A note from Deb Meyer of WorthyNest: I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas. This is the first guest post on the WorthyNest blog, and I couldn't be happier to have Nicole Rule of Greatest Worth share it! In this article, she discusses the importance of defining your 10-year vision and family values. Feedback in the comments section is appreciated!
First, I want to say a giant thanks to Deb for inviting me to join her here. It’s an honor, and I’m super grateful. I met Deb through a Facebook group for personal finance online businesses that we’re both a part of. We quickly noticed each other in a sea of hundreds of others, realizing that we both believe wholeheartedly in the universal need for a solid financial foundation. While money can’t buy you happiness, solid financial planning gives you the freedom to choose how to spend your life and your most precious resource - your time.
Now, a little context (after all, back-story is always fun): my husband and I paid off $100,000 in debt in 26 months and learned to live with purpose and from our values in the process. I also, 6 years later (June 2017) decided to start Greatest Worth, a business guiding women and families to live intentionally, starting with their finances.
Financial Planning = Anxiety Inducing?
For so many women, personal finance is a nasty, scary word. It’s something that is not culturally established or taught, and, unless we come from households blessed with amazing, money savvy parents, we’re pretty much doomed to learn our personal finance skills from the school of hard knocks.
Needless to say, going to an investment advisor can quickly induce hyperventilation and anxiety as you tell yourself, “I have to figure out what the heck mutual funds and IRAs are, AND I need to know what kind of long term investing is right for me, AND I need to know this BEFORE I go see my investment advisor?” The anxiety can often feed and foster the myth that much of our culture tells us: we are defined by what we know and what we have.
While that may be true for some investment advisors, that is NOT true at WorthyNest. Deb says, “Your worth isn’t measured by the number on your balance sheet. Instead, look to the daily decisions you make. Are they a reflection of who you want to be?” I couldn’t agree more.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers. It’s common to get swept into the comparison game between you and your friends, your neighbors (or even strangers) and live from an inauthentic position, out of touch with your deeper truths. It is critical, though, absolutely critical to be in touch with who you are, your dreams and your values before proceeding with any kind of financial planning or investing. Those values and dreams act as a compass and guide the decisions that, right now, feel impossible to make.
Knowing Your Needs
Preparing for your first meeting with an investment advisor is more than gathering papers and account statements. While important parts of the process, the data are only a part of your story. WorthyNest wants to know the whole of you, needs to know the whole of you, to serve you in a meaningful way. Not driven by company-directed products or recommendations, a fiduciary advisor, like Deb, puts your needs above all others. But, to do so effectively, she needs to know your needs.
Which means, you need to know your needs. And, you need to be able to articulate them.
That sounds simple, but I’ve found in my work at Greatest Worth, empowering people to live with intention in their financial, personal and emotional lives, that knowing you HAVE a need and actually KNOWING your need are very different things. The former is like a nagging suspicion with little more than overwhelm and discontent. It’s hard to hold, much less define. The latter - knowing your need - requires work and attention and honest curiosity. But, this knowing gives you purpose, a place to stand on and move from. Knowing your need gives you the power to choose, and it gives your investment advisor a foundation on which to help you build a plan.
Crafting Vision and Values
So, how do you actually know your need? There are two super powerful things you can do to better understand your needs and desires out of life: define a long-term vision for you and your family, and define the values that you use to direct your day-to-day decisions. Sounds lofty and heady, but, I promise, if you bring this vision and values out of your head and onto paper making long term decisions, including how to invest and plan with your advisor, becomes easier, and empowering.
First, I believe that everyone needs a defined Life Vision. A big picture, ten-year goal that directs and steers plans. The power of the big picture comes when you’re trying to make decisions that feel overwhelming or scary. Your vision is place to return to and ground you - will this investment or this career choice get me closer to my ultimate goal? Having Deb, a fiduciary, who knows and understands your goals and vision AND the intricate depths of the financial industry will change the game altogether. She’s on your side helping you slog through the ETFs, UTMAs and all the other “stuff” while holding your hand and gently guiding you towards the promised land of your vision.
Next, I strongly believe every person on this planet should take a day and define personal values for their life. I know Deb understands that’s there more to life than just the logistics of personal finance. Don't get me wrong, paying off debt is important, and the tasks of tracking my spending, creating a budget and balancing my checkbook were critical to becoming aware of my shortcomings with money.
How Do You Define Success?
But, I have found that the truth of the matter is, we, as a society, are just not happy. We're dissatisfied with our society's definition of success. We're dissatisfied with working 40 or more hours weekly at a day job so that we can have the "American Dream." The Dream that says we need that big house, designer clothes, a brand new kitchen and the latest model minivan.
We want MORE by wanting LESS. We want to find joy in the everyday. We want to be present for our children. We want to love and be loved. We want to know others deeply. We want to feel secure in our future and our children's future. We want connection and a life we are proud of.
We want to know who we truly are and live fully, from that truth.
When you decide that the cookie cutter “American Dream” isn’t the right fit for you anymore, and instead actively name and define a set of values to serve as a filter for your choices, you are making a choice for a life that is fulfilling and abundant, free of scarcity and comparison. It also gives Deb and WorthyNest a depth of knowledge about you that will helps them craft a plan that is aligned and meaningful.
Live Your Best Life
And we do all of this, “because working towards financial goals gives you the chance to live your best life.”
Now, your job is to:
Figure out your 10 year vision,
Define your personal or family values, and then
Sign up for Deb’s FREE consultation to get the guidance your dreams and greater mission in life deserve.
This work will change you. It will give Deb a place to fully understand where you’d like to go. But mostly, it will be your guide to living an authentic and FULL life.
Nicole Rule is the founder and creator of Greatest Worth. After years of chasing after the consumerist driven “American Dream” she realized there had to be another way. A way to be fulfilled without “stuff.” She decided to define her own American Dream and has never looked back. It’s through Greatest Worth that she guides women to live intentionally, starting with their finances. Nicole resides in the mountains of Asheville, NC with her partner in life and business, Sam and their four children.