“Good is the enemy of great.”
This is the opening line of Jim Collins’ best-selling book Good to Great. The book, released in 2001 and considered one of the essential business reads of the last decade, was standard issue to MBA students while I was in business school and still ranks among Amazon’s top sellers.
While not without its controversy over time, Collins set out to illustrate the commonalities in how companies moved from the world of good enough to achieving greatness.
In our business, one of our biggest enemies is “good enough”. We work with successful individuals and families, many of whom have expressed their only real financial regret as not starting to plan sooner. When we look at the hesitation to get started in the first place, blame tends to fall to things being in a perpetual state of good enough.
For most of those individuals and families that best fit for our planning and investment process, proceeding through life without professional advice won’t be catastrophic. They’ll arrive at their college, estate, retirement and other planning goals in “good enough” shape. In cases where things take a turn, it’s often not until things are particularly bleak or an unfortunate transition occurs that the value of having that trusted third party in place hits us over the head.
We serve as a trusted sounding board and firewall between the emotional roller coaster that our own wallets and purses can create and the actual decisions we make with our money. The earlier we start working with those that share a desire to make better decisions, the more impactful we can be in creating ideal outcomes.
We don’t work magic. It’s our clients who ultimately do the work of saving well and spending wisely. We simply listen, provide guidance and then pay attention. Every day. In a world that’s constantly pulling us in hundreds of different directions, that guidance and attention to a client’s financial life can mean the difference between reduced student loan debt, earlier retirement horizons, and richer legacies to heirs and charitable endeavors to name a few.
Harnessing the power of your hard work and success and making those smart incremental decisions along the way can take you from good enough to fully realizing the potential of your goals and dreams.
Thanks as always to those clients with whom we are so privileged and honored to work. We wish you all the best for a safe and Happy 4th of July!