For many financial advisory firms that start out as solo shops, a single advisor-owner is often responsible for managing all aspects of running their practice, from handling all aspects of client service to prospecting for new clients. But as a firm's client base grows, the owner might find that they need to bring on employees to help manage the expanding workload. However, while it might be easy for business owners in this position to recognize that their firms are growing in terms of client revenue or other metrics, it can be harder for them to determine whether they are truly 'scaling' their business, as scaling involves a greater investment in both time and money to manage the firm's growth and pay a rising number of employees.
In our 125th episode of Kitces & Carl, Michael Kitces and client communication expert Carl Richards discuss what it actually means to scale an advisory business, why doing so necessarily requires more staff support, and how scaling a firm is different than merely finding ways to best leverage a firm owner's time.
As a starting point, it's important to recognize the difference between "growth" and "scaling" for a financial advisory firm. Growth in a firm implies an increase in revenue and/or profits accompanied by a proportional rise in the number of employees and other costs. For example, a firm might quadruple its revenue while also quadrupling the number of advisors and support staff it hires (and still have a growth in profits!). By contrast, scaling indicates that the firm is increasing its revenue at a faster pace than it hires, often by generating efficiencies. For example, a scaling firm might quadruple its revenue while only tripling its headcount, potentially leading to even greater profitability.
Notably, though, the effectiveness of a firm's scaling efforts isn't just about whether it needs to hire staff, but rather about how many new hires are needed to serve a growing client base. Because, unlike software companies where each additional unit sold requires little additional labor, financial advisory firms inherently require advisors and staff to maintain a certain level of human-to-human interaction and to develop and implement financial plans for their clients.
Ultimately, the key point is that while many advisors have successfully scaled their businesses, doing so requires a firm owner to hire additional employees and does not merely involve finding ways to better leverage their own time. Which suggests that advisors looking to grow their revenue without working more hours themselves face a choice: remain as a solo practice or small team but try to move 'upmarket' to serve a similar number of clients who are willing and able to pay a higher fee, or scale by growing the firm's client base (and employee headcount) as efficiently as possible!
***Editor's Note: Can't get enough of Kitces & Carl? Neither can we, which is why we've released it as a podcast as well! Check it out on all the usual podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Spotify, and Stitcher.
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- Derek Sivers
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Kitces & Carl Podcast Transcript
Michael: It's pretty fast.
Carl: That's pretty fast.
Michael: Welcome, Carl.
Carl: Hello, Michael Kitces. What's happening?
Michael: What's happening? It is conference season. It is Fall conference season. We're basically... we're in the middle of conference season as we're recording this. We'll be towards the end of conference season by the time this goes out to everyone but...
Carl: You know what we call that in Utah?
Michael: What's that?
Carl: Hunting season.
Michael: Hunting season?
Carl: Elk season. It's not conference. Anyway, I digress. Sorry. Keep going.
Michael: I think it's elk season. I like that. It's going to be my euphemism now. It's elk season.
Carl: We used to have a holiday here when I was growing up. There was actually a day we got off school called Deer Hunt.
Michael: Is that what you did with the day off?
Carl: No, I went skiing or something. I don't know what I did, but I just remember, "Oh, next week's Deer Hunt. You got Monday off. Oh, that's amazing". And they don't call it that anymore. Now it's an Education Day or something. But anyway, conference season, I'm sure you had lots of fun conversations at conference season.
What Does It Mean to Scale? [1:10]
Michael: Yeah. It's funny, relative to themes we talk about, we've talked a lot over the past couple of months of challenges in marketing, and getting going, and how do you differentiate and who do you go after? Ideal clients – insert niche mention here. But I'm finding a different conversation cropping up with some advisors now, which is the other end of this. I did that stuff. It's growing. I'm getting clients. They're coming on pretty regularly. I'm expanding my team. We're hiring. And I don't feel like it's scaling. I'm growing. I'm expanding, but it's not scaling. And I thought that would be an interesting theme to talk about because I'm even finding the word scaling means different things to different people. We use it in different ways. And even when I say that to you, an advisory firm is scaling. What does that mean? It isn't a right or wrong answer quiz? Just genuine question, just you hear that. What's scaling?
Carl: Yeah. So, the first thought that happens to me is talking about scaling is often a place to hide. That's the first thought that occurs to me. But we can maybe save that for another time. Meaning, how often do you get asked, "Oh, I can't do that. It won't scale." And you're, "Well, do you have one of them yet?" First, you're going to have to do things that won't scale to get to the point that you're going to build at scale. But if we've moved past that discussion, then to me, the idea of scale means, look, I can have more output with less input. There's marginal gains, more output with less input. So, if I used to have to put in one and I got one, now if I put in another one, maybe I'll get one and a half, right? And another one, maybe I'll get two.
Michael: So, I think that's a good way to frame it because I feel like that's what I hear in a lot of conversations as well. It's not really articulated that way. But it's usually something the effect of, "I was hoping by now I would be working fewer hours and making more money. And instead, I feel like I'm working more hours and I'm making less money". I was supposed to be putting in less input and getting more out because it's scaling. And instead, we're growing, we're adding more, but I feel like if anything, I'm putting in more time and I'm not necessarily making more, or maybe I'm making a little bit more, but I'm putting in a lot more time and I'm making only a little bit more because I hired staff and they cost money. So, I have more revenue, but I have more expenses. So, my profits aren't necessarily going up, but now I have to manage these people. So, I have to spend more time in the business managing them. And I don't really feel like I'm taking more out. And that scaling effect shows…or that I'm not scaling...
Carl: You might be 'growing'.
Michael: Yeah, we're growing. My top line is growing...
Carl: ...but it's not a scalable process.
Michael: But it doesn't feel like I'm scaling because I'm spending as much or more time, and I'm not taking home a commensurately larger amount of dollars. Maybe I'm taking home a little bit more but I'm working a little bit more, or maybe I'm working a little bit more and I'm taking home less because I hired a bunch of people. I made "investments" into my business so we can grow more. But right now, all I'm feeling is I have more people to manage and I take less out of the business because I have all this payroll that I keep adding when I'm hiring people.
How Scaling Is Different For Financial Advisory Firms Than For Other Businesses [5:21]
Carl: I think there's a really unique problem, A, with professional services, and B, just the classic "E-myth problem" of now...and the difference between "entrepreneur" and a manager or a CEO, your goal in a traditional entrepreneur role would be to make yourself irrelevant as soon as possible, right? So, if you left, everything still operates. And it's so interesting how hard it is to get yourself out of the middle of everything. And how convinced we are often in professional services. I just saw this conversation happening today in law where people were, "That's not possible. You have to be in the middle. I have to touch everything. There's just no way". And it's been interesting to me to be watching people about our age cohort, 45 to 55-year-old, now in the point in their career where they're thinking about these kinds of things, and they're still building in a way that's got them at the center. And it's interesting just to ask a question, "Are you..." alarm's not the right word. "I find it interesting that you're building an organization that still has you at the center".
It reminds me of one last quick thought, Derek Sivers built CD Baby. He was a musician. His books are amazing. I love all of Derek Sivers' work. But he tells the story that he was a musician. He couldn't get copies of his CDs made without signing with a label back in the day. This was impossible. Nobody had CD makers just laying around. And we had CDs back then. Everything was moving to CD. So, he figured it out and he made some for himself and he handed them out, and his friends were like, "Hey, could you make me some?" And he's like, "Sure." And the next thing he knows, he's running a big...CD Baby was a big business. And one day he realized that for months... He wasn't playing music anymore. This was not what he had in mind. And for months, what would happen is people would come in. One person would come into his office, ask him a question, they would leave. He'd answer it, they would leave. The next person would come in and answer and leave.
One day he pulls his desk out into the middle of the kind of manufacturing space and sat at his desk. And every time somebody came, he rang a bell and everything stopped. And he had everybody come over and he answered, and he did that for a week. And then I'm sure I'm missing pieces of the story, but it was a relatively dramatic story, so I don't think I'm over-dramatizing it. He did that for a week or two and then he moved. And as I recall that it was somewhere on the East Coast, I want to say Jersey, he moved to the West Coast and didn't give anybody his information. And the business grew, right? That's to me what I think of as scale. It's a dramatic example, but the idea of thinking like, "Well, wait, you're just building yourself a big giant managerial job".
Michael: So, I'm struck by that because I...so many things going through my head hearing that.
Carl: Good job.
Michael: Well done. Because I'm sorry, I hear that. It's like, I don't think of that as scaling. Actually don't think of that as scaling. There's something interesting about just leveraging yourself in your time. I can have all the impact I need to have my business in an hour or two a week on the phone. So I just leave the state and call in from time to time, and it's fine. You're really personally leveraging yourself. By the way, I'm like, "How's the business doing?". So, if you look at the business dictionary version of scaling, scaling is growing your revenue faster than your costs. If my revenue is going up faster than the cost to make the revenue, I'm scaling, right? Business-wise, your profit margins are expanding.
In the advisor context, that basically means a growing business that 10x-es its clients has to 10x the number of advisors. A scaling business that 10x-es its clients only hires 9 advisors. That's scaling, you 10x your revenue and only 9x your advisor costs. Congratulations, you're scaling. You still have to hire 9 advisors, and probably 5 to 10 more support team around them. So, I feel like there's this phenomenon mentality, if I'm scaling, I shouldn't need to hire at some point because it's "scaling". And to me, at best, that's a false dichotomy. At worst, it's just literally not how service businesses work. There is a phenomenon, you make the tech that literally just runs on the website by itself. And once you built it, you just put it out in the world and a bajillion people can come and buy it. That's how, whatever, I think it was WhatsApp had a billion dollars of enterprise value when Facebook bought them and 16 employees because they just made it a piece of tech and a quarter of the planet showed up in a year and used it. And you could do that. You just pay a little more in server costs.
We're a service business. You have to do things for clients that take time in order to get paid. If you can actually do it so efficiently, it takes you no time, bad news. At some point, clients are going to figure that out and not be willing to pay you an infinite number of dollars per hour because they're paying their full fees and you're spending 1 minute a year on them. It is a service business. Time is required. Now, if you get good and efficient with your time, maybe you can do more awesome things for them with the time that you spend, and then you can charge more for the awesome stuff that you're doing. And now your business is growing faster. But to me, there's this fundamental principle, which is, you want to 10x your business. The only difference between growing and scaling is growing 10x-es your head count and scaling 9x-es your head count. That's the difference from the business perspective.
And the interesting thing about that, getting back to the story you told from Derek is that actually has nothing to do with whether you are in the state or not while the business is doing that. That's you and your role in the business, which also super duper matters. I think we're going to come back to that in a moment. But there's a difference between, am I living the life I want to live and having the time in relationship with my business that I want to have? And, objectively, is the business 'just' growing because I'm going to 10x my business and 10x my staff? Or is it scaling because I'm going to be able to 10x my business, only 9x my staff, and my profit margins are improving?
Carl: Yeah. I just think that Derek's story was more around, can the business scale without more of me, more of my input, more of me being at the center of it. So, I was just taking it from the personal level of, "Hey, as the owner of this business, can I scale this business without more time...the exact equivalent time and effort on my part?".
Michael: Well, absolutely. I think it's good framing it from that end because if you want to continue down this path, right, I've had this conversation with a lot of advisors over the years. You're running a great 3-person team, right? It's you, your associate advisor, and your client service administrator. They report to you, you manage them, you do the client stuff, you've got a good practice, you're making good money. Cool. You want to grow and 10x your business. You're going to go from 3 people to 30, or if you're scaling, you're going to go from 3 people to 27. Unless you want 27 direct reports, something is clearly going to have to change about the role you play in the business, what kind of team you have around you – not just the other advisors but people to manage people, and do other things in the business – because it actually takes a lot of management overhead to manage a 27 to 30 person business.
It's one of the reasons why, even before Ben Hardy and Dan Sullivan just came out with their 10x book, I've long been a fan of challenging people towards 10x thinking. So, it's like, if you take your business, wherever it is, whatever you're doing, and you think about what it looks like to literally 10x the business, which in a service business is basically a guarantee, you're going to 10x or maybe just 9x the headcount of the team. You cannot incrementally grow your way there. Everything you do will break. The way you manage will break. The reporting lines will break. The systems and processes will break. Your service model will break. Your growth model, everything is going to have to be recreated because everything's just an order of magnitude, larger and more complex and more mouths to feed, and more things to run, and more stuff that's got to get done in consistent ways so that you can scale and only 9x your headcount instead of 10x your headcount.
And finally, it's powerful because if you're a 3-person team and you're really thinking about this kind of growth, go draw a 30-person org chart that you're going to have when you 10x your business, and then decide the one box on the 30 person org chart that you want, and what things that 1 seat will do because there's going to be 29 others that you can reallocate almost everything else out to if you force yourself to think about that reset. But that happens regardless, whether your headcount grows from 3 to 30 or 3 to 27, you have to deal with that either way. It's not actually even a scaling problem. The scaling problem is when you do whatever you're going to do and you transform your business from 3 to 27 to 30. Did you also do it in a manner where you only had to hire to 27, which means your profit bar has improved and your business is scaling? Or did you do it and you had to hire 30 headcounts because you "merely grew"? You still 10x-ed your business, 10x-ed your revenue in actual dollars, you should 10x your profits.
Potential Limits To Scaling For Financial Advisory Firms [16:33]
Carl: Yeah, I have a question about an assumption that you keep repeating as if it's the law of gravity. And I don't question whether or not it's a service business. Of course, it is. It's a professional service business. I don't question whether you can scale like WhatsApp, like a tech business, agreed. But the number, for instance, if you're going to 10x... we've been throwing around, you're going to have 30 more advisors...but if you scale, you have 27.
Is there thinking like...is it interesting to you to think, "Could I 10x? And instead of hiring 30, hire 15?". Is there questions that should be asked there? Do we have to do that thing? We had an episode about my friend Kevin, remember, who didn't do any of the things, and he just rapid response to prop customer inquiries and consistent showing up. Everything was really consistent, everything was systemized. Are there questions, are there assumptions we're making that we just have to do, like the time I forgot to send out quarterly performance reports and I thought it was the end of the business?
Michael: So, yes and no. So, I'll do the yes version of this answer and then the no version of this answer. The yes version of this answer is, look, if you 10x your fees and only 5x your headcount, right, in that scenario, we 10x the business, but we only went to 15, kind of by definition, that means you're generating twice the revenue per person that you were before. It effectively means all the advisors are getting paid twice what they were, are generating twice the revenue they were before. So, if I break it down there…if my client base, if I've got $500,000 worth of client revenue, which is not atypical for an advisor, it's at pretty healthy full capacity. There's about 2,000 working hours in a year. You can't really do 100% of that client-facing though, maybe you do about 2/3 of that time that's client-facing. So, you're working 1,300 or 1,400 hours a year, which means you're effectively generating about $350 to $400 an hour for your time. This is actually what it comes up to be. If you have a $500,000 revenue client base, you're effectively doing work that's generating about $350 an hour in fees, such that when you put in all the working hours of your clients pay you what they pay you, that's what it adds up to. And that's a pretty healthy advisory firm.
So, if you're going to 10x the revenue, only 5x the staff, it effectively means my advisors who are doing $500,000 of revenue per advisor are now doing a million dollars of revenue per advisor. They're generating the equivalent of $700 an hour for every client working hour they're doing. So, could I get to the point where I 10x my business and only 5x my staff? The answer would be yes because I moved upmarket. I'm working with more affluent people with more complex problems who don't balk at fees that come out to be $700 an hour for the amount of work that you're actually doing. I can do that. That is possible. But there's 2 caveats to that. The first is, I still might not be more profitable. Because if you want to hire advisors that do that level of work, they're going to cost more. You're not handing bajillionaire clients to rookie advisors. You're going to want people that have a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge, a lot of relationship management, and emotional IQ skills all wrapped into one. You're serving clients that pay that much money. You might only 5x your headcount. You might still 10x your staffing costs though, because you hire half as many advisors and pay them twice as much money.
Carl: So fascinating.
Michael: So, yes, it doesn't always have to be linear to headcount, but it still doesn't mean you're scaling. If you do that and you have to pay your advisors twice as much money to do that, you still might not actually be more profitable. You won't have many people to manage, but you still might not be as profitable. The second caveat to that is you can't keep playing that game. Okay. Maybe you 10x-ed revenue and only 5x-ed headcounts because you moved up market and did things that are more expensive. Cool. Try doing it again. Now you've got to manage $2 million of revenue per advisor and generate $1,400 an hour for every client-facing hour you have of every possible hour of the year. Good luck.
Carl: Let me ask you...
Michael: Someone out there has done it. Every once in a blue moon, I meet an advisor that's got $2 million of revenue because they're in this super high-net-worth, hyper-focused, mega expertise, usually, working with bajillionaires that can write checks at that size. But most of us will never ever get to that number or anywhere close to it. It's sort of the gravitational force of, look, advisors of lots of different business models. I've seen people who are trying to work with affluent clients and they got 6 clients, and they spend hours and hours every week with their clients. I've seen advisors that have much more down-market businesses. They have hundreds of clients that they serve. They may only see them 2 or 3 hours a year, and everything in between.
But the interesting phenomenon is, look, you can have 300 clients that you only spend a couple hours a year with, or you can have 6 clients you spend hundreds of hours a year with. You actually end out at the exact same revenue. It's not actually different because there's only so many hours I can spend doing client things for which I get paid before it runs out. That's why when you look across lots of different business models, this is a great thing for firms to measure. Take your total revenue and divide it by the total number of advisors you have. That number is shockingly consistent up and down the spectrum across different models, across hourly, across subscription, across AUM, even in the commission-based world, it's not materially different. Because there's just only so much people end out paying relative to the work that you're doing.
Why Scaling An Advisory Business Still Requires Hiring [24:02]
Carl: Let's play a game for a second. Let's say there are no... Just Michael Kitces is being super creative right now. He doesn't have any spreadsheets. There's no calculators. You just can't do it.
Michael: I can't turn this 'calculator' off…
Carl: I know. We're just going to have to.
Michael: We'll indulge the thought.
Carl: No, it's just a thought game. And you were going to build what you think of as, no, this may not work. In fact, it probably won't work. It's like the definition of a risky bet. What would a scalable business model look like to you that you're like, "Gosh, I wish somebody would try that?". What's the craziest idea in terms of something that you think has a shot, but probably won't work, but has a shot? As you wandered around the universe, you've been like, "I think somebody needs to try that", and with scale in mind?
Michael: Not to be campy, but anything, everything, all of our freaking models work. Edward Jones has 20,000 advisors doing what they do. Merrill Lynch has 12,000 advisors doing what they do. LPL has 21,000 advisors doing what they do. There's 25,000 RIAs doing all the crazy things that they do. And a bunch of insurance companies have 5,000, 10,000, 15,000 advisors doing what they do. All of it. All of it can work. The fundamental point is...
Carl: That was not the question.
Michael: You know how they all got huge and scaled? They have a ton of people.
Carl: More people, right? Just throw more people, throw more people. But that wasn't literally the question. If you, Michael Kitces, wanted to build the scalable thing, is there anything you've been like, "I wish somebody would try that". Or "If I wasn't involved in this and this and this, I would try this". And a crazy idea, giant caveat by it, will never work. But have you ever had that thought?
Michael: Well, I'd say not particularly...because any of them can work. And I want to say this with all kindness for advisors that struggle with a wide range of things in the business. The business is not that hard.
Carl: It's complicated.
Michael: Complicated, yes. Thank you. It's very hard to do. It's not that complicated.
Carl: You know, we have to talk about put a pin, put a pin in this. If it's not that complicated...wait, put a pin in this real quick. If it's not that complicated and it's hard, we got to talk, not now, maybe the next episode or next episode. If it's not that complicated and it's hard, what is it about it that makes it hard? So, we got to make sure we hit that, not now, but keep going. Keep going where you're going.
Michael: Right. But to me, the essence of this business is shockingly simple and straightforward. Find people who need advice, hire people who can give advice, pay the people who give the advice to give the advice, charge the people who receive the advice for the advice. The marketplace has demonstrated over and over, up, down, and sideways that people, at the end of the day, will pay many hundred dollars an hour for the advice of an advisor, which is more than enough revenue to grow these businesses. And off we go. And I say that as someone I've been in an advisory firm that's scaled to several billion dollars. I've built XY Planning Network to...you know, we're now up to about 100 team members. I've gotten a 20-something team with Kitces.com. We've scaled AdvicePay.
I've seen this in a service business, in a platform business, in an IP business, and in a technology company. And it's the same fricking thing in all of them. In fact, almost all of them have nearly the exact same revenue per employee, regardless of what it is. At the end of the day, if you want a business to generate revenue, people have to do things. And you can only generate so much revenue per the people who do things. That's why revenue per employee is not that widely different even across industries. That's just how growth works. And to me, the caveat and asterisk to it all, maybe to bring back to what I do think was a powerful conversation, or example you highlighted with Derek.
First of all, just to be clear, you can grow the crap out of a business and have it be worth a bajillion dollars without "scaling", at least the way that I'm defining scaling. 10x-ing your business and 10x-ing your headcount, there might be not a single thing that scales about that. You're just literally 10 times as big, serving 10 times as many people, generating 10 times as much revenue, and "only" generating 10 times as much profit. If you were scaling, it would be 11 times as much profit, but you didn't scale. So, it's only 10 times as much profit. That's growing. And growing is just a function of, as you serve more people, you have to bring them more people to serve them.
And there's a lot to discussion for maybe future episodes, articles on Nerd's Eye View about who do you hire and what's the sequence of hiring? And how do you get yourself out from the middle of all that? Which at the end of the day is just a management challenge that calmly crops up for businesses as they grow from under 10 to over 20 team members. That's when you have to figure out how to remove yourself from the middle of everything. Because there's just too many people if you don't. But these businesses aren't that complicated, thank you for the word, to grow. It's hard to do all the things that it takes.
The Difference Between Scaling A Business And Leveraging Oneself As A Firm Owner [29:48]
Michael: But growth is growth and growth works fine. The part...getting all the way back to what you raised at the beginning, the part that I think we're really talking about, at least as I'll use the words, I'll throw it out there, what we're talking about isn't scaling, it's leveraging ourselves. It's how do I personally get more out of my business while putting less time in? I'm not going to say putting less in because you may be honing your expertise and doing super awesome things that hugely impact the business that don't take you very many hours. But how do you get more out of your business while putting less time in?
And that to me is about... I'm going to call that leverage. That's how you leverage yourself. And the secret to that, and the irony of that is, you can do that without even having giant team in the first place. The most leveraged advisors I've seen, personally leveraged advisors, have tiny teams do super awesome things for a small number of clients that write them a really big check and make half a million to a million dollars working 20 to 30 hours a week, sometimes less. And they don't grow huge, right? And that whole add-the-headcount thing.
Often I find they don't even use the word scaling because that means you have to get big-big and who wants to do that? But they leverage themselves very powerfully. I always sort of think of this the analogy that Philip Palaveev used to tell…the ultimate leverage is the doctor that has 7 nurses that work around them to have every single possible thing done. So, the only thing the doctor does is the absolute smallest iota thing that the doctor absolutely has to do so that they maximize their time and impact.
Now, I don't love that analogy because I personally have a lot of baggage around the way the medical system works and does that model to an extreme that's not very healthy. So, we're not trying to go to that level, but the spirit of it is the same. What does it look like if all you do is work with your top 20 to 30 clients which, for most advisors, you probably wouldn't need the headcount you have today? You might not even need a person. Maybe you can have 1. Because if you just had your top 20 to 30 clients, you wouldn't be spending that much time, particularly if you've got them already and we're not doing the onboarding new client thing. Nurturing your top 20 to 30 clients does not take that much time. And your top 20 to 30 clients pay you pretty darn well.
Carl: Oh, you're talking about one of those...
Michael: And most advisors just lean into that kind of 80-20 rule. Growing advisors say, "I make 80% of my profits from the top 20% of my book. I got to delegate the other 80% of clients to someone else to free up my time and capacity, except now you have to manage that person". The most leveraged advisors just say, "I'm not going to serve them. And then I'll have to work with them, or manage anybody who works with them, or take on the payroll costs of a person that I hired to work with the clients who already by definition are my least profitable clients. Why am I taking on payroll to do that?". They leverage themselves maximally by just saying, "I'm only going to work with the clients who pay me the most for the value I provide the most". And then your dollars go up, your income goes up, and your time goes down. But that's not scaling, at least as I would characterize it. That's personal leverage. Like I said, at least the theme I would leave to this, are you trying to scale? Are you trying to grow? Or are you trying to leverage yourself? Because they're not the same.
Carl: Yeah. No, I agree. And I think it creates a lot of heartache to not understand the difference.
Michael: Yeah. But the biggest gap I find for most advisory firms, we're getting all this growth and I don't know how I understand why I have to keep hiring all these people. I would just say that that's how growth works in a certain way. That actually means it's working. If you don't like hiring so many people, you need to figure out how to hire someone who will hire people for you. If you're managing all those people, you need to hire someone who will manage those people for you. That's about what you do in the business. Fantastic. "Who Not How," go get that book from Hardy and Sullivan. But that's about reshaping what you do in the business. If your headcount's going up because your revenue's going up, it's working. It comes up.
Carl: So good. Thanks, Michael.
Michael: Awesome. Thank you, Carl.