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Time & Career

If one of your goals is to start a new

career, move up the ladder, or make a significant career shift, handling your time well can powerfully impact your success and the speed with which you accomplish it.


As always, the first step is to think about your thinking. Creating focused time to determine the compelling reasons to change your current state to where you want to be is worth the effort. The compelling reason is what Simon Sinek, in his book Start with Why, refers to as your “why.” The more your reason creates a vision that you will reach for when things are hard, the more likely you will create the desired result.


In addition to providing motivation, a clear, compelling reason will impact your “how.” There are many ways to get things done. Knowing why you are making a change will influence how you go about it. The stronger your compelling reason, the clearer the most direct route to your goal will be—the more direct the route, the less time needed to reach the goal.


I had a coaching experience that led to an interest in coaching and an opportunity to train as a coach over ten years ago. At the time, our financial planning and tax business were at a stage where we were expanding from a few rainmakers and assistants to an enterprise firm with multiple locations, teams, and leaders. I wanted to become a coach because I loved the experience of being coached, and I was drawn to growth and personal development. However, in the face of growing the current business, those reasons weren’t enough for me to set aside time and attention outside the tax and financial practice. I had to evaluate the time and energy I would be transferring to coaching in someone else’s business from growing my own firm. The “why” wasn’t strong enough then.


The next time my interest in coaching came up, I was in a different place in my career. I had established my practice. Our teams, management systems, and locations were operating well, and I wanted a new challenge. I had spent several years being coached by different people with different styles as well as listening to podcasts and reading books that focused on coaching principles. I wanted to dedicate time to the pursuit of becoming a coach. I had several “whys.” First, I thought that coaching my employees could yield tremendous results for my firm. Second, I wanted the skills to apply to myself daily. Third, I was interested to see how fast I could transform different areas of my life if I learned how to get out of my way. Fourth, I could see the potential use of coaching applications in areas of interest in my life, like financial education and making a difference for my colleagues and clients in the financial planning industry.


These compelling reasons were strong enough for me to carve out time for certification training during my already fully committed work week. I decided what I would continue to do in my business and what I would automate, delegate or simply stop. My reasons influenced why I chose a certification program and which one I chose. These decisions about when and where I would dedicate my time were scary. Without the compelling reasons to remind me of why it was worth the effort and the time investment, it would have simply been a class I signed up for, not a major career shift.


What do you want in your career? Why do you desire it? When your why is clear, the how will become apparent, and you will save so much time following the clear path rather than wandering aimlessly and wasting time.


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