Today is a unique show in both structure and message.
Instead of our typical interview format, I want to address a topic that I’m convinced more than ever will have the greatest impact on your life. Yet, it is rarely addressed with the urgency and intentionality that it deserves.
As a private wealth advisor for professional athletes and founders I’m exposed to some of the most financially successful people in society.
For many of our clients, they have achieved what most people spend a lifetime chasing, financial independence.
And what I have quickly learned is that having “enough” money doesn’t guarantee happiness. This is probably not earth-shattering news.
Yet, it has been my experience that very few people, regardless of financial circumstance can confidently tell me that chasing “more” money is not what consumes their time and effort.
That’s what I want to address today.
At the beginning of every meeting, I make the statement that “money is not the end goal, it’s a means to an end.” and then follow with the question, “Why Is Money Important?”
Typical answers I here are:
- not having to worry about money
- providing for family.
But those are outcomes not purpose.
So we press deeper, why are those important to you?
And that is where most people get stuck. They can’t articulate why they are doing what they are doing. They lack clarity.
We find ourselves spending our lives pursing more and we don’t truly know “why.” Yet, we are shocked that when we finally “arrive” we are still wanting for more.
I’m on a mission to break this chain of events.
When you meet with a financial advisor, the advisor usually starts by asking, ‘what are your financial goals?”
I’m going to argue that while goals can provide us with a general direction to aim at it’s the wrong place to start.
In his recently released book, “Atomic Habits” James Clear shares five problems of starting with goals
- Winners and losers have the sane goals
- Achieving a goal is only a momentary change
- Goals restrict your happiness
- the problem with a goals-first mentality is that you’re continually putting happiness off until the next milestone
- Goals are at odds with long-term progress
We have to learn how to let go of outcomes we can’t control.
Goals are good for setting direction, but systems are best for making progress and behind every system of actions are a system of beliefs.
The first step is not what or how, but who.
Who we are precedes what we do.
By knowing what I value, I truly know what I want.
Tim Mauer in “Simple Money” shares that, “our values are simply the stuff in life that we want to be about. That which we want to define us. The guideposts we chose to live by. Values are critical in financial planning as anchors for our goals and boundaries for the actions we take to achieve them. But most of all they make the hardest decisions in life much easier by helping us prioritize what truly is the most important. Understanding what you value most will help simplify even the most complex financial decisions.”
The starting point is clarity.
In his book, “High Performance Habits,” Brendon Buchard shares that the most successful people know the answers to certain fundamental questions:
- Who am I?
- What do I value?
- What are my strengths & weaknesses?
- What’s the stuff that really matters?
- Why is money really important to?
Money is a “means to an end.” What is your end?
I will leave you with an exercise that I found helpful in bringing clarity to who I’m focused on becoming. In Episode 20 I ask athletes to imagine that ESPN was doing a “30 for 30” special on their life. For entrepreneurs, imagine it was a Forbes documentary, what story would they tell?
- What type of spouse were you? Parent, Friend, Teammate, Boss.
- Who were you in social settings with strangers?
- What defines the way you played the game or did business?
How will you be remembered?