How Are Marathons and Wealth Management Alike?

Have you ever run a marathon? Every year, around 1.1 million people run a marathon; inevitably, spectators and even some runners ask why people choose to run a grueling 26.2 miles.

11-time-marathon-runner and State University of New York at New Paltz psychology professor Glenn Geher says that though the reasons for racing are different for everyone, some common threads weave all marathon runners together. He says one of those threads is that a marathon is a way to socially signal one’s traits of dedication, discipline, and time management — all required for getting through a successful race.

And so, I started thinking there are so many parallels between running marathons and effective wealth management. I think there’s a lot to unpack around these parallels, so over the next few months, I will discuss 12 marathon strategies that can also help maximize your wealth.

The lie

In today’s introduction, I want to talk about the lie. Has somebody ever told you that you can’t do something? Over the years, I’ve heard hundreds of people worry about their future and believe that they might never be able to retire or worry they might never be able to fund an education for their children.

They feel held back from giving to important causes simply because they believed a lie, either one they told themselves or somebody else told them. If you’re one of these people, I’m excited to tell you you’re not alone. Just recently, I stopped believing a lie that started in 2005 when my doctors told me I should never run again after my second knee surgery.

I listened to that advice and that voice in my head for 14 years until my family inspired me to sign up for a local Orange Theory class, where I did some low-impact treadmill running and cross-training. I strengthened my legs, and just a couple of months ago, I ran and finished my first marathon.

When race day approached, and I received my race packet, imagine my surprise at getting the bib number 529 — that’s like getting the bib number 401k in my industry! There were thousands of numbers, and I ended up with 529, which is ironic! If you’re not familiar with the use of the number 529 in wealth management terms, that’s the number widely used for college savings plans.

Over the next few months, I will share 12 strategies and a few highlights from the marathon. So, stay tuned as I’m giving out quite a few tips and some tools to help secure your future and maximize your wealth in a meaningful way. Now, let’s talk about the first strategy.

Strategy #1: Know Your Why

Strategy number one is “know your why.” Family is one of my core values, and one of the primary reasons I signed up for my first marathon is that I wanted to show my kids and others and inspire them when they are told they can’t do something.

At this point, you’re probably wondering, “What does this all have to do with wealth management?” Quite a bit. Because if you don’t know what you value, it’ll be more challenging to stick to your plan or planning strategies. Setting realistic and relevant goals in your plan can also be difficult if you don’t know what you value.

And if you don’t have realistic goals, your plan’s tax and cash flow projections might not be realistic either. And if you don’t have realistic projections, feeling secure about your future is challenging. I believe not knowing your why leads to a ripple effect of downstream issues regarding wealth management.

At One Life Wealth Management, we believe life is way too short to spend it worrying about your money. It’s way too short to spend it believing lies that may not be true, like lies that you can’t get out of a job that you absolutely hate or lies that you might not ever be able to help your kids with college. Or the lie that you can’t afford to take a family vacation or give to a cause that’s important to you.

I believe the first step in creating a meaningful and real financial plan is documenting and defining your core values. To make that step easy for you, we have a free exercise to help you start exploring and defining your core values. Click here to access our free exercise.

Before we get into more planning tips in the next post, we will get into something somewhat comical with strategy number two, which is to have a contingency plan. In the meantime, if you’d like more information about how One Life can help you create an investing strategy that helps protect, manage, and maximize your wealth, please click here to schedule a consultation.