Financial guidance for financial independence

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2018 Year End Thoughts

Before placing 2018 in the books, it’s worthwhile to take a look back on the year. This not only includes a reflection of the monetary events that transpired but — more importantly — the personal development that took hold.

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If I were to sum up my 2018 in one word, I believe that would be “balance”. 2017 was a year of transition which led to many shifts, pivots, and pulling of myself in many directions. It was rewarding but also exhausting. Therefore, I set out to try and make 2018 more intentional. Here are some things that were an area of focus:

  • Saying no more often than I was naturally comfortable

  • Spending more on things with substance and value, and less on things fleeting in nature

  • Further cultivating the business to work towards the lifestyle design I want

  • Focusing more on my strengths and less on my weaknesses

In taking this path here are some of my observations:

  1. Saying no is indeed uncomfortable!! I knew this to be the case which (I think) is why I’ve always been more of a yes guy. In learning how to gracefully say no to something that is not a priority at present time, I learned that I’m actually doing a favor to both me and the person inquiring. For me, that hit of euphoria from saying yes and pleasing someone usually fades rather quickly and turns to a lingering regret. Why deal with that? Also, it is not fair to waste the other person’s time if my heart is not into it. That’s a bad look. In fact, studies show that people will likely think more highly of someone in the long run for being genuine.

  2. Being frugal is good for my finances, but not always good for my soul. It’s well documented that spending on experiences over things will likely provide a boost ones happiness. I have also found that making purchases based on personal value over price (or any other factors) also brings happiness. If my $15 jeans don’t bring me joy, why should I own them? Simply because they were cheap? No more. I now strive to surround myself with things that I truly value and enjoy, even if some happen to be expensive. By doing so I am providing a boost to my everyday soul points. Those things surrounding me that hold no true value only drain my energy, especially being more of a minimalist by nature!

  3. I started this financial planning/coaching business in an effort to better help others live the life they want to live. What I haven’t always factored into the equation is whether or not the business is also working to help me live the life I want to live! During 2017 I listened to (and bought into) a lot of marketing gurus tell me what I needed to do to have a successful business. For 2018, I took a step back and focused on what I actually wanted this business to be. Sometimes I still find it difficult to listen to my gut after toeing the corporate line for so long, but I am getting better at it. This past year my intuition told me to rid the business from those things I am not. Be gone weekly blog posts, paid marketing memberships, etc.

  4. I will try to never sell myself short again. I kicked off 2017 by listing my services at a low price point because I thought it would attract more clients. And as a new business owner who was I to charge higher rates? What I didn’t realize was that this was the impostor syndrome speaking. Cheapening my services did a discredit to my years (decades now) of experience and caused more harm than good. So after raising prices in 2018 to the point more reflective of my time and knowledge, low-and-behold business did not fall off at all. In fact, I actually received less haggle over prices from those booking appointments. Lesson learned.

2019 proves to be another year of learning and growing, as there are more goals and experiences on the horizon. Cheers to that!