roll into work smile on my face, keeping the keeping the rest of the team super positive. Especially we’ve got big deadlines, because we’ve got a massive office. You know, as I mentioned across the business in general, there’s 24 team members. So if I rolled into there without without a positive attitude, you know, it does kind of rot right all the way down to making sure I’m a leader and leading from the front and leading by example, for the rest of the team.

Ben Nash
Right it’s can’t be to do what I say not what I do thing and I don’t think that that approach works work so much across teams, it

Morgan Hayward
was that change in mindset as well. You know, I I’ve always up until a year and a half, I’ve always been an employee. So just completely changing that. Okay. I need to be a leader now.

Ben Nash
Yep, it’s a big shift. Morgan, my my last question for you is that if you could wind back the clock 18 months and do things differently? What would you change?

Morgan Hayward
Very good point. I. So, I would maybe have spoken to the marketing team and business partners to kind of position the planning, entering the business a little bit differently, make it far warmer, make sure clients knew it was happening, because I guess I came in with an expectation going, you know, the 100 existing accounting clients 100% going to be mine, federal ACC often going to be smooth, easy journey, it’s been quite slow on that front, because they’re quite the client slowly bringing them over. Because I’ve really had to focus a lot of my resources on, you know, my beautiful referral partners, my existing clients to have the growth that I’ve had, I’ve really had to work on that, you know, getting my existing clients, the referral machines. So I think I probably would have positioned it, or hadn’t had those discussions with them to really pre market, the launch of the financial planning, as opposed to, you know, I think it really got launched, probably three months in already to the journey. Hey, we offer planning. Yeah, we would have done that differently. I don’t, I don’t think I would have changed anything else. Because I think all the lessons and all the things I’ve learned along the way, I’m very grateful for them.

Ben Nash
Yeah, I think that you’ve got to you do have to learn those ones. And especially the painful lessons that sometimes, obviously, it’s never good in the moment, but the pain is strong, that you made sure that it doesn’t happen again, or that you do take lessons as well. And I would agree with that sentiment that you all of those things that happen they build. And it’s all learnings there, and there is no perfect way. And that’s why you know, every advice business is a little bit different. And every person within advice business is a little bit different as well. So yeah.

Morgan Hayward
I kind of think everything’s happened at the right time, you know, that blessed happened super early on for me to learn that that lesson happened there to learn that, and it’s made me extremely resilient. I think everything in life has been mixed in. And that’s my, I think my advantage, I would encourage other advisors that are looking at doing this, this is really, really get your support network around you. I will you know, I do Lean and I’ve always learned on my community heavily. You know, I’ve got great influences around me, my mentor gave me lots of tips and tricks. And going from a firm, I guess I’ve always kind of been alone in the roles that I’ve had anyway, but you are very alone. And you don’t reach out to those who can raise you up, you don’t feel like you’re going to have success. Just need to make sure you’ve got a great network in those off days that you’re having. Make sure that they’re picking you up and hey, having a soft day did you think about this. And also home, making sure you’ve got a great home life, my partner’s extremely supportive. And again, I don’t think I could have put as many hours in or pushed as hard or kept as positive sometimes without, you know, that support there as well.

Ben Nash
And I think a lot of times these people who’ve done it before as well, when you lean on your network that take the lessons there and you can shortcut your way to the outcomes that you want as well.

Morgan Hayward
So and I think I might be even been something that I was listening to from you, you know, one of the podcasts you did, at the time when it was extremely important for me is I think you said it might have been you recruiting earlier. Before it’s kind of too late going all right. Am I needing another person? And what timeframe is that happening? And as opposed to recruiting when you’re bursting at the seams? And you’ve got no capacity to even think about training or?

Ben Nash
Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, it’s higher, higher for growth, like build your team to grow, not build your team because you’ve grown and you have to then you now you’re stretched so much that you have to build a team think that’s good. Well, not always easy, particularly in the early days, and you’re balancing out you know, revenue and all of those sorts of things. But yeah, it’s an important thing to master for sure.

Morgan Hayward
Yeah. And I think it kind of motivates you though, you know, if you’re going alright, like, for example, me bringing on this advisor, it’s going I don’t have a full need to double my capacity, but it’s going to push me so much harder to then, you know, expand and think Alright, how could I potentially market how can I do this kind of thing? It’s really going to push me hard in the direction I kind of want to go anyway.

Ben Nash
Absolutely. Yeah, for me Every time I bring on a team member, I’m like, Okay, now I gotta get them busy. What am I going to do focus on that? Okay? Then you it’s a strong motivation, especially when you’re paying that salary every month for sure.

Morgan Hayward
Yeah. And also, I guess you kind of responsible for the humans. It’s kind of like on it’s not just myself, you know? I’m gonna keep these people alive. I’ve got families and

Ben Nash
Morgan, thank you so much for sharing your insights, so much gold there, and it’s great to see you smash it. Keep fighting the good fight, and thanks again.

Morgan Hayward
Thanks so much. Thanks, Ben.

Ben Nash
Thank you guys. Catch you next time.

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