It’s been over a decade now, and time softens even my most dramatic memories. I was in Chicago for the launch of an intensive year-long coaching program for advisors. My career up to that point had been successful but not focused. This program was part of a decision I had made to let go of the many roles I had taken on and focus solely on what I loved the most and was best at – helping people achieve personal financial success.
Our morning was off to a good start. Steve Moore, our coach, was laying the ground rules when the first cell phone went off. Steve gently reminded us to place our phones on silent but shortly thereafter buzzing vibrations became prevalent, followed by muffled conversations, brisk walking and doors opening and closing. By the end of the day, about half the room was gone.
Only a handful of advisors held on and completed the year-long program. I wish I could say it was hard for me to maintain my composure and focus, but it wasn’t. I knew that what was happening in the stock market that day had very little to do with my long term success or the long term financial success of my clients. For my own sake and for the sake of those who trusted and relied upon my advice, I needed to focus on something more important than daily stock prices.
Finishing the coaching program has had a massive impact beyond what I ever could have imagined. What I learned helped me create the planning and investing processes that are now the bedrock of every client relationship. Some of the advisors who completed the program with me have become my closest friends and confidants, and I have gained national recognition for my influence and expertise. But most importantly, my clients have achieved financial success to a level they could never have attained if I had walked out of that room on September 15th, 2008 with my cell phone to my ear.
Remember: Sometimes it’s not what’s happening in the moment that’s important. Rather, it’s better to focus on what you are doing to achieve your life-long goals and dreams. This crisis, like all of the others before it, will soon pass. Over time, the details will fade away. The path your life takes from here will have very little to do with today’s stock price and everything to do with your focus on the long game.
– Rob Schulz