Awareness Series #2: It’s not how much money you’ve made, it’s who you are becoming

5 May

Financial Success. It’s not how much money you’ve made, it’s who you are becoming.

I recently attended a seminar where a very wise woman made the foregoing statement.  She was referring to sales people who judge themselves by their visible success such as sales and/or commissions, money in the bank, or points toward a reward trip offered by the company.  But, are exterior validations the only valid metric?

Photo credit: Google Images

Financial Success. How to measure your financial success.

When we only look at the end of the journey (achievement of the goal) as we are working towards meeting the goal, it is easy to feel that we’ve fallen short.  The wise woman suggested that we also look at the person we are becoming as we move towards achievement of our goals.

Self-awareness and persistence are two critical success strategies (and they are at the top of my personal list).  Self-awareness is hugely important when you run the show and don’t have a boss or HR department telling you how you are doing.  You have to be honest with yourself – and avoid the temptation to believe your own press releases.

For example, you may want to ask yourself if you are:

  • Doing everything you put on your To Do List?
  • Looking ahead with a critical eye and asking yourself how your company is positioned for changes in the market place?
  • The best person to run the business or could you use a professional manager?
  • Treating your employees fairly?

Persistence is just as important because it takes time to build a business.  There are bad days, months, quarters and even years.  It takes persistence to move the business along and grow it so that you survive the bumps along the way and thrive in good ones.  Not surprisingly, awareness and persistence are qualities that I see in my clients who successfully grow their wealth.

Savvy investors know that asset allocation and diversification positively (or negatively) impact long-term growth.  They are aware that it is not wise to concentrate all of their wealth in the purchase of a home, or only in the Canadian equity and debt markets.  If their employment income or small business dividends come from the tech sector, they consider investing in other sectors to avoid suffering twice in any downturn.

The savvy investor is also persistent.  Although she hates bear markets as much as anyone she is willing to leave the investments in the market and wait for a turnaround, rather than cashing in a loser.  Think of the parallel with the house you own:  if there is a downturn in the housing market and your newly purchased property is worth less than what you paid for it, you don’t sell it.  You wait until prices firm up and reach new highs before selling.  Why treat your investments any differently?

It’s just good advice.