It is not an accident that “life planning” is at the forefront of our new brand: “life planning. wealth management.” You see, it is very difficult to be successful and happy in life without purposefully planning out your life, hence, “life planning.”
My personal “life planning” journey began in 2008. Anyone remember what happened in 2008? Anyone? *cue the crickets* Oh, yes: The Great Recession! During this time, my life was an emotional rollercoaster. My days were booked with client meetings… with clients who were justifiably terrified and deeply concerned about their money (I’m pleased to say that all of my clients and myself have survived).
What about 2009? Anyone? This one isn’t as obvious but equally painful… my divorce (also, I’m pleased to say very amicable).
As you can plainly see, things weren’t going my way… I was stressed, unhappy, and desperately needed positive changes and a life plan.
So… back to life planning… all of these events created the perfect storm and the perfect opportunity for me to sit down and make myself reflect and plan my life moving forward. But, how would I go about life planning and where would I start?!?!
Photo from https://unsplash.com/search/reflection?photo=JtBh4Y1J3MY by Bob Brents
Well… I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a good reason and also that people and/or opportunities pop up to assist at the opportune time if you look around and pay attention as well as listen!
So it was that I found myself sitting in a mini regional meeting with my former employer (not very excited to be there, but I was listening), when a mentor of us advisors pulled out a book and said, “You should all read this!” The book? Who Are You and What Do You Want?
I figured it couldn’t hurt… I enjoy reading and can always learn something new. Right away, I read the book… twice and went to work on the process highlighted in the book!
“Who are you, and what do you want?”
Without giving everything away… the basic process consists of a personal weekend retreat of brainstorming, personal reflection, and thinking through every event in life from earliest recognition to present. It was at my first retreat in 2009 that I sketched out my “life timeline” charting every decision, event, and happening for my entire life. When the weekend drew to a close, I knew more about myself than I ever imagined. It also became clear over the months following what I wanted my life to look like…
It turned out that I wasn’t unhappy about my career choice at all; I just wanted to have autonomy in serving my clientele and my own business.
Less than 1 year after my first retreat (I have done 8 years of it now), I knew what I wanted my life to look like, what I needed to do…and was terrified!
So, there I was at the crossroads. It was time… I resigned from the company with which I had spent the last 10 years and opened up my own firm hoping and praying my clients would follow (many did). The first year was very challenging to say the least, but it was well worth it!
I guess I owe my deepest thanks to a fellow mentor at my former employer for this.
Today, I have a plan… not just a financial/investment plan but a “life plan.” Every day, I live life with purpose and love what I do, and my clients are the beneficiaries of me living out life with passion.
“Life planning.” It’s our brand on purpose… I find passion in helping our clients find their life plan. I highly recommend the book to anyone wanting to participate in purposefully planning their life with one disclaimer: Be prepared to be open-minded; it’s ok to be uncomfortable and scared for a minute… but the rest of your life is so worth it!
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