Do you have an idea of where you want to be in five years? After I had my oldest son, now 22 years ago, I didn’t really know where I wanted to be in five years. I wasn’t even asking myself that question, but after a baby, you do start wondering where you will be, what type of home will you be giving your child, what type of experiences and education will you provide, how can you build for them?
At that time I worked for a manufacturing company that made plant based fibers used in everything from ‘biscuits to brake-shoes’ (that’s how I described it), and I absolutely loved the job. I loved visiting factories, helping solve problems, and seeing how things are made.
The problem was I traveled a lot, and traveling when you have a family, at least for me, was sad and lonely; and with each child, it became even more sad and lonely because I was away from my family. I did get a lot of reading done on planes and in hotels. The book I read on a trip out west, that became the change in thinking for me, the paradigm shift so-to-speak, was none other than Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It gave me a framework for envisioning my future life; it helped me put words to feelings and ideas of where and what I wanted to be. I was thinking deeply about how I give to my family, and how I use my energy in work. I was taking steps to change my direction and build a life based on values.
Seven Habits made me think about the life I wanted to provide to my children. It made me think about my values, and it helped me define goals. It made me think about the money I earned and how I wanted to use it. It made me think how I could serve my family, and build a career based on service to make a difference in people's lives. I was changed.
When I think of building a strong financial plan, I want to help a client see their goals in new ways. I want to help the client create the vision and know the direction for building a life that makes them proud, fulfilled, and have meaning. It can be taking care of those you love, learning to help others, building security for your future self, making a difference.
Sometimes it’s a conversation that leads to the shift in thinking, and in my experience, the financial planning process opens that door to that conversation. It might be about money and security at first, but what drives a good plan are the individual values and goals people bring to the conversation. Money can be a tool for creating a world based on values, but it takes planning.
Let’s have a conversation about your financial future. It will mean so much more than just the numbers, you can learn more about yourself, and build a life with vision.