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How do I take a true measure of my success?

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There is an old saying that nobody on his deathbed has ever wished he’d spent more time at the office. And you, as a high net worth individual, have most likely spent untold hours at “the office”; perhaps you own the company or are part of the C-suite. At our firm, we are privileged to work daily with individuals like you, clients who have worked tirelessly to achieve an exceptional level of monetary success.

But success can be defined in many ways, and for many successful people “the money” becomes almost secondary. Many of our most successful clients have expressed some version of this sentiment: “It is more about making memories than making bank accounts.”

And included with “memories” is your legacy: how people will remember you. To get a preview of how you may be remembered, we have a suggestion that may seem a tad unconventional: Write your own eulogy.

But before you start, keep this in mind: Have you ever heard a son or daughter give a eulogy that mentioned the size of a parent’s house, or his or her art collection, or how deftly a parent “made bank accounts”? No, they talk about what was learned from the person’s true “secrets of success.” With that in mind, here are some of the character traits that people of achievement have in common:

PASSION: They are truly passionate about their profession and life. In most cases, their passion took years of hard work to find, but once they found it, work was no longer work, it was a calling.

RESILIENCY: Every time we discuss success, we need to speak about failure. We can guarantee that the most impactful and successful people in our lives are those who have rebounded from failure. These people are resilient. They are life’s warriors. They are role models for those struggling, and they keep us moving forward.

Many of our clients have expressed this sentiment about success: “It is more about making memories than making bank accounts.”

FOCUS: Our successful clients have the unique ability to be laser focused on what matters most. They do not waste their time and energy on trivial matters. They work on their strengths and leverage all of their resources to achieve results.

And nearly all are…

DREAMERS AND PLANNERS: According to Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, most successful individuals have dreams, but they “begin with an end in mind.”1 That is, they have a written plan which addresses both their life and financial goals. Most read this plan every day and use benchmarks to measure their progress. And they know how to navigate the rough waters when their plans fail.

CHANGE MERCHANTS: Stewards of success are comfortable with change. In fact, they initiate change. They are the disruptors. They challenge the norm to make things better. They are restless with the status quo. They intuitively believe that their pursuit to instigate change will have a meaningful impact.

TEACHERS: Arguably, teaching is the most important success trait. These people are always willing to take time to teach and mentor others. In most cases, they are coaches, teachers and parents, and they are good listeners.

So, do you see some of yourself in this list of our clients’ traits? At Siena Wealth Advisory Group, we not only admire those traits, we are passionate about protecting what you have achieved. So, find a quiet place and start writing your eulogy. As you write, we think you will agree with what Katie’s mom often says: “Investments in the heart and being thankful are paramount.”

‘ Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989.

This information is being provided only as a general source of information and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual investor.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM and CFP (with flame design) in the U.S.

Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC. © 2016 Ameriprise Financial, Inc., All rights reserved.

This article was originally published in the August/September 2016 issue of Worth.


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