Working with three childhood friends last week, we came to the topic of trusted advisors. Whether it’s in your personal life or for your business, having a team of trusted advisors around you can make a huge difference. While these friends were working together and had each other to bounce ideas off of, the most important part of their relationships seemed to be the team they had assembled around them. Whenever an issue arose, they each seemed to have someone they could call on to help. They built an informal Mastermind Group to give them the support they needed.

So, then who is in your inner circle of trusted advisors?

Accountant

Whether it is for a business client or an estate plan, it’s important to have a good accountant. You don’t need the most expensive one you can find. Often, the best accountant for you is one that you can connect with personally. Years ago, when I first met my accountant (feel free to email me if you’d like an introduction), I could tell that his style would blend well with my business style. After meeting a few others who were “the one” that I was supposed to meet, I found that my accountant understood me better. And eight years later, we’re still working together.

Financial Planner

Along with an accountant, a financial planner can help you stay focused. My friend Tony is an excellent financial planner who helps his clients stay focused on their bigger goals. Rather than waste some money on a short term risk, they can stay focused on their long-term plans. By putting together a plan, they are able to feel confident. There’s less worry about tomorrow when you know you are following your plan.

Attorneys

Yes, I’m biased on this one. Just like your taxes, you can do your business filings yourself. You can find a website to give you some forms and then try to navigate yourself through the various legal requirements. But at some point, you’ll come to a dead end. There will be something that you don’t understand in the agreement or a legal issue that you can’t find a simple answer to on the internet. In my experience, when that issue gets answered, there are often other unresolved legal issues that haven’t been addressed either, creating more legal work. It’s a lot easier to get your legal issues sorted out as you grow than try to go back and fix them after the fact.

Next Steps

If you have your team assembled, it’s also important that everyone knows who to contact. Especially for your estate plan documents, it’s good to have the information in one place. To help with that, I’ve created the My Personal Planning Essentials checklist that you can download for free. Fill it out and keep it with your important documents.