Trust is a big deal for me. I’m sometimes afraid to trust because I’ve found when I trust others too much it causes me problems….but I don’t think that’s been the biggest issue in my life, financial or otherwise. As I think about it, the opposite is true: I run into issues most often when I don’t trust enough.
Back during March Madness (NCAA basketball, for all of you non-sports fans), there was an interesting story in USA Today entitled Trust Levels Lagging. It detailed how basketball players have pretty shaky relationships with their coaches (and their owners, right?). Often this trust will break down and basketball teams collapse.
If there’s only five guys on the floor, you’d better trust them and trust your leader on the sideline.
I thought about this over my coffee this morning and realized that it’s the same for financial planning. If you have an advisor (or advisors), you need to trust them or you’re in big trouble. I’m not talking about blindly following an advisor….what I’m implying is that you value their opinion and are open to their message enough to seriously consider acting on it.
But that alone isn’t enough trust.
You also have to trust your goals and your approach, regardless of your advisor’s stance.
This was the number one reason many people I met were failing at their goals. They weren’t going 100 miles an hour at their goal. Unsure of whether they were on the right track, they’d keep their dreams idling….waiting until they were more “sure” of the path ahead.
Sadly, there’s only one truth: the path will always be foggy.
So, that means there are two directions you can take: get more information or start driving.
Let’s tackle them both.
Procrastination is funny, because in my life it usually takes the form of “I don’t have enough information.” If you don’t know where you’re headed, find out what you need to do and start moving.
I wrote that last sentence specifically with two items: 1) find out what you need; and 2) start moving.
Alone, “find out what you need” won’t get you to your goal. A good blogger friend of mine said recently that she continually was looking for new tools because she had this misguided idea that if she found the perfect tool she’d find her path. It’s funny….she knows that the right tool isn’t the answer and freely admits that searching really won’t help her….yet she isn’t going as fast as she’d like.
When I was a financial advisor I was in an office with about thirty other advisors. At the end of my first year I copying statements and investment applications, and discovered that a clerk accidentally had left a sheet with everyone’s YTD income on the glass.
Okay, what would you do?
That’s TOTALLY what I did. I peeked.
I shouldn’t have, but of course I read the sheet, and realized that “knowing what to do (step one)” didn’t pay. Acting did.
The guys that I went to whenever I had problems….the guys buried in books all day….they were some of the lowest earners in the office. Yet, they answered a TON of my questions when I was new. They knew everything about financial planning….but they weren’t acting on it.
So, what’s the point?
To me, the point is that I’ve gotta trust the people around me enough, and my instinct to act enough, that I’ll jump on my goals. The reason things break down in life is because I’m not moving at top speed. If I’m not, I have to ask:
Who/what don’t I trust?
Guess what the first thing is you should change in your life?
Photo: Katherine Davis