A necessary feature of any article posted online is the feature image. For this post, I searched using the key words “Failure and Success.” The results were disappointing as most of the images showed signposts leading to failure or to success. I doubt that most people willingly take the “Failure” off-ramp! Other images included trite sayings like “failure is not an option” or “each failure is one step closer to success”, as if success is simply a chance outcome that will eventually happen if you fail enough times! Most of the imagery sees failure as something undesirable.

Are you ready for a better approach?

Why not consider every failure you’ve gone through and every failure that you fear as the raw material for achieving your goals?

Here is a simple 4 step plan:

  1. Ask what is bothering you most right now in regards to your finances. What do you wish could be different? What is distracting you? Try to articulate these frustrations as clearly as you can. We have a specific tool for this but you can simply put it all down on a blank sheet of paper.
  2. Once you have identified these frustrations, write down your ideal outcome for each one. Try to be creative for each one and visualize the result you would really like to have. How could your circumstance be different and what would that feel like?
  3. Reviewing each frustration and its matching ideal outcome, think through the strategies that will help you achieve your ideal outcome. Think about the actions that will move you forward. Take stock of the resources you have around you including the people who could help you. You can do this alone or with your family but it might also be a great idea to involve your financial advisors.
  4. Commit to a 30 day action plan. What is your first step toward resolving these frustrations? 80% progress is far better than trying to perfect 100% of nothing. The fact is that simply starting is the most important step.

When you accumulate a healthy list of frustrations and corresponding strategies to resolve them, you are well on your way to exponential change. Let’s look at a few examples:

Failure or frustration Ideal Result Strategy Next Action
No financial plan Start a financial plan Begin with a simple approach Find a simplified financial planning tool
Procrastinate on investing money Regular monthly investment Start with $50 per month Set up with investment advisor
Failure to diversify Broadly diversified portfolio Analyze existing portfolio vs. target Get “Portfolio MRI” done

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