Do a quick research on financial life cycles and you’re likely to find article after article detailing the four financial cycles that take place over a lifetime. You may already have recognized them but just in case they are: The Early Years, The Growing Years, The Managing Years, and The Preserving and Protecting of Legacy Years. Don’t get too hung up on the titles and definitions. Most authors vary in the fancy of their delivery but in general, they all agree, in one way or another there are indeed life cycles to our financial journey.
Awareness of the financial life cycle helps you with your frame of reference and brings much peace and comfortable contentment as you develop a roadmap that will help you leverage your skills and income.
For the sake of honoring your time, we’re going to dive right into the secret sauce to making the four life cycles work for you and your business. Because I want you to stop feeling defeated and win more with your money. But if you have time, and want to learn more about these cycles, I’ve found a few decent and easily read articles on the topic. You can find them here and here.
Before we dive in, I just gotta say how much I love the word secret sauce. It speaks of a recipe purposefully not shared in order to keep an edge on the competition. And in the restaurant world, the secret sauce separates a good burger from a bad one. But around these parts, we like to share secrets, especially the ones that launch our friends into better places.
O.K – so what exactly is the secret sauce to making these four cycles of financial planning work for you and your business so you can stop feeling defeated and start winning?
Well, my friend, here they are:
- Strategy – Some never even make it to the growing cycle because they miss this first and most important piece. Without a strategy, it’s going to be much more difficult (and messy) to get to or through any of the four cycles. A financial strategy with specific and detailed design is a guide through each cycle. It is not perfection but a loosely held roadmap to help you arrive at your final financial goal.
- Steadfastness – anything worth winning takes patience, time, and determination. When you’re talking about money and your life story intersecting you don’t want to leave steadfastness out of the equation. It is the ingredient that keeps the rest moving. It’s the long-haul pursuit compounding life choices that ultimately helps you arrive.
- Accountability – I’m not sure, but I don’t think I’ve met a person who’s won the race by running alone. How’s that old proverb go? If you want to go fast, go alone, If you want to go far, go together. In short, who’s on your team? Who are you running the race with? Even more specifically who are you allowing to hold you accountable within the area of God, money and your business?
It could seem like I just handed you a simple recipe. But I want you to remember, the sauce here is simply something someone is already using. The secret is that it is not easily manufactured. It might even take a special mixture of rare and not readily obtained ingredients.
Each financial life cycle brings its own challenges and depending on our strengths and seasons in life we’ll struggle more or less in the areas of strategy, steadfastness, and accountability. There is most certainly a fine line between faith, awareness, planning, and taking action, and by no means can I leave out the current cultural and political climate, here.
Addressing our fears and the impact of economic shifts could possibly be one of the most important factors to lasting through the necessary pivots that may need to occur during any given cycle, both personal and professional. I don’t want to ignore their impact that causes us to either press in or give up. And I want to remind you it is in these more difficult times we naturally tend to pull back, study historical patterns and intently observe our personal and business surroundings.
It is also here, in some of our most uncertain seasons, we must fight for our space to build and create. As a Christian business owner with a dream and a vision, you are partnering with God. Protecting that creativity is a fundamental piece to winning financially.
Lastly, if you don’t already have your money game in order or you have a strong desire to become more aligned in the area you know God is working in you, I respectfully challenge you to step in and waste no more of your time. What could be on the other side? What could you do with a strategy specifically designed to keep you steady through the remaining financial life cycles of your journey? And if you don’t have a team holding you accountable, where can you find one?