Aspirational Overwhelm

Mar 27, 2023



My clients are some of the most ambitious people I know. They are Black; Latino; first-gen Americans; oftentimes the first in their family to go to college, cross a six-figure salary, go to therapy, own a home, etc. They hire me because they have felt the overwhelm for too long, and want me to help them create and execute a financial plan. They're committed to learning more about personal finances; providing their children with more financial resources or options than they had; and most importantly, taking action. It's so inspiring. Their commitment to action and impact are the reasons I get up every day and work so hard. 

However, I have noticed a troubling trend amongst this particular group of humans. They tend to try and do all the things, at once.

  • They want a $1,000,000 investment portfolio. 
  • They want passive income. 
  • They want to "build their own banks." 
  • They want a suite of investment properties. 

They want all this before the age of 45.

The truth is they are stuck in feelings of being behind(they're trying to catch up for parents while getting ahead for kids and grandkids all at once!) or impatience at wanting the result already. That manifests as them haphazardly seeking any solution that "seems" to yield good results, trying to do all the things at once, stressing themselves out, feeling frustrated, and likely-- taking very little sustained action. 

It's an unfortunate pattern I've observed in many people in my capacity as an advisor and felt myself.

Like most good things, the solution is simple-

  1. Recognize what is the single most important next step you can take.
  2. Take that step. 
  3. Think about the next step you need to take.
  4. Take that second step. 
  5. Rinse and repeat.

For some, the most important step will be to increase their 401(k) contributions by 5%. For others, it will be to add another $150/month to their student loan payments. It might also be applying for term life insurance of 10x their income. It will most certainly be to ignore the desire for perfectionism which leads to overwhelm. 

Tell me, what is your most important, next small step?   

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