My friend Greg, a financial adviser, asked this thought-provoking question.
It’s said often, ‘common sense is not common anymore’. Although this may be true, I was pondering that one of the MAJOR reasons people are having so many problems is they lack self discipline. Someone may have the common sense to realize an action is wrong, but not the self discipline to say ‘NO’ to it.
Having learned much on the subject of finance, weight loss, psychology, marketing, etc., often it is the little things that make all the difference.
Here’s my long-winded response.
I’d say the biggest reason is rationalization.
For example, trying to lose weight and you are tired and stressed and have a snack at the end of the day. Is that bad? A one-off wouldn’t harm you. But what happens next does.
Instead of saying to yourself, it was just a moment of weakness. It happened, move on and get back to doing the right things with your diet and exercise. You say, ‘Well screw it.’ and dump your diet and eat the whole bag of chips and stop watching calories and exercising thinking, ‘What’s the point. I’ll never lose weight anyway.’
The same thing happens with spending. You buy the suit. And the upsell shirt and tie become, ‘Why not?’ And since you’ve blown your budget, the next impulse buy is that much easier. You have a credit card. You don’t need cash now to buy it. Don’t you deserve it?
Little things matter. And not allowing small missteps kill your plan.
I heard a good point about why you should use a financial adviser. One of the biggest objections to using a financial adviser is that technically you could get the same ETF-equivalent fund without paying a commission to a financial adviser (or a fixed monthly or annual planning fee).
But the big advantage [of having an adviser] is when the market tanks, they talk you off the ledge – so you don’t turn your solid 8-12% annual return over time into 0% by yanking your money out at the wrong time when you’re freaking out. Your adviser could be worth 10-12% or more.
Greg’s response confirms this with his anecdotal evidence.
Well said Mikey, I’ve often told clients, one of the biggest things I bring to the table is I am non-emotional about their money. EVERYONE I’ve ever met that let’s their emotions run their portfolio massively under perform my clients, and often it’s because they have a “gut” feeling.
So this brings up an interesting point.
An Adviser Keeps You On Track
So you have a financial adviser who helps you with your retirement portfolio, maybe your insurance, etc.
You may have an accountant who does your personal and/or business taxes to make sure you stay out of jail and aren’t buried each year with all the paperwork.
But what about you career? Why do you leave your career to the whims of your employer and chance?
Even if you’re a typical employee making $50,000 a year, your career (or earning capacity) is your #1 money-making enterprise (I know the real estate industry and regulators tell you your house is – but what pays for your house?).
Take your $50,000/year X 30 years = $1.5 million lifetime income
And that’s a typical career that isn’t being managed well. With effective management, energy and focus, you could easily double that.
But lets be even more conservative with the numbers. With even a minimal amount of career management (through a career coach or strategist – yes, I’m one who could help you) you could easily add another $5,000/year to that number without any problem. That translates to:
$5,000/year X 30 years = $150,000
So why haven’t you done it yet? I know, we weren’t taught in school to think of our careers that way. And there aren’t career coaches in every strip mall across America (but maybe there should be).
You just do the basics. Go to school, get a good job, work hard, and hope.
But hope isn’t a plan. Hope is a wish.
And as we see with today’s economy, wishes often don’t come true. They turn into financial nightmares as the unprepared are laid off, buried under student loan debt, and lose everything through unemployment or underemployment.
And then that $150,000 potential gain by getting help managing their career turns into the opposite.
A year’s unemployment or equivalent underemployment = $50,000 in the red. That plus the $150,000 lost upside = $200,000 net opportunity lost by burying your head in the sand.
Executives manage their careers. They have career coaches and mentors who they, or their businesses, pay tens of thousands of dollars to in order to improve their earning power and the results of the businesses they lead.
But fat-cat-executives shouldn’t be the only ones benefiting from a career coach or strategist. Why not you? You may not be able to pay a couple grand a month for a coach. But what if you could get equivalent guidance at a fraction of the cost.
As we saw, you could easily get a $5,000 per year bump – that is over $400 per month for someone in the $50,000/year job category. What would that $400 per month pay increase be worth to you? That $150,000?
So why do you need a Career Coach or Career Strategist?
Much of the benefit of a career coach, like an insurance agent or accountant, occurs when major (or even minor) life changes happen. You must consistently practice the basics (like recording your accomplishments and setting goals).
Having someone guide you with that and hold you accountable for your goals and commitments helps you follow through when times get difficult. That is especially true when life starts to spin out of control and your self discipline starts to wane. And then there’s those things throughout the year or over your career that force you to actually make tough career decisions whether you’re prepared or not.
- Annual reviews – Pre-review prep.
- Quarterly check ins with your boss – These are what often feed an annual review.
- Monthly accomplishment accountability – What did you do last month? And is it keeping you on track for your annual goals?
- Asking for a raise
- Asking for a promotion
- Looking for a new job
- Preparing a resume
- Interviewing for a job
- Negotiating salary and benefits
- Evaluating side hustles – Will it help or harm your career? And is the right for you?
- Contractor vs Employee options – Which is better for you at this time and why?
- Multiple job offers – How to decide between offers.
- Life changes – marriage, divorce, having kids, retirement – How do these life changes and choices affect your career options?
So don’t leave your career to chance. If you don’t get a guide, a coach, a strategist to support you on your journey, who will you rely on?
Your family? Boss? Friends? Your career is the farthest from their minds. Do it alone? You’ll get distracted. You won’t follow through.
And a year from now you’ll be coming up on your next annual review and wonder where the time went. And you’ll end up with the same minimal increase or no salary increase (remember people, we’re in a tough economy, no room for raises this year).
Don’t let this be you.
So you’ve decided to take control of your career. Now what?
Email me and I’ll tailor my career coaching services to fit your individual situation. How we work together will be based on.
- Stage of your Career – a fresh high school or college graduate has different needs that a mid- or late-career client.
- Financial Situation – if you’re buried in student debt and credit card debt with minimal spendable income you’ll not be able to afford my personalized services – but you could get start with one of my self-guided templates. It isn’t perfect – but starting is better than not.
- Job Status – if you’re unemployed or changing jobs you’ll need a different focus than someone in a stable career at their current company.
- Motivation – are you willing to put in maximum effort to drive your career forward? Or do you want more of a work-life balance?
So lets get started driving your future forward. Get in touch with me today.