We just celebrated Thanksgiving last Thursday. So, the family gatherings are still fresh in your mind. All the relatives probably came and maybe you’re also happy that they finally left, but let’s talk about the impact of Thanksgiving on our family, friends, and the extended community of people that we spend time with.
I had a conversation recently with our new team member, Bobbi Schmidt. She is our new Client Advocate who documents what goes on at each and every one of our appointments so we don’t forget the theme of that client’s life. Our work is about more than accounts, numbers, and rates of return. The day that we presented the job opportunity to Bobbi, I remember standing outside of the office, and I gave her kind of my ‘homily’ on what we were all about. That it was more than just money. It was about the impact that we want to make in people’s lives so that they could make a significant impact in the lives of their family, community, and friends that would live beyond generations. As I spoke about this goal, she told me that she was getting goosebumps. I looked down at her arm and I realized that she just wasn’t saying it, she literally had goosebumps.
Recently, I read a book by Seth Godin titled The Song of Significance. So, I pose this question to you today, what is your Song of Significance? As I was sharing this with my associate, Nathan Becker, I asked him, “In how many generations will people no longer remember your name?” Think this out for yourself. Do you remember the first names of your grandparents? How about your great-grandparents? What about your great-great-grandparents? People cannot often recall those names. If you think about this same analogy, you too will also be forgotten. Here is what I want you to take away and why you should be thinking of Thanksgiving: what impact are you making on your family’s life, your friends' lives, and your community’s lives that will make a difference from generation to generation?
I had an elderly client years ago. She had plenty of money to get her through her last days. I realized that she had more than enough money so I suggested taking trips. I told her it was time for her to take a cruise, not just with herself, but with her children and her grandchildren. She asked me if she could really afford to do that, and I laid out how there was plenty of money to make it happen. Then she asked if she should do that. If she should give that as a present to her family. I told her that eventually, her family was going to receive whatever money was left over. I asked her to tell me about her grandchildren. She went into great detail about their names and their ages. I told her that at some point, they would receive her estate, but wouldn’t it be more fun for her 6-year-old granddaughter to run up to her and give her a hug and say “Thank you, Grandma. I am enjoying this cruise with our family so much!” instead of receiving that money from her cold, dead hands? She paused, teared up, and said, “Mark, you know exactly what I needed to hear.” Not only did she go on that trip, but she did a second cruise and then a third cruise. I told her that all I wanted was a postcard of how much fun her family was having.
Most financial advisors get paid based on the amount of assets they have under management. We’re a little bit different. If there are enough resources to get you through to your last big trip from this world, then we believe you should use those resources to make a lasting impact. One of the ways you can do that is by bringing your family together to make lasting memories, share stories, and share goosebumps.
If this resonated with you and you would like to sing your own Song of Significance, then perhaps we’re the people you should be talking to. If you already work with another advisor, then get them to listen to your Song of Significance. Make a lasting impact because, at some point in the future, eventually no one will remember your name. Make an impact that lasts generation after generation of the values you want your family to remember.