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3 Simple Questions With Profound Consequences for Your Life and

What's your purpose? What's your goal? What's your next step?

Josh is a 16 year old contractor I hired to help me produce a video for a new product. My purpose for hiring Josh was not simply because he's got a ton of skill and experience in video production. Josh is just getting started so it makes sense to me that I can hire him cheap ($10 an hour which is ridiculously cheap!). My purpose is not to be cheap. If you knew Josh (and his purpose), you would know what makes him really special. And, you might be able to guess my purpose for hiring Josh. I've never told Josh my purpose for hiring him and he probably has no clue. There's really no need for him to know my purpose. Its my purpose and its my business.

When it comes to your money - and your life - it's kind of the same. And, it may be very different. We'll get back to that in a minute. But first, let's answer the second question:

What's Your Goal?

In order for Josh to make a great video to help me sell my product, he may not have a clue about my purpose for making the product or the video - but he better know my goal for the video I hire him to produce. What message do I want to communicate in the video? If I don't really have a clear goal when I hire Josh to produce the video, what message do you think might be communicated in the video? And, will that message be clear? And, will I have more or less chance of meeting my real purpose - assuming that I do have a clear purpose and I do have a specific goal... And, if I do have a specific and clear goal for the video, and I communicate my goal with crystal clarity to Josh, will he be more likely to great video to help me sell my product?

Your Life and Your Money

Over the years, many people have hired me to help them manage their finances. The work of a Certified Financial Planner is kind of like helping people produce a video of their financial life. My goal as a CFP was to help people manage the risk of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. To do that, I had to know their financial goals! The conversation about purpose is one that some people appreciated, some people felt like I didn't need to know their purpose for money - they thought the question was too personal for financial planning. I get that. For some of us, knowing each other's purpose more clearly means knowing each other more honestly. Trust is what matters most in any relationship and it takes lots of trust to share your goals, your hopes, and your dreams. It takes even more trust to share your purpose.

A New Way to Think About Life and Money

In ever session of every financial workshop, I remind participants of a few basic assumptions that are built into the workshop. One of those assumptions is that we are all prisoners of how we think about life and money. Some of us live in random response to whatever happens. Others see external circumstances, challenges, and opportunities as what defines our plan and our choices. Most Americans, and I'm one of them, have some experience living in outright denial and avoidance when it comes to difficult challenges and opportunities. Each of us can choose to think and live with more purpose and more intentionality. It starts with an idea. A new way to think about life and money. Knowing your purpose gives you the answer to the question why. Once you know why it's important, you'll be that much closer to knowing what it is. Knowing your specific goal answers the what question. And if you're one of the 1% (okay, its more like the 5% but I couldn't resist), then you already have some experience with the third question.A�

What's Your Next Step

No matter why you want to do it (your purpose), no matter what it is you want to do (your goal), your chances of success will improve exponentially when you know exactly what you will do next to achieve your goal. That's where a little planning can go a long way. For many of us, the next best step is to review our current plan to see what might change if we ask these three questions. Maybe its time to have a conversation with my wife, my team, my trusted friends, or with Josh to make sure our video production plan is good, right, and clear.