Years ago, when I was a young CPA just starting out, I had an older client who visited me once per year, and we’d catch up on each other’s activities and happenings. Year after year, I would paint him a picture of what my life was going to look like when I had become what I considered to be successful; how I would have time to hang out on my boat in the middle of the week and take my wife on trips a few times a year without worrying about what was going on at work because I had great clients and great people who had everything handled.
I figured to reach this point, I would need my own CPA firm, an investment firm, a consulting firm… these were just a few of the things I thought would get me where I wanted to go.
At the time, I was in my mid-thirties, and this client was about 20 years older and particularly insightful. He’d patiently listen to my aspirations and the various ways I’d been trying to get where I ultimately wanted to be. At some point, he’d conclude with a kind smile and gently say, “You know, Ken, it’s really going to be interesting to see what you turn out to be - once you finally grow up.”
Recently, I was recalling my conversations with this client, and I suddenly remembered another conversation I had with my mother-in-law almost 30 years ago, just after I married her daughter. I regaled her with all the details of my grand plan for life with the incredible confidence only an inexperienced young man in his twenties can possess. As I relived this conversation in my mind, I had a revelation: now, in my mid-fifties, I havefinally become exactly what I described to her thirty years ago!
What I’d planned to achieve in just five short years took a total of thirty.
So why does it take us so long to get there?
In my case, I was stuck in what I was doing then, thinking I’d have to “shoehorn” what I wanted to be into the businesses I had at that time. How wrong I was to think I could do that!
These days, I have a similar conversation with clients – or potential clients – several times a year; only now, I’m the “older” person lending my perspective to what others envision for themselves. I ask people, “So what’s the big plan? What do you want your business to be, once it is fully grown up? And what role do you want to play in it?”
Sometimes I get blank stares. Sometimes people admit that they’ve just fallen into a rut of putting out fires day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, and lost sight of any grand plans or big dreams they used to cherish. They’ve gotten so lost in a fire-fighting quagmire that they’ve forgotten the freedom they started their business to achieve, and they’ve given up on their dreams.
The great joy of my life is that I am now in a position to help people figure out how to avoid the thirty-year trek to success and find a more direct path. I get a real charge out of helping people experience a re-awakening of their dreams; of helping them find the freedom I’ve dedicated my life to helping others achieve.
This blog post is a little more sales-y than usual, but in all honesty, I’m hoping it will be an early Christmas gift for some of you; that you will be inspired to take advantage of the wisdom of someone who can help you avoid much of the “squiggly lines” that lead to achieving your vision of success, and help you do it faster than I did.
If you’ve written your dreams off, I’d love to see you reclaim them and create a path to realizing them without waiting 30 years for it to come to pass. Stop traveling in squiggly lines and contact me today.