Last fall my family decided to get rid of our kids’ outdoor play set, as they are currently ages 15 and 18. Our youngest was very reluctant to give up her swing and only agreed after we promised to replace it with a “grown-up” swing.
This negotiation and compromise yielded an extensive project; we decided to build a pergola in our backyard and attach a porch swing to it. We couldn’t find any plans or pictures of exactly what we were envisioning, but we did find a picture of a pergola that we liked. So, in early March, with a picture on my phone, I set out to build this pergola swing that we had envisioned.
After nearly two months of working on it most every weekend, and a little in between, we have a functional pergola swing. It still needs some finishing touches, but we can swing on it. There were of course numerous challenges to get it to this point, but it’s certainly rewarding to see an idea come to life.
As I reflected on this project, I realized how my pergola swing construction experience mirrors the financial planning process. Here are some of the similarities I observed:
- You often start with a simple idea that you need to work on to further shape into a vision.
- You often don’t know exactly what you are going to encounter along the way, but you can’t let unknown keep you from starting.
- Because the exact journey is unknown, your main focus needs to be on what it will take to accomplish the next step in front of you (but always with the ultimate vision in mind).
- Get any input you can from others that have experience or expertise with the task at hand.
- You can’t let a mistake or misstep completely derail the project. Mistakes will happen, and when they do, find a creative solution to get back on track.
- Other things will distract you, so you need to stay persistent. It’s okay to take a pause, but you need to keeping coming back to where you left off.
- Have fun and enjoy the journey. Seeing the end result is rewarding, but if you don’t have any fun along the way, it’s a really long and laborious ride.
As many of you know, the team at Master’s is here to be your co-pilot in your financial planning journey. We enjoy each step of the process from the initial idea phase to seeing our clients experience their goals and dreams and every step in between.
We always enjoy hearing your stories. What are some things you have been able to accomplish with sustained effort and hard work?