Always invest back into your business.

- Greg Trost, Trost Financial

Entrepreneurs aren’t born ­­– they’re often molded from their life experiences and influences. Greg Trost, founder of Trost Financial, experienced a few bumps on his road to independence before he landed at LPL five years ago.

Earlier in his career, Trost ran a restaurant franchise where he hired some 250 employees to carry out a dream of freedom and self-reliance – but it came at the expense of more important things. “Eventually I sold it. I was working 100 hours a week, and I never saw my kids.”

After that he bought a headhunting firm focused on executive recruiting for salespeople in the medical and computer industry. With this pivot, he was in a position to help people. And little did he know, this experience would give him the transferrable skills he’d need to build out the future of his dreams.

In 2001, around the time of 9/11, Trost saw an opportunity to help others in ways like never before. He officially entered the financial services industry where he built a solid foundation of clientele and relationships, before joining LPL Financial in 2018. His firm specializes in small business owners, including business succession, and both pre- and post-retirees. For the past five years, he’s seen 300% growth – with 22% year over year. And behind the curtain of his success, he’s discovered it’s the people around you who make all the difference.

Greg Trost:

What I would tell any advisor is, where do you spend your time and what impact do you have on people's lives? And are you happy with that? If you're not making the impact that you like, if you were the client and you didn't feel you were having the impact you want, I would say use LPL. Use other resources you have, get a business coach, invest in your people, invest in their knowledge, and you'll see growth in your practice.

My name is Greg Trost. I'm with Trost Financial consulting with offices in Los Angeles and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The person who inspired me, probably in my life was my father, who was a very successful bankruptcy attorney. And teaching me about business and learning that at an early stage. He said, if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room. So what I took from that, my take from that is to be a good listener. My main philosophy for my clients is, I want every client to feel like they're the only client we have.

So the number one tip is invest back in your business. If you want to grow your business, you have to invest in your business. I invest 20% back into my business. So whatever I do, I know that's going in. That can be for staff, retreats, marketing, website design, whatever it is. The second is, I work with a great business coach that LPL referred me to, Dr. Rick Jensen, who we've worked with for a year, who's amazing. And he came in, even when we were in growth mode, said, you gotta change. You have to target yourself. So he continually challenges us to do that. At Trost Financial, as I was growing and having this big growth that we've had in the last five years, and like I said, I think it's about 300% in five years, I needed some help. There were some things I just didn't have time to deal with.

So there were two that came up for me that I thought were important. One is CFO Solutions and working with Josh Ifergan. CFO Solutions provided me the opportunity to look at my numbers, to analyze my book, to do my client segmentation, to figure out how I could be more efficient and how I could be more profitable, and how I could get the most out of my business financially. I could do that. I just didn't have the time with the growth we were going through and helping to grow my people as well as my clients and our business. So CFO Solutions was integral for me the last three years to make that happen. The second was Administrative Solutions was important because I didn't want to be in the weeds on doing applications and doing all of that. If I could use Admin Solutions to take stuff off of my office and my people so they could get more educated and get better at their jobs and get better understanding, that was worthwhile. So that's why I use those two programs. In addition to other programs we use for marketing and other things.

Why is LPL a strategic partner for me? Because they have the answers I don't have. I don't have all the answers. So I need to go to somebody and have them give me some knowledge and some information, so I can be better at my job. And they are just the right partner for me. It's just the people. It's just the openness, the quality, the ability. What makes it successful for me at LPL is the quality of the people, the quality of the input, the quality and accessibility of the people when I need something. And it's been amazing.

Philosophies for clients and business

No successful entrepreneur gets by without some sort of unwavering philosophy helping them through each day. On the client side, Trost’s philosophy is for every client to feel like they're the only client he has. On the business side, his philosophy involves investing back in himself and the people around him.

“The most rewarding part about being a financial advisor is seeing my clients be successful and watching my people grow,” says Trost. In 2022 alone, his company added 26 households with over $25 million in new assets. “We achieved all this because of how we treat our clients and because of our hardworking team.”

He lives by the motto: “Successful staff, successful practice.” And, his number one tip for any financial advisor is to invest back into your business. “If you want to grow, you have to invest,” says Trost. He puts about 20% of his revenue back into his business for staffing, retreats, marketing, website design, and other everyday functions.

He also credits LPL for providing the support he needs to lead and guide his staff to success. “The quality of people and the accessibility of tools whenever I need something has been amazing.”

There’s also nothing like having a great guide in your corner who cheers for your every move. Trost’s business coach (an LPL referral), Dr. Rick Jensen, is constantly challenging him to market himself more strategically. Jensen holds him accountable and keeps him grounded as they continue to grow.

Resources that support growth when you need them

Another part of running a thriving business involves taking advantage of available resources that can help you. Trost explains, “As I was constantly expanding and achieving all this growth, there were some things I just didn't have time to deal with. CFO Solutions provided me the opportunity to look at my numbers, analyze my books, and operate my client segmentation. I learned how I could be more efficient and profitable in order to get the most out of my business financially.” CFO Solutions can be a strategic ally to help advisors reach new levels by developing and executing plans that align with their goals to optimize, grow, or transform their practice.

For Trost, the future looks bright. And he believes there’s one core principle that will keep both his business and team on the right track for years to come – investing in his people.

“If you’re not making the impact that you like, use the resources that you have. Get a business coach. Invest in your people, invest in their knowledge, and you’ll see growth in your practice,” he says. “Work on more planning, more understanding your clients and what they need, and be a good listener. People will come to you.”

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The views and opinions by the Financial Advisor(s) are as of the date of this article. These views may not be representative of the views of other Financial Advisors and are not indicative of future performance or success. Neither LPL Financial nor the LPL Financial Advisor can be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss incurred by applying any of the information offered.

Dr. Rick Jensen is not affiliated with LPL Financial.

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