What stages of life have you been through? What is your next decade?
Unfortunately a large number of people move through life from being single, to being a couple, to the beautiful chaos of having a young family, to the weight of bringing up teenagers, to being empty nesters, only to then look at each other and say, “Who are you? Why is there no money in our bank? And where did all these kilos come from?”
We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.
– Bill Gates, The Road Ahead, revised edition (Viking Penguin, 1996).
After two decades of 'having a go at life' through being single to being marriage to having young children, I started to seek out people with the balance of lifestyle and financial wealth that I was looking for. The 'Decade a Decade' program is based around the five keys I discovered these successful lives were based on:
1. They had a developed perspective of life yet to be lived.
The people I learnt from didn’t resist moving through the ages. They considered the likely milestones in front of them. They looked at how to successfully navigate around these milestones, at what they wanted to add to their life and what they wanted to eliminate. Today’s decisions made with tomorrow in mind.
The wise have a developed perspective of life yet to be lived, the consequences of current decisions are thought through and considered so as to build a life not destroy one.
– Phil Baker, A Wise Heart: the Forgotten Factor (Phil Baker Ministries, 2005).
2. They realised their weaknesses were a danger to their strengths.
When they took both their weaknesses and strengths into all areas of life, whether that was at work, in relationships, sport and so on, the weaknesses often undid all the good the strengths created. So they learned to acknowledge and manage their weaknesses in time management, relationship building and income and expenditure management.
REAL LIFE STORY:
One couple’s weakness was their opposite personalities. They told us they had never done their finances together. They just couldn’t agree on spending habits so they had their own income and paid individual expenses. They had bought a home and had some superannuation but had not been able to agree on any investment. With a little coaxing they treated all income and expenses as one and worked with the BWC 'Design a Decade' system. They found that they really were in a position to invest. They now have two investment properties and a share portfolio outside of their superannuation. They could have been investing twenty years earlier if they had had a simple system to show them how to get into agreement.
3. They were prepared to prepare for opportunity.
There is no shortage of opportunity. However, often opportunities come along and people want to take them but they are not prepared. And when opportunity comes, if there has been no preparation, they act in haste.
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.
4. They had coaches.
They took the time to intentionally develop trusted personal and professional relationship. Without coaches, we are simply coached by our environment. They were sure to let those they were in trusted personal relationships with know what was going on in their lives and what changes they were considering. This controlled the emotional aspect of decision making. They took the time to ensure the professionals they used not only had the skills to help, but also could be trusted to act in the client’s best interests and not just their own.
Have a coach... The one thing people are never good at is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.
– Eric Schmidt, Google CEO.
5. They were teachable.
Teachable does not mean being told what to do. It means being willing to take information from trusted coaches and personal relationships before making important decisions.
Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.