From a big picture standpoint, are you very clear about what you want in life and what you want your future to look and feel like?
But, is what you need to do next whether that is tomorrow, next week, next month or next year a bit fuzzy?
When it comes to your immediate next choices and steps to make it all happen – especially as it pertains to the role of money – do you feel like you’re driving in dense fog?
If so, you’re not alone. My clients and prospects never come to me and say, “Jacquette, I don’t know what I want.” Their big picture is crystal clear and they have no problem articulating that vision.
The challenge is the 200 feet directly in front of them. That part of their journey is often foggy, ambiguous and sometimes scary as heck!
This confusion and uncertainty about the initial choices you need to make or first steps you need to take tend to rear its head in a variety of ways. But the end result is always the same: conflicting thoughts and actions that impede your growth and hamper your success.
You are clear that you want to save more, but vague in declaring how much you want to save, why and by when.
You are clear that you want to reduce or eliminate your debt, but have limited awareness of your debt profile (total amount; amount by type; interest rate, etc.)
You are clear that your investments need some TLC, but continue to postpone making any specific changes because while doing so may be important — it’s just not urgent.
You are clear that you’re tired of every conversation about money devolving into a fight with your sweetheart, but you’re too emotionally drained to have the conversations that will actually help you get your love-n-money groove back.
These are but a few examples of the insidious disparity that exists because you forgot or perhaps never knew an important truth about money…
Money needs direction
One of the things I’ve learned from working with hundreds of coaching clients and thousands of workshop participants over the years is this:
Money needs to be attached to more than your goals; it’s needs direction.
And that means it needs you to be clear – not just about what some distant point in the future looks and feels like, but clear about what needs to happen right now to move forward.
There are some common reasons why you and I lack clarity from time-to-time about what the immediate actions we need to take are: a) fear, b) indecisiveness, c) too many options, d) lack of information, and c) feeling stuck, to name a few.
But, here are six (6) non-financial skills to practice that will help you give your money the clarity and direction it needs.
Work on your communication skills
You need to be able to clearly express yourself to yourself and to others. And you need to have clear boundaries; in other words, know what you’ll say “yes” and “no” to.
Work on your relationship-management skills
You have a relationship with absolutely everything and everyone! So, managing those relationships well is critical. It’s how you manage trust, resolve conflicts and display empathy.
Work on your project management skills
There’s a business saying that goes something like this: “anything that takes you longer than five minutes to complete is a project.” That means every goal of yours is a project requiring you to manage your time, energy and money with a deadline in mind.
Good project managers operate within a system, which they moderate regularly. They also happen to be good listeners – paying attention to verbal and non-verbal feedback.
Work on your problem-solving skills
You and I encounter problems everyday. Some are simple; others, complex. As you endeavor to solve your problems, the challenge is making sure you are solving the right problem! As an example: many times when people come to me for help with their debt, they are surprised when I tell them they have an earnings problem more than a spending problem.
A good problem-solver doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable questions; a good problem-solver is comfortable using their logic and intuition to identify possible solutions; a good problem-solver recognizes there is never just one way.
Work on your perseverance skills
Roadblocks are inevitable. As are moments of frustration and despair. The question is this: when things don’t go as planned, do you have a system for determining if the roadblock is a sign to change the goal or the current path you’re taking to get to the goal?
Having a strong appetite for perseverance gives you the momentum to keep putting one foot in front of the other so you can reach the next milestone.
Work on your flexibility skills
Circumstances, conditions and sometimes the people in your life will change. This may require you to pivot. So, having an open mindset is critical – especially when your initial reaction is to resist and remain comfortable with things just as they are.
Being flexible will allow you to see and experience making a shift – whether it’s regarding your strategy or tactics – not as a failure, but as a necessary ingredient for moving forward.
200 feet ahead — what’s next?
Not surprisingly, none of the above have to do with money specifically but they definitely affect your relationship and success with money directly. Funny how that works, huh?
So, when you’re feeling foggy, ambiguous and maybe a bit scared about what to do next, review the above to see which skill/s can help you discern your next move. Your money is counting on you!
But be careful: Don’t make the mistake of thinking clarity comes to you. Actually, you create it! Clarity unfolds with each decision and commitment you make.
p.s. I invite you to join us for the next cohort of “Find Your Financial Sweet Spot.” We’re helping people see the next 200 feet ahead…and more!! Click here to learn more about and apply to this invitation-only group coaching program.