What’s Your End Game?

I often get the deer in headlight stare when I ask that question.

My father was a taskmaster my whole life….to the point of annoyance as a young person. The main lessons I have gleaned from his “get r done” attitude, do not give me excuses, personally if you are going to pursue a task; always begin with the end in mind and work backwards to completion. The other primary lesson, do the work once…meaning do not do it half way by over doing the short cuts.  It may feel good to check off a task but how frustrating is it to go back and do it again?   He would always preach, son, you got to be smarter than what you are working with…meaning use your brain muscles before engaging the back muscles. My father was poor in formal education but rich in common sense ….which I have observed is not that common.

I believe beginning with the end in mind is vital in any type of planning and absolutely essential to financial and retirement planning.  I think we should start any project by observing the 11th commandment “thou shall not fake thyself out”.  Think about how much time we spend in the pursuit of money? You are working a plan – did you plan your work?   As a retirement planner and wealth strategist it is paramount that I help my client’s define their end game. This process is fairly simple in action but hard for folks to imagine at first….sometimes we need a paradigm shift.

Let me give you an example of planning for the end game. My teenage daughter mentioned wanting a new bicycle for this summers fun. She made a very persuasive case for a new bike, safety, faster, new

advancements  in construction,  etcetera.  I asked “What’s your end game?” She said “A new bike”…”ok” I said “but honey that’s not my end game,  you got a bike. If you really want a new bike I will help you work up a plan. How much does the bike cost? $200 Ok, when do you want to buy it? Now…be realistic sweetheart, ok, end of July, 8 weeks out.” Got it  – 8 weeks… $200, that’s $25 a week or $5 a day.

“What are you doing to earn money this summer and how much do you plan to earn per week?” She was so excited to express between mowing two lawns a week and baby sitting for some neighbors she will earn $50 barring the unexpected per week. “Great,  how much do you plan to live on?” “ What do you mean?”  “ Spending  money for fairs, movies and summer activities?”  “Oh, well, I guess I can save $25 a week first and then only spend what’s left”.  My chest puffed as I thought the apple does not fall far from the tree, she gets it!

Begin with the end in mind.


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About Paul Nichols

Paul is the founder of Financial Abundance, a Registered Investor Advisory firm and EDI, an Estate Planning Firm with offices in State College and Lewisburg. He has been working with individuals, families and businesses for over twenty years, including many Fortune 500 companies. He has educated tens of thousands of people through seminars, workshops and various international speaking engagements where he shared the stage with many notable individuals such as Ronald Reagan, Robert Kiyosaki (author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad), Mike Ditka, General Schwarzkopf, and Newt Gingrich to name a few.

In 2000, after many years of traveling to consult companies and individuals, Paul decided to relocate from Colorado to State College, PA (his wife’s hometown) to develop a local advisory firm.

Paul operates under the core belief that education plus understanding leads to clarity and confidence; resulting in peace of mind. He is a proud father of three and devoted husband of 20 plus years.

Some of Paul’s accomplishments:
Regular contributor to the Centre Daily Times, via the “It’s Your Money” blog
Featured in the movie Navigating the Fog of Investing
Regular contributor to Town & Gown as the publications Investor Coach
Host of the weekly iTunes Podcast, It’s Your Money
Member of the Western PA Better Business Bureau
Member of the Centre County Chamber of Business and Industry