I have a confession. I am a recovering workaholic. This realization came to me recently as I was going through some business practice exercises. Bear with me.
The short version is I was recently developing a “client persona.” In case you haven’t heard this term before it is simply a way to identify your typical, or maybe ideal, client. I told myself at the start of the year I would go through this exercise and the year is almost over, so I had to tackle it. Even though I really did not want to.
As I worked through this exercise, I realized the majority of my clients are highly successful professionals who work extremely hard and are now seeking a better life balance. And this is true for my clients getting ready to retire or still decades away. It was during this exercise that it struck me I was in those shoes just a few years ago but did not realize it.
I won’t bore you with the details of my previous work life, but it wasn’t a whole lot of fun. And I realize there are lots more people in this situation. However, it was one of the reasons why I launched my own firm and created it from scratch. But it wasn’t until this year I discovered it was a subconscious part of my decision-making process with hanging my own shingle.
Earlier this year I went through the same advanced financial planning process I am now taking my clients through. An overarching theme that came out for me was a better work-life balance. I thought I had a good one, but the questions I had to answer as part of the process revealed I still have work to do to get to the point where I want to be.
And apparently, birds of a feather and all that good stuff since many of my clients have brought up similar comments as we go through the advanced financial planning process. Or to describe it more accurately – Real Financial Planning.
The nice thing is I now have lots of resources to help clients tackle the elephant that is finding a better life balance. And I don’t want to be too selfish, so expect me to share thoughts throughout the next year on this topic. Don’t worry as we won’t be going into therapy. Real financial planning should be therapeutic, but never considered therapy.
Finally, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. While some focus on presents, I will be focusing on the presence of those most important to me. That’s the driver of my life balance.
I’m Dan Johnson, CFP®, founder of Forward Thinking Wealth Management. I run a flat-fee financial planning and investment management firm located in beautiful Akron, OH. Although I am in Akron, OH, I work with clients regardless of location. I cater to owners of equity compensation positions who are looking to organize their financial lives, keep more of what they make, and do the things they want in retirement and even now.