In the infamous word of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” That’s always stuck with me (that and about a dozen or so other memorable lines from that movie). Truer words have never been spoken, though. Can you believe this year is almost over? I figured why not slow down for just a minute and reflect on 2018. When I do so, there are 12 take away items that come to the surface. I’ll share them with you now.
The Big 12
- Family is everything. I’ve had a very rewarding year working closely with a variety of people. Unfortunately, I’ve seen some fall ill, lose loved ones, or even begin to lose their own cognitive functions. Without family for support, these very difficult situations become harder to manage. It’s hard for all us to appreciate those closest to us. But, when things get tough, it’s comforting to know family can be there when we need them most.
- Go on that extra vacation. In the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, “Don’t put off tomorrow what you could do today.” All too often, I see couples delay that big family vacation for one reason or another. In the end, it may never be their perfect time. However, there certainly is a wrong time. It’s called, never! Don’t live a life of regret. For most of us, it’s what we don’t do that we regret, not what we have done. What are you waiting for? Go book it and you’ll thank me later!
- Balance life. I’ve struggled with this myself, as have many of my clients. How do you balance family and work? Saving and spending? Eating that salad and enjoying a nice, cheesy slice of pizza? Balance is difficult. It takes planning, support, and constant reinforcement. Partnering with someone who can help you on each of these things can go a long way to maximizing success.
- Take the long view, but enjoy the small stuff. Most things generally run their course–whether that be market turmoil or job insecurity. We let things deter us from enjoying the small beauties in our lives. After working with many individuals, I’ve learned we can let these stressors rule us and force us to make bad decisions. I choose, however, to put faith in knowing things will revert back to normal. If we take a macro view, corrections become much easier to see over the granular bumps along the way.
- Be present when you are present. This one I’ve spent a lot of time working on myself. I find it difficult in today’s “connected” world to detach. I’ve tried all sorts of tricks from leaving my phone upstairs when I am downstairs, to turning it off altogether. Sometimes these attempts turn futile, but I am a work in progress. I see it in many clients, as well. First, you are in my office talking about something of immense importance. Next thing I know, you are drawn to that next work email instead of focusing on your financial future.
- Communicate effectively. Radical candor is my new mantra. In work, and in our personal lives, we often find it hard to effectively communicate with those around us. Often, we hesitate to say the hard things to people we care about in fear of hurting their feelings. In reality, if we care about them we MUST share unabated what has to be said. I’ve found it may be a few moments of agony for a lifetime of revelation or change. In my role as a financial coach, people must hear the truths or risk going down a detrimental path. Being radically candid is my promise. I care about your financial health and thus there are things that need to be said.
- Enjoy the people you work with. I’m blessed to work for a lot of spectacular people. All are unique and special in their own way. What’s become very clear to me over the past year is if we both enjoy and respect one another, this planner/client relationship is beautiful. When you look at it as a partnership, you both create something special and appreciate each other more.
- It takes a village. I’m only as good as the people around me. I am not who I am (family man, business owner, and financial planner) without the remarkable people in my life. Together, there is no telling what we can accomplish. It takes a village, and I have one of the best.
- Take in the magical moments. This year I’ve also seen many people happily retire, get married, and start a new chapters in their lives. It’s a magical thing to both view these life events and have an impact in these milestones. I’ve had more hugs from clients than I can count and each one warms my heart. There is nothing more rewarding than guiding people through their darkest days and being there for the brightest moments.
- Adapt or die. I’ve always believed this as a core value. In my business, we spend copious hours working ON the business, and not just IN the business. How can we be more valuable to those we work with? You deserve your lifelong partner staying two steps ahead of what everyone else is doing. Much like your lives, emphasis is placed on growing all various aspects. I subscribe to this same belief.
- Education is key. Something profound happens when you educate. We as humans have natural biases that make us buck against change. Unfortunately, many of these biases harm your financial health. Through education and dialogue, we can focus on and remove some of these biases. Therefore, we can help you make an informed decisions and stick with them.
- Be humble and appreciative. I recognize those who have chosen Diversified have a choice. I couldn’t be more honored and humbled that you chose us for this lifelong partnership. I’m also amazed and privileged that so many of you continue to share this wonderful relationship with others. We appreciate it more than you know.
Time for a New Year!
There you have it! My 12 big reflections from 2018. I hope to make this an annual process of reflecting and sharing what I learned about life as a family man, business man, and financial planner. I hope some of these resonate with you. I hope this helps you to reflect and would love to hear about it. Shoot us an email at Clientservices@diversifiedllc.com.