The demands of daily business can be brutal: task-driven and a whirl of meetings and follow-ups. With our faces pressed against the window of opportunity it can be difficult to step back and review the bigger picture to see what’s going on that might affect – both positively and negatively – how our business propositions will perform.

If only we could step off into a parallel universe, removing ourselves to a place where the focus is about how we could do things differently, better, more quickly and with a positive impact on the bottom line.

Well, next week I’m stepping off terra firma (quite literally in fact) to join the parallel universe that is the annual PIMS Conference.

PIMS is held at sea on the Aurora cruise ship. It offers financial advisers a programme that introduces them to a wealth of new ideas, services and strategies for shaping future-proofed businesses.

The ship casts off from Southampton for three nights, filled with people who want to take time-out from the daily grind and open their minds to new possibilities.

Don’t be fooled though – this is no pleasure cruise, as I discovered last year when I completed 72 new business meetings in a little over two days!

Whilst there were some meetings that initially were just out of ‘general interest’, when advisers realised that we could offer them a real alternative to traditional DFMs, general interest turned into proper discussions.

The value of last year’s meetings can only really be judged over a decent period in time but one year on we have six new firms partnering with us as a direct result of PIMs, with 10 additional firms going through the review process with a view to making the change.

As I prepare for this year’s event, which starts on the 10 May, I am excited to know that in this floating parallel universe I will meet advisers who recognise that standing still is not an option if they are to enjoy lasting business success.