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South Burlington, VT

Value Creation Blog

Stop Writing Long Reports

scrollYou can add long business plans, long marketing plans, long job descriptions; you get the idea. If at all possible stop writing long reports and plans. No one wants to read long reports and once they’re read they’re never looked at again.

The longer the report the less clear you’ll be.

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Topics: cultural change, value creation, communication

Why You Need To Love Radical Change - Life Changes

change-2I’ve been a fan of Ilya Prigogine for more than thirty years. I first heard about him in the early 80’s at a human potential workshop. When I was introduced to him I also learned a new word, perturbation.

Perturbation is bombarding of a structure. In Mr. Prigogine’s world it was atomic structures that would be bombarded and then emerge as something completely new. In our world it can be having the universe tell us we’re on the wrong track and need to change.

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Topics: cultural change, communication

What Should You Do About College Costs?

college-graduationI don’t know about you but I think college costs have gotten more than a little absurd. The list price for lots of colleges has now crossed the $60,000 per year threshold. That’s a lot of money for a college degree. College has now become out of reach for a lot of people.

I’m a big believer in the value of a college education. A good college education will do three things. It will help you think critically, read critically, and write critically. All are good things. The question I have is it worth $250,000 to learn these lessons?

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Topics: communication, financial planning, Children

Email Doesn’t Replace Phones - Customer Service

serviceI’m more than a little frustrated and just want to rant a little. I’m sick and tired of your software company if you think that using email and chat is a replacement for the phone when you provide customer service. When I contact you, I have a problem. I don’t have time to wait for a day or two for you to get around to solving my problem.

When I end up calling support with a problem I don’t have warm and fuzzy feeling about your company. When you force me to send you an email which you don’t respond to or chat with someone who can’t resolve the issue it makes we want to discontinue our relationship.

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Topics: communication, build trust, Customer Service

Wealth Management Is Too Confusing!

confusingThe term “wealth management” has a different definition for everyone I talk with. For some it means managing money. For others it might mean doing estate planning. For still others it might mean asset protection planning.  

There are probably over fifteen or twenty discreet areas that you can call wealth management. If you’ve ever gone through a true financial planning process it’s likely that your planner provided all fifteen or more areas for you to consider. I also bet you had no idea where to start.

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Topics: communication, wealth management, build trust, personal value

5 Things To Help You Through Change

navigating_changeAnytime we go through a major life change we’re moving from the old us to the new us. There’s a period of time where everything feels out of sorts. We might feel that we’ll never move out of this stage. Sometimes we just plainly get stuck. Here are 5 things to think about if you’re going through this process.

Understand it’s not permanent.

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Topics: communication, financial planning, build trust, asking why, Change

How Do You Know You Trust Someone?

trustThis is a central question I believe everyone who works with our firm should ask. You share important information about your finances, dreams, and life with us. You aren’t going to do that unless you have a high level of trust in us. I spend a lot of time thinking about this and working with our staff to learn about how trust is built and how to audit our actions to make sure we’re acting in a trustworthy manner.

Several years ago I ran across a book called The Trusted Advisor. The genius in this book is the authors developed a formula for you to easily check whether you’re being trustworthy.

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Topics: for business owners, communication, trust

8 Things I Do For Clients

JP_Full_SizedI have a dilemma. My dilemma is to explain what it actually is I do for you. I was recently speaking with a client and explained my problem to him. His comment was I do different things for different people so it might be impossible to explain what it is that I do. He makes a good point. I’m still going to try to explain what it is that I do.

I’m not for everyone.

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Topics: mission vision values and goals, value creation, communication

Simple Is Better When It Comes To Change

simplicityHave you ever gotten yourself all bolloxed up when doing a project? You’ve gotten yourself tied in knots and you’re not really sure how you’ve done it. I bet if you look a little you’ll find that you’ve made things more complicated than you needed to.

Too often I see plans go right down the tubes because no one understands your plans including you.

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Topics: communication, personal value, Change

Retire To What? Know What’s Next

bored-in-retirement-imageYou’re getting close to 65 years old. Mandatory retirement is staring you in the face. You know the day is coming faster than you want. On one hand you’re looking forward to retiring. At the same time you’re scared to death. You have no idea how you’re going to fill your time once you stop working.

Retirement doesn’t mean you stop being productive.

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Topics: retirement planning, value creation, communication, financial planning

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