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  • Making a Lasting Impact

    Making a Lasting Impact

    Gifts from a Convenience Store

    I’ve always wanted to be a Secret Santa. A really secret Santa. One of those people who handed the Walmart cashier an extra $100 at the end of my transaction, and said to pay for the toys that the visibly exhausted, overworked parents in line behind me were buying. And then walk away without looking back.

    But while I’ve thought about it, I’ve never done anything like that.

    When Life Can’t Get Much Better

    Then a couple weeks ago I’m wrapping up my training for the Hawaii Ironman and I am having a fantastic weekend. The weather is gorgeous. I’d taken a 100-mile bike ride on Saturday, and done a planned recovery swim on Sunday. Usually these swims are a challenge; I’m tired and I just want to get it done. But this swim felt fabulous. It was easy and I felt incredible.

    I’m on my way to watch a friend’s tennis match, when I stop at the local QT. I’m still feeling fantastic. And when you’re on Cloud 9, what else could you possibly need? A Red Bull and a candy bar!

    As I’m waiting to check out, I’m grinning and saying “Hi” to everyone. Then I look behind me and see a shy five-year-old boy in line with his sister and visibly exhausted mother. The boy is holding one small bag of M&Ms and that’s all they’re buying. In that moment, I instantly know how fortunate I am.

    Before I can even think about it, I grab the M&Ms out of the little boy’s hands and tell the cashier to put these on my tab. I glance back and that kid gives me the biggest smile. His Mom tears up and I realize that my impulsive $2 purchase has made more of an impact than I ever imagined.

    Making a Lasting Impact

    And it’s made an impact on me. When I think about the upcoming holiday season, it’s not about fancy gifts, extravagant decorations, and way too much food. It’s about creating an emotional connection to someone else and not expecting anything in return.

    Thinking about that day at the QT still tears me up inside and it gives me the motivation to work a little harder, not only to help my clients be more successful, but also so I can use what I make to give more away. And maybe, as I help my clients’ be more successful, it will allow them to give more as well.

    So much of financial success is based on emotion, and not your financial planner or a hot stock market tip. It’s based on your understanding of what money is. An “I deserve” mentality often stands in the way of being truly financially free, especially when always having the nicest house, most expensive car, and latest toy start to feel like shackles.

    By taking the time to become emotionally comfortable with your money and what it represents, your perspective starts to shift from “what does my money do for me” to “what can i do with my money.” That’s what true financial success feels like. And you may realize — as I did in that convenience store — that you can do a lot more.

    In this season of giving, when you’re making your list and checking it twice, think about what you can really do for your friends, family, and possibly, a stranger. What would be meaningful? How can someone else benefit from your gifts?

    Achieve your goals, from early retirement to selling a business

    Everyone’s situation is different; what it takes for you to be financially independent is unique to you. If you’d like to discuss any questions or concerns you have your financial life, please contact us for a no obligation consultation to see how we can help.



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    Making a Lasting Impact

    by David Ragland time to read: 3 min