Financial success is almost always not only about how much you earn, but also about how much you spend. We’ve known people who’ve grown “rich” (however you define that), on any income. It sounds obvious, but they’ve figured out how not to spend it all by aligning their spending with what’s most important to them.
I talk to many people who have problems with spending. Sometimes it’s friends. Sometimes it’s co-workers. Sometimes it’s neighbors. And yes, sometimes I talk to myself about my own struggles. What I’ve discovered over the years is that most of our problems do not come down to income. Instead, we don’t notice enough. Spending mindlessly, without even thinking about it, has become a national bad habit. And we all know how hard it is to break habits. So we make the same mistakes over and over again.
Do you ever get frustrated or tired with stories about “high achievers” doing great things? It sometimes feels like there’s a cult around who can be more amazing. The other day I found myself saying to saying to friend, Marc Johns, “I want to hear about average people doing neat…
Financial advisors face a unique set of stressors. They care deeply about their clients, and they need to deal with incredibly important stuff because it involves their clients’ dreams and goals. Now, if you’re the release valve of other people’s anxiety, you need to take care of yourself to continue taking care of your clients. One option that I’ve found helpful is taking a cold shower. I promise there’s a good reason for this advice.
Now that more financial professionals are going to have to act in their customer’s best interest, where can you actually find someone who will really, truly, for sure do that? It seems like a simple question, but it’s not. I’ve been around the financial planning industry for 20 years, and one of the hardest (and most common) questions I’m asked is, “How do I find an advisor who I can trust?”
I try really hard to avoid complaining, and I’m not always successful at it. Just ask my wife. But a good friend demonstrated how he’s turned not complaining into a habit and how it’s changed his perspective. He’s inspired me to give it a try.
Years ago, I raced my bike in a few events each year. Don’t get the wrong idea … I was a middle-of-the-pack guy. But that didn’t make me any less competitive. So when I’d go out on training rides with a group, I’d always ride medium-hard. At first, I thought, “Great! I’ll get better fast.” But then I started to plateau. What was happening? It turns out I wasn’t really pushing myself as hard as I should or giving myself a chance to rest. The same rules play out in our professional lives.
I was driving with a friend recently and telling him about some projects that really excited me. I mentioned a new book I’m working on, an article I’m writing and this new hobby of adventure motorcycling in the desert. He interrupted me and said, “How do you stay so motivated and so excited about things?” It caught me off guard. I hadn’t really considered the “why” behind my list of activities. But as I thought about it, I realized that the one aspect each of these projects had to make me so motivated — the common thread — was the feeling of being in just a little over my head. In other words, doing things despite the fact that, as the marketing guru Seth Godin likes to say, “this might not work.”
We all struggle at different points in life, and the last thing we want to hear is some stupid cliche about how much better we’ll feel on the other side. But so much of our personal growth and some of our most cherished experiences come from feeling uncomfortable in life.
I’ve been a huge advocate of entrepreneurship for a long time. Over time, I’ve come to think of the work I do as as performance art projects that last 2-5 years, and then I move on to something new. It’s a different way to think about work. What opinion do you have that you think the world needs?