Coaching principles for successful wealth management
The following describes four principles that emerge from the coaching discipline that have direct application to successful personal wealth management:
1. Acknowledge and celebrate progress
When thinking how you want to live the rest of your life, we encourage you to set aspirational goals. Setting objectives and articulating a vision is an important part of the planning process. It helps you to remain focused and allows you to make iterative adjustments to your strategy and actions along the way.
However, a potential problem with being too ambitious is that the objectives may appear unattainable and lose their motivational power. Maintaining your motivation is a vital ingredient to achieving what you want. Unfortunately, in our attempt to get where we want to be we too often overlook our past achievements.
We recommend that you regularly review your achievements and progress. Take the time to acknowledge and celebrate how far you’ve come. If you treat financial and lifestyle “success” as something that only happens when you have achieved all of your goals, you may find it to be more elusive than you think.
With disciplined adherence to an agreed Plan and “normal” investment market conditions, clients’ financial situations dramatically improve over relatively short periods of time. Acknowledging and celebrating how far they have come often makes what at first may have appeared unattainable seem very achievable.
2. Accept your current circumstances
This may seem too simple a concept to warrant comment, yet it is often the cause of unwanted stress and procrastination. The first step to recovery for someone facing financial distress is to accept their reality. Only after they have truly acknowledged and accepted their position can they move forward. Unfortunately for many, this state only arises after they have “hit rock bottom” i.e. after they have given themselves no other alternative but to face up to and accept their circumstances.
Acceptance does not mean that you necessarily like or enjoy your circumstances. You simply move from an emotional state of avoidance to one of acceptance. In this state, you are far more likely to take clear and purposeful action.
3. Set goals
Goal setting can be quite daunting for many. People’s goals vary from lofty, impossible targets to dour, known outcomes. Meaningful goals are those that lie in between both of these extremes.
First, goals are not predictions. People love to set goals in line with their predictions. They can then say that they were right. But that is not the purpose of a goal. A goal is a motivational target that is outside of your current reach. It is beyond your comfort zone and requires you to stretch to achieve it.
Second, goals are not about fantasy. You want the goal to be realistic and within the realms of your own possibilities.
Third, your goals need to be specific. The best way to achieve this is to get a very clear image of what needs to have happened for you to know that you have achieved your goal.
Fourth, it needs to be an intentional goal (not an accidental goal). A written goal is far more useful than an unspoken wish.
Finally, read your goals regularly and review your progress. It is important to note that most people tend to over-estimate what they will achieve in a year but under-estimate what they will achieve in a lifetime.
Setting goals is a healthy and rewarding activity.
4. Ask yourself questions
“If you ask yourself better questions, you’ll get better answers. The answer is in the questions you ask.”
Building and managing wealth is not something your can completely outsource. You can outsource functions that you may not like or may not be adept at, but you cannot outsource all of your financial issues. For example, no one but you can decide when you would like to retire, or determine how you would like to spend your retirement.
The human brain loves to find answers. Yet few people adopt the practice of regularly asking themselves meaningful questions. But often the questions we do ask ourselves are those we already know the answer to.
Learning to ask yourself questions can seem a little uncomfortable at first. Asking a question such as, “How can I … [achieve a certain outcome]?” can provide you with unexpected clarity. With practice and patience you may surprise yourself with the conclusions you come up with.