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.
Design instead of plan.
If instead of planning your life why don’t you try designing what you want? A design is a blueprint or just a sketch of what would work for you. Think about what makes you happy and design your life for being a happy one. I hope you noticed that in our design statement there was nothing that was specific or time bound.
What makes your life better? That’s what we’re here to help you with. If you tell me what makes your life better, we can then start to ask questions that move you towards that outcome. A plan just gives you steps to take. If they’re the wrong steps, then I bet you can guess what happens.
Designing allows you to pivot.
A design allows you to change your mind. You might decide you want to live in Boston. After thinking about it for a while, you might decide that Boston really isn’t the right place for you. Maybe it’s living in Burlington, VT.
When you design something you’ll ask more questions than if you just forge forward and plan what you want. A design in my world is an idea, it’s never set in stone and it’s easily changed. Doesn’t that make more sense for how you live your life?
Designing brings why into the mix.
While you were reading I bet you were asking yourself I wonder when Patrick is going to get around to bringing up why. Well, here it is……A design brings the question why into the mix. A plan is just about what and if your what happens to be the wrong one, you’re sort of stuck.
Designing isn’t about being exact.
One of my major issues about doing any sort of plan is they often give you the sense that what’s on the paper is really going to happen. If I’m doing a succession plan from your business, I can promise you that over the next several years several things are going to happen that neither of us ever thought about.
If we’re stuck with a plan then we have to make a new plan and that just takes too much time. If instead, we design and put a framework together it’s a lot easier to make changes as needed while we’re working on a particular outcome. We know why whatever it is that we’re trying to do is important. This lets us move in a direction that works.
Think about the trip.
The real problem with goals is that you’re focused on where you want to go. You forget to take a look around you during the trip. You get to your goal and what do you do? You just make another goal that’s bigger. Bigger might not be what you want. You might to have better and in my world better is just fine. What about yours?
I do think that businesses should do some design work around what they want every year. The design should be simple. We have a special report on simplified business budgeting. This is a quick and easy way for you to figure out and communicate what’s important in your life. If you add why it’s important you’ll have a much bigger impact. I bet this report just might help make your life a little better.