I was recently unpacking boxes from my move from NYC to Florida when I came across a note pad where I had jotted down some life goals. I couldn’t help but smile when I realized nearly everything on the list had been accomplished! I wanted to take a moment and write this letter to share the importance of writing down LIFE GOALS.
In 2011, I wrote down the goals in the picture above. I had attended a conference with my financial network and it had reenergized me and motivated me to make a change in my life and my business. Two weeks after that conference, I got married to my beautiful wife and we vacationed on our honeymoon in Bora Bora. It was a nice time to clear my mind and write down some simple life goals that I wanted to accomplish in the years ahead. I wrote down a mix of financial, personal, family and business goals. It was short and simple. It was nice to see I had a mission in 2011 and in 2017 I can see all those life goals blossoming! Not only did I hit each of these goals, but I went above and beyond my own expectations.
Each goal as written on my note pad in 2011:
1. Move to Florida
2. Save 50K
3. Buy Florida Beach Condo
4. Save $100,000 in 401(k)
5. Make Top 100 JHFN (John Hancock Financial Network)
6. Create Advisory Team
7. Enjoy Life
8. Rent NYC Condo
9. Have Princess/Soldier (Daughter/Son)
10. Julia – Stop Working & Stay Home with Kids
Within the past six years, each goal above took a lot of motivation and patience. As Gary Vaynerchuk always preaches…“Patience is key to success”. So one by one I attempted to hit each goal.
My hardest goal was Goal # 6, which was to go from a solo financial advisor to an advisory team. In 2012, I decided to try to form a 3-person advisory team, and today I am proud to say we have a 10 person advisory practice (Client Focused Advisors). What is even more special is that the average age of our team is in the mid-30’s (something uncommon in the financial advisory world). Goal # 5 was hit one year after starting a team, with the help of my teammates. I made the top 100 out of approximately 2000 advisors in my financial network. Both goals were accomplished and I am so proud of the team that we have today.
Financially, I had a goal to save 100k in my 401(k) by age 30 (Goal #4). It seemed like it was going to be so hard! Being in the advice business myself, I knew how important it was to get as much in my 401(k) by 30 because of the compounding effects long term. I maxed it out every year. It seemed so far away when I was in my mid 20’s, but now I can say just have patience and it will come. Fortunately, with contributions and returns this goal was accomplished.
Another big financial goal was to increase our savings fund and buy a Florida condo (Goal # 2 & 3). Various people thought we were crazy buying a condo in FL when my wife was pregnant, but I ignored the critics and went for it. In 2014, my son was born (hitting part of goal #9)! I always joke with my wife about have a little “soldier”. After he was born, my wife and I made the decision to have her not go back to work (hitting a major life goal, goal #10.) Talk about pressure…buying a condo, having a newborn, and losing one income. But with dedication, sacrifice & motivation, we made it work.
In December of 2016, my “Princess” arrived, thus completing Goal #9. With the limited living space in NYC, this was the opportune time to try to achieve Goal #1…move to Florida and enjoy more time with my family. It was always a dream to get out of the cold weather and start our family roots in a warm climate. Fortunately, the business I have created has allowed such freedom. Technology has really helped in this part of the plan, as more things can be done with clients over the phone & internet.
I am proud to announce that as of four weeks ago, Goal #1 had been accomplished! I have officially moved my family to Florida. Additionally, Client Focused Advisors will be expanding by opening an advisory firm in the Boca Raton area of Florida. There were so many hurdles to jump to accomplish this goal, but in the end, I know it will all be worth it.
This little goal sheet that I came across during my move reminds me daily that you need to set goals for business along with life. It came in handy for me and it demonstrates the importance of writing simple things down and not getting pushed off track by all the things life throws at you. Too often we let critics drive us away from these goals and thus move in a different direction. Writing things down forces you to constantly have something to review and evaluate where you are in your journey. And it doesn’t always happen in order (look at my story)….and my wife would say she originally wanted a daughter first but now wouldn’t have it any other way.
In closing, thanks NYC for a great 10 years! You pushed me, you motivated me, you inspired me. South Florida: I am ready for you! If you are in South Florida, feel free to connect with me here on LinkedIn. I’m off to find another note pad and start new goals
By Jason Hill