Broker Check


February 01, 2022

“In life, often times distractions come to us disguised as opportunities.”

I have a friend that I have now known for 20 years.  That’s 40% of my life. Many times over the years I have gone to him and asked if he would be interested in going somewhere, attending a given event or trying something new. Each time I asked I honestly felt it was something that he would say “yes” to given his personal interests. Each time I was wrong. He had his travel schedule, the things he wanted to see and he had done his own research on just about everything he has ever owned. For well over a decade I thought to myself, “He’s missing out! How could he be so narrow minded or near-sighted?” When I would challenge him on my “asks” he would calmly respond matter-of-factly that he liked to keep things simple. “The simpler the better,” he would say.  I struggled to relate. Then one day I heard someone, in the context of a story, say, “In life, often times distractions come to us disguised as opportunities.” In a moment, it was as if the proverbial sky parted. My mind was filled with situation after situation throughout my life that fell right into the category that I now call opportunity distraction. You see, my friend knows what he wants and expects from his life. He isn’t searching for the next shinny thing and he isn’t going to let someone else’s ideas, agenda or interests distract him from his path.  He is happy and he has many reasons to be.

We see this sort of thing a lot in the personal finance space.  Someone wants to tell you all about a great investment idea.  You know, “You don’t want to miss out on this investment opportunity.”  Never mind it’s completely out of their tolerance for risk and really doesn’t support their plan. But opportunity distractions can show up in a lot of unexpected places because they’re sneaky. You think you are doing the right thing, what’s best for you, your family, your health, your career, then some time later, you find out that’s not so. I know a man that once held two different titles at the same company. Each title had its own set of reasonability’s and its own compensation (opportunity to make more money). He was miserable. He wanted to follow his calling to be a minister but he felt he had to take advantage of these “opportunities” since they were offered to him. He has since moved on to be a full-time minister. He is happy and has many reasons to be.

The past few years of internal searching and a strange desire to create rather than compete has cause me to uncover many opportunity distractions in my own life. Since my second year in this business, 19 years ago, I have said I wanted to be an “Independent Financial Advisor.” But several times over I went for the next “opportunity.” I have no regrets and in the moment they checked all the boxes of being a solid career move with upside to learn and grow. But in the end, they were not what I truly wanted. There will always be plenty of people that will never understand your “WHY” and you need to become comfortable with that. I know that despite the constant challenges I’m happy and I have many reasons to be.