Thursday, December 29, 2016

We Create Tomorrow

We Create Tomorrow by What We Dream Today

Do you believe “we create tomorrow by what we dream today”? Maybe too many people rained on your parade, dampening your give-it-all-you-got spirit and squashing your hope.  Maybe someone said “Why do you want to do that?” You second-guessed your dream, doubted your ability to accomplish your goal, and gave up entirely on dreaming. “What’s the use?” you mutter.

Perhaps these wise words from Oscar Wilde may offer encouragement.

“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well. If it is worth having, it is worth waiting for.  If it is worth attaining, it is worth fighting for.  If it is worth experiencing, it is worth putting aside time for.”

We can apply Oscar Wilde’s wisdom to today’s key message, “We create tomorrow by what we dream today.” The word “create” means “make a thing that has not existed before”.   Before we can create “a thing”, we need to know what we want to create. This analogy of needing a dream before creation relates to the crazy idiom of “putting the cart before the horse”.  It’s just doesn’t work. That’s why “dreams” are important.   You need to know, “What’s your thing?”

I also hate to disappoint you but there’s no Fairy-God Mother who can magically wave her wand to create your dream.  Effort and work are the magic.  As I look at my blog website and see the number of blog posts, I realize that they didn’t simply appear.  I know some would ask, “Why do you want to do that?” but there’s a method to my madness.  It’s my desire to help people understand that money matters and so do dreams.  Finding the right combination of strategies, financial products, and desire is the magic that makes dreams come true. I want you to believe and understand this “magic” yourself.

Seeing the possibilities, acting on instinct, and plugging away at the tedious tasks move you closer to your dream.  The tasks may not be glamorous but they are definitely necessary in order to purposely live life each day.  Early in January, John Maxwell wrote 2016:Your Year of Living Intentionally. He explained the difference between good intentions versus being intentional. Words associated with living a life of intentionality are “action”, “purpose”, “definitely”, “today”. These active words are an expression of commitment.  Making an effort to work towards your dreams requires commitment.  If your dream is worth experiencing, it is worth putting aside time for.   

Here is your assignment “to create tomorrow”.  Determine your dreams.  Then use a Daily Planner to schedule appointments with yourself to work on those dreams.  A new year with a new process opens the door to a world of new possibilities.  I am excited for you to start. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Having A Clear Vision

Success begins with spreading your wings, believing in your worth, trusting your insight, nurturing yourself, having a goal, and devising a personal strategy.  And then, even impossible dreams become real. ~~ Sue Augustine.


Dreams are clarified with a clear concise vision statement. Having a vision of where you want to be is so important. When you spread your wings, you need to know where you’re flying.  A clear vision also expresses your purpose and adds flavor to both your personal and business life.

I learned the importance of developing a vision and mission statement from an on-line college course, Creating a Successful Business Plan.   This vital step wasn’t left until the financial costs and marketing strategies were discussed. Right at the beginning, I needed to be clear about these two: the vision statement tells you where you want to be (and what you represent) and the mission statement tells you how you’ll get there.

Here’s mine:

My vision is to be the most sought-after financial planner who designs “dream” financial plans to help hundreds of people get to where they want to go now and in the future. 

I know what you’re thinking.  Doesn’t that appear self-centered, “most sought-after”?  When I asked my instructor, Kris Solie-Johnson, she assured me that the words sound confident.  When you create your vision statement, whether it’s for your business or personal life, use specific wording which reflects the things you value.  Make a bold proclamation outlining your purpose and goal.

I also learned that a mission statement could easily be confused with a vision statement.  In the course, Coach Kris instructed us to treat these “as two separate entities – one providing a concept and the other a pathway.”  I appreciated this logic.  The mission statement tends to focus on the “how” you are going to accomplish the “what” (the vision).

After careful consideration and thought, my mission statement reads:  

I diligently adhere to the eight-point FPSC® Code of Ethics established by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC).  I conduct myself in a matter whereby my clients’ interests take priority. I act diligently, professionally, and with integrity. I am objective, fair, and open. The client’s information remains confidential.  I am a life-long learner and, as such, am competent through my on-going commitment to education.   


In Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he specifically dedicated a section to the development of “A Personal Mission Statement”.  His notorious statement was “to always begin with the end in mind.”  Here he writes:

The most effective way I know to begin with the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement or philosophy or creed.  It focuses on what you want to be (character) and to do (contributions and achievements) and on the values or principles upon which being and doing are based.

Therefore, whether you are an entrepreneur in your farm business, a stay-at-home parent, or an employee, vision and mission statements serve specific purposes.  These creative statements clearly help you see life’s road map in concise and clear ways, acting like motivators that propel you forward onto success.  When you experience life’s turbulences, like Arlene Dickinson mentions in her book, All In, these bulletproof reasons “restart your engines when they threaten to stall.” This is your commitment to daily live your life on purpose.

We can’t drift through life as though it doesn’t matter.  Life matters.  We have only one chance to live on earth to prove to others that we are here for a purpose.  So take time today to write your vision and mission statements instead of New Year’s Resolutions.  These statements will serve you well in the New Year and in the years which follow. 

For an additional resource to help create your vision and mission statements, click here.  In the comment section, you are invited to share yours. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Financial Lessons from “Humpty Dumpty”

As I prepared to write, a strange thought popped into my head. Write about Humpty Dumpty, the cute round egg.  Sounds insane, doesn’t it?  BUT I have done crazier things than this to get attention. If you are unfamiliar with the legends of Humpty Dumpty, you are welcome to read about them here … The rhyme goes like this (in case, you’ve forgotten!)

                    Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,

                    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

                    All the king’s horses

                    And all the king’s men

                    Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty

                    Together again.

The way I interpret this nursery rhyme is anyone could be “Humpty Dumpty”. We may think we are invincible.  We have a steady income; we can afford anything we want as long as we have access to credit. We’re on a roll.  In other words, like Humpty Dumpty, we are sitting on the wall, with a great view on life. 

Then something happens.  A disaster occurs.  The disaster could be a vehicle accident, leaving us permanently disabled (or dead).  We may have lost our high-paying job because of the drop in oil prices; or possibly we borrowed too much and now we can’t pay back the loans and credit cards.  That’s our great fall, an unfortunate event.  Nothing we can do on our own or with the help of others can put us back together again unless we were adequately prepared financially to cushion the fall.

You see, in hindsight, if we knew disaster was approaching, we would do everything in our power to avoid the collision. The truth is “When it’s too late, it’s too late”.    

The media hype in November, Financial Literacy Month, was geared to create awareness about the importance of financial planning and to have Canadians take control of their financial destiny.  I’m not convinced everyone was listening.  Now my curiosity is piqued about effective marketing campaigns to motivate people to take action.  

How would you react if you were told, “There’s no way you can save $2,400 by next Christmas. (That means saving $200 each month.)”  Would you be more motivated to prove them wrong or discouraged and believe they’re probably right?

Recently, I came across Donna Freedman’s article, “The 10 Best Ways to Blow Your Money” on Money Talks News. Not only did Donna come up with her list of “ten”, her readers responded with their “10 Best Ways to Blow Money”.  Before rattling off her list, Donna made a facetious comment.

“What is money for, anyway, except to enjoy? You work hard for a living and deserve all the perks that salary will buy.  Be daring, not dull.”

Then she persuasively adds:

“Thinking like that is a great way to put yourself perpetually into debt, or at least living paycheck to paycheck.” 

Do you believe this thinking-in-reverse article is more effective than one which read, “The 10 Best Ways to Save Your Money”?  Perhaps we are more apt to recognize our blunders than our successes.  We may be more likely to stop existing behaviors if we knew they were bad rather than start new behaviors even though we know they are good. Hmmmm!

Let’s return to Humpty Dumpty.  If Humpty Dumpty knew he was an egg and that he was very fragile, do you think he would have taken the chance of sitting on the wall?  After all, it was a huge risk on his part which ended badly. I don’t want the same thing to happen to us. What financial risks are you facing today which are not being addressed?