Have you ever wondered how some people accomplish so much? Even, how some people make life look easy?

 

Individuals or even couples that succeed in life do not just leave it to chance. Most often they have a mission in mind and the steps to achieve the mission laid out in front of them. I personally call that Being Intentional. People who aren’t intentional often times can skate through life and get by, however eventually that lack of purpose or attention to the details that matter can catch up to them. When certain life events happen at the wrong time or if it occurs in a large enough way the consequences can be tremendous, possibly even insurmountable. When people have life circumstances that impact them in a large way they appear to have been battered and abused by life, like an old flag that is worn from being pushed around by the wind for too long. If that is you there is hope! If you don’t recognize these traits congratulations, but take control now.

 

I would like to encourage everyone to take charge of your life! Become that person that lives with great purpose and is on task towards being the best person that they can be; for those who are married to become the couple that you wanted to be when you were first married. Recently, I have redesigned my business to help individuals and couples live with greater intention.

 

Nobody sets out on any particular day to wreck their life. It is generally a slow slide with consistent apathy which allows it to ultimately be lost. I have chosen to establish a program that creates a very intentional process for three of the most important areas of anyone’s life. The primary areas that we focus on are Health, Relationships and Personal Finances. To many these three areas of focus may seem unrelated, however I would suggest that when each of these three areas of life are thriving, you are at your best. Let’s take a closer look:

 

Health

 

The busy nature of life and the demands on our time often force the attention on our health to the backburner. The demands on our time allows us the excuse that we don’t have time to exercise. However, eating properly or improperly is a choice that we make about 3 to 4 times each day. The fact is that many do make time to exercise daily. There are even small things that we can do to change our daily routines to increase our overall activity level. Everyone is capable of choosing to eat well just like everyone is capable of making time to exercise or simply become more active as a part of their daily routine. These things are a choice and when treated with intention and we are motivated and held accountable they will typically improve.

From my point of view, as a financial planner, I would like to point out the correlation between exercising and earning. A Cleveland State University study, The Effect of Exercise on Earnings, goes into great detail (34 pages of great detail) to conclude that there is a correlation between those that exercise earn more. The most simplistic portion of the study states that those who exercise typically have more energy throughout the day, greater job satisfaction and a higher promotion rate. It continues to parallel the impact that these traits have on being far less likely to become unemployed. The higher promotion rate had a direct correlation between those that were not overweight attributing to the highest percentage of the workforce that received promotions. From personal experience with my clients over the past 19+ years of working with their personal finances, healthier individuals generally have a larger amount of discretionary income due to lower healthcare costs.

 

Relationally, the idea mentioned above that those who exercise have more energy and are more positive throughout the day is quite significant. Imagine the impact that couples would experience if everyone had more energy at the end of the day. Imagine the relationship change if you were able to exhibit more patience with your children due to having a better outlook and more energy. To me, this seems like one of the areas that will be impacted first and foremost.

 

Take charge of your health!

 

Relationships

 

My pastor often states that Love is a Verb! Obviously if it is a verb it requires action. What type of action? An action that is designed specifically for the person that you love, whether your spouse, child, boyfriend or girlfriend. You must meet them where they are!

 

As a part of the Being Intentional process I would like to introduce a bit of a scientific approach to understanding how to communicate with and how to better understand the person that you love. We use several testing methods that uncover that exact communication styles that your spouse/partner, even children desire from you. Once you have gained a new level of understanding of these techniques we encourage that you both (Spouse/Partner/Child) team up to establish common goals and bonds like you have never done before. An American Express study, related to couples finances, indicated that 78% of couples who actively plan their life together stay together. That’s Huge!

 

Once we have developed an intentional approach to communicating and planning…. next comes the fun part, Implementing! We create reminder systems and goals for being intentional about staying engaged in the relationships that are most important.

 

I don’t believe that I have to go very deep into the explanation that it is far more financially rewarding to stay together. If you aren’t certain about what I mean, Google It!

 

Personal Finances

 

Life isn’t just about making money, but it is important. It is most important when you have someone to enjoy and share it with for a long time. However, we inherently know that it is important but many people don’t have the time or knowledge to continually investigate the right financial moves to make and when to make them. As a result many people make very few decisions or are at best reactionary, making decisions only when forced. Being intentional as it relates to your personal finances means establishing financial goals and action items that are both in line spiritually and with your future hopes and dreams.

 

First it is important to understand where you are financially. You can’t get to where you are going without knowing where you are! This is best accomplished with an easy to understand financial model which provides you the clarity that you desire. Next, it is important to eliminate areas where you are wasting money, but you must also maximize all of the areas where you spend money. Lastly, create action items that are monitored and that you are held accountable to achieve. This is a process that allows you to achieve a level of success that goes far beyond most peoples expectations.

 

The American Express study that I mentioned earlier shared these facts about couples and their financial lives.

 

  • 61% of couples say that discussions about household finances lead to arguments.
  • 50% of couples say the financial habits of their spouse drive them crazy.
  • 75% of couples have financial secrets they’ve kept from their spouse.

Take control! You don’t have to be like the couples in this study. Be intentional with your personal financial decisions so that it doesn’t undermine your relationships and your health.

 

Being intentional in the areas of your health, relationships and personal finances will create an impact on your family, friends and certainly you and that is worth it!

 

Hope that you will allow Drive Planning to help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

America: Day One

March 31, 2015 — 1 Comment

When you grow up in an environment the sights and sounds become second nature to you. Unfortunately, the wonders that surround you also become second nature. I am fortunate to have recently had an experience that allowed me to see the wonder, blessings and opportunities that exist all around us in an entirely new way. I was able to see America though the eyes of a first time visitor to our great country. The encounter was truly profound; allow me to explain.

 

Returning from a quick turnaround Atlanta to Phoenix business trip, my red eye flight lands in Atlanta at 6:05am. While on my way to baggage claim I spot a fellow traveler searching for guidance and directions into Atlanta. Being a native Atlantan I offer assistance. My fellow traveler explains to me that he is a fisherman from a small town outside of Bordeaux, France and this is his first time in America. Manu, short for Manuel, explained that this was only a 10 hour layover in the states on his way to fish in Colombia, South America. He was wanting to see the city and also find some fishing supplies. Directing him to Marta, Atlanta’s light rail public transportation system, then onto cab’s and buses etc. It all seemed so cumbersome and inhospitable for me to just send him on his way leaving him to figure out our systems, directions and even a language barrier. So, I offered to take him myself and I’m glad that I did!

 

As we walked to my car Manu asked a significant question…. Is it common for American people to go out of their way or to be so kind as to help a stranger? Hmmmmm… Think on that for a minute! I will tell you my response in a moment.

 

Since Manu was looking for fishing supplies I told him that I would take him to Bass Pro Shops, he was ecstatic since he had only heard of this place on-line. As we traveled through Atlanta he was amazed at the the newness of our automobiles, the 16 lanes that make up our downtown connector, the amount of tall buildings and on and on. His eyes were wide open, expressing even a childlike wonder, but not because he hasn’t experienced the world. Manu shared with me the numerous countries that he had visited around the world, but in his words, “none of the places that I have visited have the sites that I am seeing”.

 

Manu continued to express gratitude for the ride, but also for the extra details in explaining some of the history of the United States and Atlanta. I was happy to serve him, however I believe that I was the one who gained the most from the brief time that we spent together. It was a treat for me to share my city and country with someone for the first time. When I was able to step aside from the places and things that had become common to me and see it through Manu’s eyes I realized what a gift it is to be born into America.

 

The best I can tell is that Bordeaux, France or anywhere else that Manu had traveled did not have fishing supply stores that encompassed over 150,000 sq. ft. of retail space. He went nuts when we turned into the Bass Pro Shops parking lot. When it really comes down to it we should all go a little nuts when we see things that are amazingly nice, large or convenient that we now dismiss as common place. One comment that he shared was that this seemed like the land of opportunity. He was surprised to learn that some people couldn’t find a job here.

 

In closing, I need to revisit the question that Manu asked me; we all should continually revisit this question. “Is it common for American people to go out of their way or to be so kind as to help a stranger?” I answered, Unfortunately it isn’t that common. Most people are busy and don’t take the time to notice. This isn’t an opportunity to pat myself on the back either because there are many times that I am too busy and don’t notice those who are in need around me. However, I am glad that I noticed this time. I am grateful that I was able to help Manu see a piece of America for the first time. However, it was he that helped me the most by allowing me to see the wonder and opportunity that surrounds me each day through his eyes.

 

P.S. As he exited my car he turned around and yelled to me; If he ever sees an American lost in France he will be there to help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

E + R = O

March 10, 2015 — Leave a comment

Over the past year I have been exposed to new business ideas that have enhanced my ability to serve clients and has impacted how I go about life. Possibly my favorite new concept was learned from Jay Geier, Founder of The Scheduling Institute. Jay’s phrase Frustration Leads To Breakthrough seems simple on the surface, but when applied to business often results in new processes that create change. When you are continuously bumping into a problem that is prohibiting you from reaching your destination or full potential this thought forces you to keep searching. Searching for the breakthrough that you need to advance. This continued search also provides you hope. Hope that there is change coming; you just have to seek it out. True success can be elusive.

 

I have found a way to put apply a scientific formula to shorten the time that it takes to reach the point of breakthrough! This equation allows you to turn problem solving into a process. The process will lead you out of the problem area. So read on to learn more about what I have found.

 

Recently, Brent Saunier, CPA shared the concept of E + R = O with me that he learned through his Continuing Education Curriculum. Brent recognizing the potential application to our business and how we serve our clients asked me to further investigate the concept. I am really glad that he did; E + R = O is a game changer.

 

My research led me to a brilliant communicator, Kent Julian. Kent speaks passionately into the lives of teens and many adult leadership groups. Much of his teaching is centered around how the  E + R = O concept. Events + Response = Outcome is a formula that rescued him at an early point in his life, a point in which he now self describes himself as an “at risk youth”. Today, now years later, Kent speaks passionately about how this formula for success has impacted so many lives. Over the past month I have began to apply this formula to a multitude of circumstances in my own life. I have seen a significant impact in creating clarity within a variety of situations, thus leading to breakthroughs both personally and professionally.

 

When applying this formula to a situation begin by asking the question, What would I like to change? Most often times we are looking to change the Outcome of a situation. Whether it is your personal finances, grades, relationships etc that you are looking for that breakthrough or changed outcome, apply the equation. The changed outcome will mean more money, brighter future, greater success which is ultimately a life which is more fulfilled and advancing. If there wasn’t some change in outcome that we were searching for then it wouldn’t be deemed a problem, right?

 

 

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

- Albert Einstein

Focus on Your Response

 

The one variable within any situation that we can control is always going to be “Our Response” to the occurrence or Event (E). Successful people don’t get caught up in the blame game! Blaming the weather, the economy, the government or any outside force or event that they can’t control. Remember, if you want a new outcome you must change how you respond to the events of your life.

 

Examples:

Dental Practice

 

 Example A

Dentist (A) is feeling the pinch of lower revenue. Dentist (A) has spent his entire career in his/her town, doing minimal marketing, and now there is a new dentist in town, Dentist (B), who just opened up down the street. Will it be beneficial for the Dentist (A) to blame Dentist (B) for his loss of revenue? No! Will it be beneficial to complain that they aren’t doing quality work down in Dentist (B)’s office? No!

Remember, Focus on What You Can Control! What Outcome (O) are we desiring? More Money! How do we get more money in a dental practice? More Patients. Our Response (R) has to be centered around acquiring more patients. Marketing leads to new patients, which leads to revenue. The proper Response (R) would be to create a new and engaging marketing campaign.

 

 

Example B

 

I recently met with a dental practice that was frustrated with their accountant of 30 years. They desperately want different results as it relates to their practice’ accounting and financial systems that are in place. They have paid additional taxes throughout the years that could have been avoided. Now they are faced with a decision point. Clearly they want different results, but are they willing to disrupt a relationship that has been in place for so long? and just to remain cordial?

 

Don’t allow yourself to remain with the status quo when change is needed. Face the the point of decision with all of the knowledge necessary to provide you with the confidence that you are making the right decision. Often times we overthink certain decisions which leads to making no decision; which is possibly the wrong decision. Apply the formula and determine the proper response to create the desired outcome.

 

Golf

 

If you have ever spent much time in a golf clubhouse or perhaps are married to a golfer you have heard all of the excuses in the book. The weather, my clubs are old, bad back, the greens are rough…….. and on and on it goes. One of my favorites lines from my college days of working at a Country Club came from our teaching pro, Bob Burke. Bob’s response to a golfer who was claiming that his clubs were to blame for his poor score, “It’s not the Arrows…. it’s the Indian”. Clearly, Bob’s point was indicating that the golf clubs are not to blame; it was his inability to use them correctly that attributed to the poor score. Applying our formula, we would indicate that the Event (E) is golf, the desired change is the Outcome (O) or a better score. The Response (R) for this particular golfer wasn’t to get new clubs or even to blame the old ones. The proper Response (R) is to change his/her swing. Translating that into action items means to get lessons or simply practice.

 

 

When thinking about the different facets of your life whether its health, personal finances or your practice/business finances or relationships; what area is deficient? Is there an area that by applying this formula could lead to the breakthrough that you desire?

 

I hope to hear from you on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ about the success stories that are created from applying the formula!

Be sure to use #DDSSuccess

 

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