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Wealth and Why
by Dustin Harris, The Appraiser Coach
I love having the opportunity to get involved with other appraisers and to assist them in moving their businesses to the next level. I’ve been doing a lot of one-on-one coaching recently and a common theme in many sessions is lack of a solid “foundation” to start from. Specifically, people don’t have a good understanding of why they want what they want.
When we sit down to talk about what is needed, instead of starting with the foundation, the appraisers I talk with usually want to jump right to the walls and roof! They want to discuss what they want and how to obtain it without having a reason why first. In his book, Start with Why, Simon Sinek stresses the concept that before you can move forward you need to know why you’re trying to go anywhere.
The coaching sessions I do fall into two categories. Sometimes, the appraiser I’m talking with just wants to get together for an hour or so to discuss one specific problem they have. They just want to talk through what they are thinking of doing and get my advice and help. More often though, I’ll work with people over a longer period of time; we’ll have a series of 6–10 coaching sessions.
Much of the focus in the longer series of coaching is around “taking the business to a new level.” Yes, that is a cliche but what is not is working to figure out exactly what that “next level” is for each client. Once that is defined, we need to look at why they want to get there. Oftentimes, when we start to define the why—the what and how change as well. Simon Sinek’s book is titled “Start with Why” because starting with “how” and “what” often sends us in the wrong direction. Starting with knowing your “why” can really take you places.
Why are you going to the gym every morning? Because your friends all are? To lose weight? To have more stamina and get stronger? Knowing the “why” will make it easier to stick to it long term. Social science and my own experience have shown that without a reason, we give up.
Having a foundation of why you’re doing things can completely change the trajectory of where you’re headed. I see this play out all the time in my coaching sessions when individuals come to me sure of what they want but after we define the “why,” the “what” suddenly changes.
Most people do have a why behind what they want, they just haven’t refined or defined it yet. The why is just hanging around in their subconscious leading them emotionally towards what they want but when they step back and really define the why, it becomes a much more powerful factor.
The definitions we use for ourselves have a lot of influence in our lives. Most of the time, the why is to have wealth. But “wealth” also needs to be defined and that definition needs to be what wealth means to you. Most people automatically associate wealth with financial wealth, with dollars and cents. Wealth is more than just money. Years ago I redefined what wealth means to me because I looked at the why of what I was doing. I knew the what and the how, that was part of the principles of prosperity I’d been teaching. I understood that part of things but I needed to look more closely to refine my personal “why” and definition of wealth.
My definition of wealth, which has very little to do with finances, is the center of my life. It is part of every relationship I have, why I take care of my physical being, why and how I spend my time and how I organize my business. Everything is centered around what wealth means to me and why I want to be wealthy.
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My definition of wealth has changed a little over the years as I chisel off the rough edges. Currently, my definition is “to be free to do what I want, when I want, with whom I want because I want.”
When I think of wealth it is much more than finances. Sure, money and finances are part of the mix but what good does it do you to be rich if you’re in poor health? What if you’re rich and healthy but your relationships are a mess? What if you have money, health and good relationships but no control over how you spend your time?
There is a lot in my definition of wealth and it is the driving force behind my “why.” I hire the people I do so that I can delegate and have the time to do what I want, when I want. I go to the gym so I will be healthy longer and be free to do what I want, when I want. I work on having healthy relationships with my family, neighbors, colleagues, employees and anybody else I associate with so I can do what I want, with whom I want.
I have the finances to buy airline tickets to Hawaii and just as importantly, I have the health to enjoy it (thank God) and do all that I want to do. I have the relationships that make it enjoyable to spend two weeks with my family. I have systems in place in my office to free my time. All the pieces of wealth are there: I can afford this trip and I can do what I want, when I want, with whom I want because I want.
What is your definition of wealth? If you don’t have one, you can adopt mine; I’ll give it to you—no charge! If you want to make your own that’s fine too. What is important is that you know the “why” involved in what you’re doing. Once you have the why, you can move on to what and how.
What is your why? Beyond finances, what is your definition of wealth? What are you doing today that will allow you to have wealth in the future? If you want help getting where you want to be, reach out to me and we can get together. I would love to have a conversation with you to help you on your way to true wealth.
About the Author
Dustin Harris is a successful, self-employed, residential real estate appraiser. He owns and operates The Appraiser Coach where he advises and mentors other appraisers helping them to also run successful appraisal companies and increase their net worth. His free podcast can be listened to on iTunes and Stitcher. You can learn more at https://theappraisercoach.com.
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