I know this isn’t a big surprise. I’m a huge fan of Apple. I’ve been a customer since 1978 when I bought my first Apple II.
One of the things that keep me as a customer is their technical support. They’ve thought through the process of support from their customer’s point of view. And in the process they’ve decreased their cost.
One of my favorite terms is one I learned from my friend Susan Bradley at The Sudden Money Institute. It’s the term thinking partner. A thinking partner is someone who helps you think through problems. It’s not someone who gives you the answers.
A thinking partner allows you to be the expert.
Actually this argument stopped about twenty-five years ago. But, for the first ten years I was in business I focused on growth and my father kept saying that was the wrong metric.
Here’s a statement for you to consider….the meaning of your communication is the way it’s received. This is not a new age statement for you to ponder. It’s a simple statement that just says it doesn’t matter what you think you said, it only matters how the person you’re speaking with heard it.
A personal story with my family.
Towards the beginning of this year (2014) I started using a process with clients and potential clients that has had more power than anything I’ve introduced in years. It’s called the alignment conversation.
During this conversation we take a look at how you’re aligned with yourself. This means are you really doing the things that you want to be doing? In ever instance there has been a gap. If we can help fill the gap, we have a conversation about what our relationship might look like.
Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are all over the place. You read about having good metrics in your business. Great measurements help you move forward. Lousy metrics just give you information and the information is often more confusing than helpful.
If it’s simple it’s clear.
Key Performance Indicators (KPI),
I find there are two general types of business owners. The first is a business owner who is sure that everything they do is right. It’s hard for me to have a conversation with them about change. Since everything is perfect, there’s no need to question premises they have.
The second is a business owner who I hope is like you. This business owner is always asking questions. She is wondering if there is a better way. He is willing to pivot if and when it becomes possible there is a better way.
If you own your home it’s probable that you have a mortgage. How often do you think about paying off the mortgage and being debt free? If you’re not doing this you might find that reaching retirement will be hard.
Not having a mortgage reduces your overhead.
I’m often asked to help business owners add another owner to the mix in their company. Sometimes this person has worked in the company for years and sometimes it’s someone from the outside they want to add to the ownership group. In either case having a shareholders agreement with an exit clause is a crucial part of the transaction.
You never really know who you’re getting.
In the wealth management world we seem to spend all of our time planning. We plan for how much money you’ll need. We plan for how you’re going to send your kids to college. We even plan for when you can retire.
The problem with all of this planning is that it’s just an idea. Because we call it a plan you think what we give you is real. I hate to surprise you it’s not. A very small change in a return rate can throw your well thought out plan into a tailspin that just might be very difficult to get out of.