Do you have a big juicy goal? Even if it’s not an income goal, have you ever considered how it connects to your finances?
I’m a financial adviser as well as the host of the Goals Do Come True podcast.
I’ve recently been chatting to Brad Brain, a financial adviser based in Canada (hear our full conversation on the podcast). We’re both members of the Million Dollar Round Table® (MDRT), a members’ network for the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals. Brad recently launched an app, Prosperity Goals, to help people consider their life vision when they make financial decisions. He’s also the author of Prosperity: Making Smart, Strategic Decisions about Money.
Brad has some great insights into spending habits and what you need to do differently to make strides towards your life goals.
Brad: “People do not make decisions that are consistent with their financial objectives. Often when they make a decision that involves money, it’s an emotional decision that they try to rationalise afterwards. A lot of the time people are doing stuff, even random things that pop into their head, rather than doing things that are actually going to help them accomplish their great goals in life.”
I’m sure many of us can relate to what Brad shared, and you may have experienced financial challenges at some point in your life. I was on the brink of bankruptcy before I successfully turned my business around and made six figures. I wanted to know why Brad thought people made poor choices even if they are goal oriented.
Brad: “Social media, and the access that people have to information, makes them fearful that they’re missing out on something. They want to jump in on it quickly rather than think about making a financial decision that will help them retire with the standard of living that they want, or to educate their children, or make some sort of philanthropic donation. They’re scared, which, in the end, is not a financial decision at all; it’s like crossing your fingers and buying a lottery ticket.
If somebody says to me that their goal is to retire at a certain age with a certain level of income, and yet they pull the money out of their retirement plan to go on vacation, they’re telling me one thing but they’re doing something that’s totally different.”
As financial advisers, Brad and I both do our best to rein people in if they go too far adrift with their spending habits. People love to get what they want right now, but that attitude can often have a negative impact. It’s important to save and invest wisely. As Brad pointed out, there has to be more emphasis on planning.
Brad: “If you spend all your money today, you’ve got nothing for tomorrow, and you’re still going to want to do stuff tomorrow. So how is that going to happen if you don’t plan for it? There’s actually a competition between your future self and your present self as to who is going to get to use those resources.”
The image of your present self and your future self vying for the same resources is powerful. I recommend that people tuck away 30% of their income, a concept explored by author George S. Clason in The Richest Man In Babylon.
When you are clear on your personal and professional goals, you can adjust your finances accordingly. Brad’s financial success has gone from strength to strength, but at one point he didn’t recognise his own success!
Brad: “When this letter from Rogers Financial [now known as RGF Integrated Wealth Management] showed up, I thought it was a transfer out of one of my clients. I was legitimately impressed that they would pick that company. I hold it in very high regard.
I first heard about MDRT® early in my career; it’s billed as ‘The premier association of financial professionals’ in the whole world. I knew then I wanted to be a member, but then I found out what I needed to do to qualify. It was an unimaginable achievement; it felt like it might take 100 years for me to meet the annual requirement! I forgot all about it until that letter arrived, then I realised I now qualified!
When I attended and sat in the audience listening to amazing world-class speakers, it lifted the ceiling on my thinking. I knew it would be amazing to reach a stage in my career where I was deemed to have something worthwhile to present to this amazing collection of financial advisers who have been to a million conferences and heard a million speakers. I had no aspirations to be a speaker. I was so poor at public speaking, my colleague insisted I join Toastmasters!”
Four years ago Brad brought his goal to life and spoke on the main platform of the MDRT® in front of 15,000 advisers. It was simulcast and translated into eight languages! Brad’s goal success has reignited my desire to present LIVE on the platform stage in Boston later this year (I hope the universe is listening!).
Go beyond your comfort zone
We are considerably more capable than we give ourselves credit for. In terms of utilising the capacity of our mind, we’re only scraping the frosting on the snow on the tip of the proverbial iceberg!
The more we expand our comfort zone, the greater our willingness to keep going. Brad summed it up perfectly.
Brad: “Goals are like muscles; they need exercise, and over time what was once hard becomes easy as you build strength. I’m writing my second book but I no longer think of that as a big goal. It’s inevitable. Once you start setting goals and reach them, you set bigger goals; it just becomes easier and easier. And what at one point was unimaginable becomes a daily routine.”
Brad’s business success is inspiring, and he achieved what he once considered impossible when he spoke at MDRT®. If you are planning to launch or have recently launched a service-based business, you’ll find some of my top tips in my new book Think Simple Win Big: How to Build the Business of Your Dreams With a Few Simple Goals.