Selling Discontent

In Articles, Articles: Kansas City Office, Articles: Salt Lake City Office by Scott Dougan

I’m susceptible and I’ll bet you are too. It’s deafening when you begin to hear it; its influence is almost overwhelming once you begin to feel it.

What is this force that’s being used to keep you perpetually off-balance? Allow me to offer a few examples: if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind. If you’re eating that, you’re getting fat, if you’re not eating this, you’re missing out. If your business isn’t growing, it’s dying.

Billions of dollars are spent each year to sell you discontentedness. By convincing you that you’re not ‘there’ yet, you’re being sold a cycle of frustration that will only accelerate until you first recognize that it’s happening.  Endless diets, new cars, plastic surgery, business consulting services, and on and on; these ideas are so powerful because they’re built on the premise that neither you nor I are good enough…and we usually believe it to be true.

In the business of being a financial advisor and offering financial services, there are certain ‘truths’ that are thrust upon us daily. “Prospect up” in order to serve increasingly wealthy clients, grow your team to be able to serve more wealthy clients, buy a building and then build your own building, work more hours, add new technology, offer ever more products and services to grow revenue. It’s the promise of arriving at that perfect place that lies just over the horizon, always just out of reach.

What if I instead choose to continue serving the types of clients we serve now? What if we keep our team small and nimble, rather than constantly adding new staff, training and retraining them as they come and go, limiting the number of client relationships we can maintain? What if we stay out of the real estate business and continue to lease space indefinitely? What if we work a reasonable number of hours each week, creating room for rest and rejuvenation, family, and personal interests? What if we resist the urge for newer and newer technology, for its own sake? Finally, what if we stay relentlessly focused on the work that we do best, retirement planning for those who are nearing or in-retirement, typically age 55-75? What if?

What pressures do you feel as you consider your career, wealth, family, retirement?

Just as magazine covers remind us that we’re not all supermodels with rock-hard abs, and television impresses on us that we’re not as super-rich as we could be, we all face similar pressures to “grow, grow, grow!” they say. I say, “Should we? What if we choose to do things a little (or a lot) differently?”

The mathematician, theologian, and philosopher Blaise Pascal once said: “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.”

I can’t help but think that if we stopped to think about the forces acting on us, and what our responses ought to be, we’d often make very different choices than we do as we’re rushing through our days. I know I make wiser decisions when I take the time to slow down, sit down, and be quiet for just a while.

There’s a time and a place for growth, without a doubt. I’m simply suggesting that I have to fight very hard to defend myself against growth for the sake of those loud voices who aren’t truly concerned about my well-being or yours. If you’ve found ways to tune out the noise and find contentment, I’d love to hear them. We’d all love to hear them. As long as you don’t yell it too loudly.

Investment Advisory Services offered through Elevated Capital Advisors, LLC. An SEC Registered Investment Advisor.

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