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You don’t have to be an athlete or even follow sports to embrace the qualities that go into a championship athlete and team. Let’s take a closer look at these qualities so you have a better understanding of how you, too, can “think like an athlete and retire like a pro”.@A Financial Site For Sore Eyes & Inquisitive Minds
I have been an athlete most of my life and once I made the transition to the business world after playing college football I found myself relying on the same qualities in business – qualities like discipline, goal-oriented, humility, commitment, courage and having a plan – that served me well as a competitive athlete. In many cases they gave me an edge over my coworkers and competitors. I also realized that these qualities were not limited to athletes. They could be learned. So what is “the mental edge”…@Your Finances
…[During] my…athletic…[career] I always had a goal…to be the best I could be in my sport…[and] had coaches who helped prepare me, parents who encouraged me, a belief in my ability and a belief in myself that I could get there. How can you apply this to your retirement planning? Well, it all starts with goals; short-term goals (1-5 years) and long-term goals (5+ years). It involves you sitting down with a pad and pen (or iPad and stylus) and deciding on what your retirement will look like and how you will get there i.e. savings and investing goals, lifestyle and time frame. @Follow the munKNEE
2. Have a plan
A football team can plan for a strong running game, but what if the team comes out passing? How will they defend the change in plan? We have to know what the goal is and the plan will make sure we get there, with some contingency plans…if things don’t go as planned…We can hope to get a 7% return on our investments but what if we don’t? That is Plan B.
…To me, humility means having respect for wherever we are in life and that applies to your financial life so, if you are not where you want to be financially, respect that and make a commitment to “put a stake in the ground” and say, this is where I start, today”.
It takes courage to be a champion athlete and it takes courage to execute a successful financial plan. Just like an athlete you make sacrifices and tough decisions for the good of your financial plan because you believe that your plan will take you to the “Super Bowl” of retirement whatever you perceive it to be. You own it.
The most disciplined athletes are the most successful. Your discipline will be a reflection of how committed you are to realizing your financial goals. I put discipline and courage together. You can’t have one without the other. Discipline takes sacrifice. Your financial success will be a direct result of the disciplines you embrace. No, it won’t be easy; things worth having rarely are.
Do you “walk your talk”? This is where games are won and lost and financial fortunes are made and lost. I’m not referring to staying with an investment or a plan that just isn’t working. Coaches change up game plans at halftime to respond to things that are working or not working. Commit to the right activities and behaviors. Change your plan as necessary and don’t do it alone.
Just as championship athletes rely on their team for their individual success we have to rely on our financial professional to help us develop and execute our financial game plan. This is no time for going it alone. The “stadiums” of financial planning are littered with retirees who went broke trying to do it themselves. Work with someone that you trust. Do it as a team!
You don’t have to be an athlete or even follow sports to embrace the qualities that go into a championship athlete and team. You are an athlete when it comes to building your financial success. Think like an athlete, retire like a pro!
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