If you checked out the latest meme package, you might have picked up on a theme that I’ve been using over the past few weeks. I’ve been thinking a lot about time. Time is the one of those things we can’t get back. Like the #HazelNut, time is precious. I don’t think I appreciated time as much as I do today until I went to business school. Attending a evening program, building my business while changing firms and getting hitched really pressed me in ways that I had yet to experience in my young adult life. My classmates and I always joked that the hardest thing about the program was our ability to juggle all of the things we had going on. We envied the full-time students who appeared to have the “good life”. By the time I finished my MBA, I had earned more than just a degree and a network. I had earned amazing experience in time management, which is proving to serve me quite well in my post-graduate, not-so-young adult anymore, years.
So, in thinking about time, I started to realize that I am not just in the business of financial peace of mind and managing money, as it were, but rather I am also in the business of selling time. That’s right mom, I’ve become a time dealer! What I mean is that when you work with a trusted advisor you should get back the time (and energy) would have spent navigating your personal finances on your own. “Well, Doug, that’s what services are supposed to do! So, yeah, duh.” Don’t get fresh with me! But you’re right. That IS what services are all about. However, unlike a plumber fixing your sink, the work that goes into any planning any one’s financial situation isn’t the same as a standard repair. It’s complex and collaborative. Additionally, it is made possible by nurturing lasting relationships. In any event, I’ve been reminding prospects and clients that my greatest value to them is the time they can get back, which I strongly suggest they spend on doing the things they LOVE to do (like be with family, friends and loved ones) or hustle their butts off in order to reach those goals of theirs.
While the organization of my time has improved greatly over the past four years, it doesn’t mean that when things get crazy my stress levels don’t rise. Lately, I’ve been experiencing stress levels unlike I’ve ever experienced before. I don’t tell you this to gain sympathy. In fact, many of the things that are stressing me out are really positive things. Growing a business, raising a happy and healthy baby girl and trying to buy a house are all amazing things (dare I say The Great Things In Life). However, there’s also a decent amount of less than positive things too. While I typically wear my heart of my sleeve, I will refrain from diving into those details for obvious reasons. But in thinking about my own stress, I realize that I sometimes take for granted the stress that exists in the lives of others, especially in the lives of my clients and friends, which is strange because, if anything, I understand all too well the type of stress people have with regards to their money. Moving forward, I am going to try and appreciate this dimension of their lives.
And I am not going to provide a Top Ten list of things you can do to alleviate stress in this blog post. You can Goggle that yourself and pick from the hundreds of articles via a BuzzFeed or a Huffington Post. Most of them will be practical things like eating right, getting enough sleeping and exercising. However, what I am going to tell you here is that when the going get tough, the tough get going. I don’t care how trite that is. It’s the truth. The last few weeks have been out of control insane and the rest of this year (or life) is pretty much going to be the same way if not even more crazy. So, I figure I can either let the mountain of stress get the best of me or I can make the best of it by staying focused and working hard to achieve as many positive outcomes as I can. Personally, I just don’t see how giving into stress is going to take me to the next pinnacle of my life. I know that I am not going to have a positive outcome for everything that’s going on, but if I figure if I can create enough wins, and focus on the things that really matter, I will walk away the victor. Of course, all of this is easier said than done, but nothing worth doing is easy.
Before we close out this month’s blog, I have some great articles that feature “this guy” to share with you. From CNBC and The Fiscal Times, we have two great articles involving those freelancing hustlers out there. The first article is “How To Juggle The Financial Ins and Outs of Freelancers“, while the second focuses on retirement for the self employed in, “Self Employed? Here’s How to Save for Retirement”.
There are also some industry related articles (from those of you interested) with the first discussing Turnkey Asset Management Programs called TAMPs, also from CNBC. In this article, I weigh in on how financial advisors are using these products to outsource the investment management function of their businesses. Just think “costs” The second article is from Investors Business Daily and touches on one of my favorite topics in the industry right now, social media! “Tracking Clients Online Gives Advisors and Edge” demonstrates how powerful social media can be in helping advisors deepen client relationships (or any business for that matter). Regardless of what advisors do with social media, they should remember this secret tip– don’t be creepy about it.
Lastly, as soon as it’s available, I will update the post with some killer content I made with Vox Media last week. It’s part of a series called “Adulting” and I am going to talk about some grown up finance things involving Millennials.