There's an old saying that says "people plan and G-d laughs."For any of us who thought we had the perfect plan for anything, we found out the quoted saying could not be more true. Not that we didn't plan well, or give it lots of thought: the fact is stuff happens that is far beyond our control. I've often said that between point A and point B, there are a thousand little points called "LIFE." It gets in the way: and it really screws with your plan! It just seems that as good as we may think we have it down, Plan "A" somehow unravels along the way... did you have a Plan B in the wings?
The most successful business people history had to go from Plan A to Plan B, then to Plan C... well, you get the idea. It's important to constantly consider the alternatives to get to your destination or achieve your goal. It's kind of a tortoise and the hare thing… unless you are lucky enough to win the lottery or have a huge inheritance, welcome to the world of the tortoise. Make no mistake and have no remorse: remember – he crossed the finish line first. Slow and steady wins the race. Our race is achieving that objective or goal you set out to grab, that brass ring. If you ever went to Coney Island and were fortunate to ride the carousal, you know you didn’t grab the ring on the first revolution, you stretched and reached, and hoped for the best... now you're getting it. Perseverance and diligence is the order of the day, day in and day out.
Surround yourself with the best and the brightest. If you don't know how to do something, find the best and put them on your team. Admit you either don't know how or just don't like to do it, and find the person to assist you who has the experience and tenure to help you get wherever you want to get to. It's not unlike turning on your GPS – if you don't know how to get there, find someone who does. Have a great team of advisors and rely on them to help you achieve your goals.
Save, save, save. Save in the best of times, and more importantly, save in the worst of times. If you are in the market, historically the best of times comes after the worst of times: if you invest when things look the most dire, traditionally in the past, it will come back. They say "buy low and sell high:" why is it most people if left to their own convictions tend reverse that old adage? While there are no guarantees in the market, another old adage is "what goes down, will eventually go up." Would you rather buy wholesale or retail? Have a good investment advisor at your side, and discuss with him or her when it's the right time to rebalance, withdraw or contribute to your portfolio. Make sure your advisors are all experienced and tenured, and trained in the specific area of expertise you need. You don't go to your orthopedic for a cold, and you don't go to your accountant to get a tooth pulled. Confer with the right professional. The four most important people in your life, besides you family of course, are your Certified Financial Planner® (make sure they are CERTIFIED), your lawyer, accountant and doctor. All of these advisors have shown the correct and direct education to assist you in achieving your goals. Put your A team together and let them help you.
The worst thing about setting your expectations low is achieving them: be lofty with your expectations, but be realistic. Be ready to zig when the zag points you in the wrong direction, and have a Plan B in the wings. Don't fly by the seat of your pants... be prepared.