Doing what you love to do, fuels success for every other thing. Most people in business who really succeed are the ones who are most passionate about their work. They have a competitive edge (if you can call it that). By empowering what you already love doing, you are in fact creating wealth within you, so everything that comes out of you can multiply with ease and grace.
When financial planning is done in isolation or by a set of pre-conditioned goals—like saving for retirement, education, protection, etc. it becomes an act of saving money just for the sake of it. Financial planning needs goals. But what are goals without putting your heart into them? Yes, I would like to save for my retirement, but are you actually excited that you are putting your money into it? Without enthusiasm, the plan would be set aside and eventually die. Your goals need to be intimate. They are your greatest assets.
Flip the Script
What I’m saying is that you should be putting money where you should be excited. This is where we flip the script. Oftentimes, we distinguish between needs and wants. Needs are something that exists for your survival and comfort. Want is something you buy for your enjoyment, pleasure. Normally, to save money for the future, we should pour our money into what we need—like insurance, healthcare, etc.
The Power of Wants
But we have to advantage of the energy that “wants” gives us. Remember the keyword here: "energy". When it comes to long-term financial planning, giving in to what we want is vital to our success. Because our wants empower us to take action and pursue our ultimate goals. We have to be selfish about this kind of planning.
We are therefore responsible to create a financial plan that will create wealth and success for the client, not just a way to dish out a pre-existing menu for them.
The Four Philanthropist
As such, this reminds me of the story of the four philanthropists. The story goes that long ago in a region where slavery is the norm, there was a prison where people have been enslaved since birth. Despite living in poor conditions, the slaves were used to it.
The four philanthropists happened to pass by and saw the slaves’ plight. The first one noticed that the dirty drinking water. So he ordered his men to construct a well that would provide the slaves fresh clean water. He even ordered them to construct aqueducts and pumps.
The second philanthropist felt sorry for the slaves when he saw them eating their masters’ leftovers. He called up rich friends to donate food for the slaves for as long as possible.
The third philanthropist ordered new beds and mosquito nets so the slaves could sleep comfortably.
But the fourth philanthropist knew better. Though he wasn’t as wealthy as his three colleagues, yet he understood what the slaves really, really want. It was not a clean supply of water, or better food, or a better place to sleep in.
They wanted freedom. So the fourth philanthropist held out his hand and brought out a key and opened the prison gates.
Financial planners could fall into the trap of acting like the three philanthropists, planning on something that the person may need, but not really want. In the same way, you may buy insurance for something you need, but do not really want. You may have a goal—but do you really want that goal? Or was that goal something that was thrust into you, or society expects from you?
We are defying a lot of conventional wisdom here precisely because we are following a more fundamental rule of life: follow what you love and everything will take care of itself.
Sure you need to plan for your retirement, your next car purchase, your children’s education; but after you plan for your protection and your emergency funds, you need to fund the capitalization of your business that you love. And that my friend should be the replacement for your retirement planning.
Retirement planning takes years, and so should your purpose-driven planning. You have to know yourself first.
I believe that you will find success if you do the thing that you love. And yes, I define the word success to include financial success and financial freedom. We can all succeed in a business that you are passionate about.
And your success in that line of work would then create the wealth needed to fund your next goals—your other long-term pursuits, and yes, your retirement—for as long as you need it.