Hard Work Sucks But Quitting Sucks Harder
As many of you know, for my day job I work as a financial planner (or I like to say a financial trainer) helping clients of all shapes and sizes get smart about their money and ultimately become Financially Fit, and I love having a front row seat for my client’s financial journeys.
I love how I helped one client not only improve her credit score by 118 points but grow her savings account by $7,000 in less than a year. I love how I helped this couple save money separately so that now that they are engaged, I know their marriage will start off on the right foot. I also love that one of my clients took a weekend job at Target because I pushed her to not get into a financial mess while achieving a bucket list dream of hers.
Not All Success Stories
I have had the pleasure to witness many amazing transformations; however, I have to be honest and confess that not every journey is a pretty one. The process of getting Financially Fit is not easy and it’s not an overnight process, and unfortunately when the going gets tough, some people throw in the towel and get going.
In particular, over this past year, I have had two clients completely give up on their journey to financial health and well-being. I know that I can’t help everyone and truly only people who want to be helped will help themselves, but it doesn’t mean that I haven’t lost sleep at night over these two former clients.
Giving Up Before Starting
What’s difficult for me to grasp more than anything, though, is that these two clients gave up VERY EARLY on in their financial journeys. With both clients, we had great first meetings where we discussed all of the goals they wanted to achieve. They both wanted to become financially independent of their parents and achieve bigger personal goals for themselves. They both paid the first quarter’s planning fees and seemed motivated to make a change. However, once I communicated the reality of what it would take to achieve those goals, though, I think I lost them immediately.
It’s fun to dream and visualize a better life for ourselves, but once we know exactly the amount of work, effort and sacrifice that it will take to achieve that life, it suddenly loses it’s luster for some people.
No one understands this amount of work, effort and sacrifice more than me. I not only experienced it through my 50 pound weight loss journey, but I live it now as I cut back on many of the things that I love so that I can invest in and build a business focused on helping others.
Reality Sucks Sometimes
I have reflected a lot on these two clients and I wonder if I delivered the news better or eased them into a financially healthier lifestyle if I would have kept them focused longer, but I’m not sure it would have changed anything. I would love to sugarcoat things for people; however, I like to live in reality and help my clients live there as well.
The fact is that getting Financially Fit is hard, it takes hard work, and there is just no other way to put it. However, just because you have to put in the hard work doesn’t mean it’s not fun and it doesn’t mean your life, as you know it will end. It just means that your life will look different, but I can’t imagine many things being more important in someone’s life over financial health. I truly can’t.
Worth the Effort
Many of us don’t think anything of investing time and money into our physical health or our mental health, but why don’t we do it for our financial health? When we are financially healthy, it actually trickles down into our mental and physical health. When we build our resources, we give ourselves the opportunity to pursue our physical and mental health without the stress of worrying about money.
All of my clients who are on their journeys to financial health have not had to do it at the risk of their physical or mental health; they have just learned to look at their money choices differently. They prioritize what’s important to them and they make their goals a reality because of this.
Yes, they have to tell themselves no from time to time, but it’s not as though they are saying no without any positive ramifications. When they say no they understand that it’s because they are working toward something more important than what they said no to. No in one area, just becomes yes to another.
Three Month Commitment to Change
After I lost my weight, people asked me all the time what advice I could give them, and the advice I would share is that you have to commit to your weight loss journey for at least three months. I realized that once I was three months into my weight loss journey, all of the sudden, my smart food choices started becoming habit and not painful. I found that I craved salad over pizza and didn’t miss many of the foods I initially missed when I first started my journey to a better physical life.
So, I guess I would give the same advice to people who want to get financially healthy. You need to commit to at least three months of a new financially healthier lifestyle. Yes, those first few months will be difficult and it will suck that you can’t go out as much as you used to or that you had to drop certain activities that you loved; however, after a few months, you will start to see meaningful financial results and those tough choices will not seem as tough as they initially did. After a few months, your money decisions will become more of a habit than a chore.
I know this because I see it happen all the time. My clients who commit to their financial journeys, get results, and change their lifestyles for the better. I watch as their confidence grows with their bank accounts. I see their stresses diminish with their diminished debts, and as I watch these changes happen for other people, I just don’t know why others quit on themselves.
If you have started to get financially healthy and quit, you can always pick back up again. I have clients stumble all the time, but they pick themselves back up and start again because they know how important financial health is. Commit to three months of change and see what happens. Financial health takes hard work and hard work sucks, but to me quitting (especially before you really get started) sucks more.
Gif Source: Giphy