Scoring Goals Together
By: Brandon Schleter, July 11, 2016
Growing up, I played soccer for many years. I played for a lot of different coaches - some of whom I liked more than others! - but I always had much respect for them. Each one helped me grow and learn in some way, whether about life, myself, or individual skill.
Now, things have come full circle and I'm coaching my own soccer team. As with all teams and seasons, it takes a bit of time to simply figure out the names, the personalities, strengths and weaknesses of each player, and then I have to find a way to get them to work together as a team. Throughout the season, we had ups and downs, wins and losses, and we worked hard in our practices to determine how best to work as a team, with the coaches and with the players as well.
I found that the players played hard and fought well for much of each game. But often toward the end, players would try to do things individually rather than for the team, some would turn on each other, and we'd end up losing the game.
As the season went on, I made some strategic changes to help ensure that no one person could try to do everything, and encouraged my players to work together for the benefit of all. As a result, everyone held each other accountable, fought hard, and towards the end of the season, players who had never scored in the beginning of the season were now hitting goals, and we started winning more games. We were finally working as a team.
I often see something similar in financial planning. A good number of clients come to us in their 50s and 60s and tell us, "It got too complicated and I knew I couldn't do it myself anymore," or, "I need someone else to take a look and tell me if I can actually retire." We are always willing and able to help these folks, but obviously we can't do as much for them as we could have if we'd met them 30 years earlier.
Anyone can log onto YouTube for soccer videos or Google tips on financial planning. However, that's the individual approach. The point is to work as a team, in which the players (or clients) and the coach (or financial advisor) work together toward common goals. This leads to simplification and organization of your financial life, less stress, and the knowledge that you're working toward the most important goals in your life, both short and long-term.
Sure, you can be the star player of the team and hit a couple of goals yourself, as you make the decisions to get financially smart and begin saving. However, a good team working with you can help you find the most efficient ways to grow and protect your money, whether that's your advisor, accountant, attorney, insurance agent, mortgage officer or banker.
Just as I learned new skills both on and off the field from my soccer coaches, and try to do the same thing for my players now, you might be surprised to find things about yourself, your abilities and your goals that you'd never seen.
To see the player who's never scored make an incredible game-winning shot in the final match-up of the season, or a client accomplish a financial goal, well, that's what I love about my job.