Love + Business = The New Path to Success?
The old formula: love + business = disaster.
The new formula: love + business = brilliance.
Love is a word business schools—not to mention consulting and advisory firms—shy away from. We are taught to make our case with value propositions. With analysis. With cold-hard logical facts.
But here’s the thing.
No matter how we decide to (analytically) justify it, we humans make decisions based on emotion.
We make flash-point choices, sometimes with tens of thousands or even millions of dollars hanging in the balance, based on how it makes us feel. Strong, proud, excited, smart…
So what’s love got to do with it?
Your sweet-spot clients need to feel the love. What entrepreneur/angel investor Wendy Lea calls “an intense feeling of connection”.
They need to feel you care about what you do. Not just by your words, but also through your actions: what you share, how you share it, how you evangelize for your big idea.
They need to feel you care—that you actually feel for them. That you’re focused on how you can best serve and even delight them in ways both professional and personal.
They need to feel your love.
Love as in your drive—your calling—to plow through obstacles and face down fears because you have a bigger purpose.
Because when you’re not afraid to show your love—even when it’s not perfect—that’s when your work and your business start to change. When your trust opens new relationships or sparks a re-flowering of those beginning to stale.
It’s not what they taught us in school or the big (and small) firms where we learned our craft.
But mixing love with our business is how we become brilliant.
How you become a lustrous, shining light in your world.
How you build a tribe that shines that light into corners you only dared dream of reaching solo.
How you build a sustainable business that produces work that matters far beyond yourself alone.
Love + business = the new path to success.
Retirement Planning Has Its Limits: How to Prepare
Retirement planning is one of the issues that commonly leads clients to consult financial advisers. One of its essential aspects is creating a plan to save and invest in order to provide a comfortable retirement income. Ideally, this starts many years ahead of retirement, even as early as your first paycheck.
As retirement comes closer, planning for it expands to take in a host of other considerations, such as deciding when to retire, where to live, and what kind of lifestyle you hope to have. When retirement becomes a reality, the focus shifts to carrying out the plan.
All of this planning is crucial. Yet, for both financial advisers and clients, it's good to keep in mind that planning has its limits. In the post-retirement years, it may be helpful to think in terms of preparing for old age rather than planning for it.
The older we get, the more important this distinction between planning and preparing becomes. Too many life-changing things can happen without regard to our best-laid plans. Often they occur unexpectedly, resulting in emergency situations where urgent decisions have to be made. A stroke or a fall, a diagnosis of terminal illness, a broken hip that leaves someone unable to go back to independent living—and suddenly, right now, the family needs to find an assisted living facility, arrange for live-in help, or sell a home.
What are some of the ways to prepare for these contingencies?
- Explore housing options well ahead of time. Find out what assisted living, home care, and nursing home services and facilities are available where you live and whether they have waiting lists. Have family conversations about possibilities like relocating or sharing households.
- Research the financial side of these options. Investigate the cost of hiring help at home, assisted living facilities, and nursing care centers. Find out what is and is not covered by Medicare and long-term care insurance. For example, people are sometimes surprised to learn that Medicare does not pay for nursing home care other than short-term medical stays.
- Designate someone to take over decision-making, and do the paperwork. Execute documents like a living will, medical power of attorney, and contingent power of attorney. Update them as necessary, and give copies to your doctors, your financial planner, and appropriate family members.
- Start relatively early to downsize. Well before you're ready to let go of possessions or move into smaller housing, start considering what to do with your "stuff." Focus on the decisions rather than the distribution. There's no need to get rid of possessions prematurely, but decide what you want to do with them—and put in writing. Do this while it's still your choice, rather than something your family members do while you're in the hospital or nursing home
- Do your best to practice flexibility and acceptance. No matter how strongly you want to live in your own home until the end of your life, for example, it may not be possible. The physical limitations of aging can limit our choices, and even the best options available may not be what we would like them to be. It is a profound gift to yourself and your family members to accept these realities with as much grace as you can muster.
Finally, please don't underestimate the importance of planning financially for retirement. Because the bottom line is that you can't plan for all the things that might happen as you age, but you can prepare to deal with them. One of the most useful tools to cope with those contingencies is having enough money.
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