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Contentment vs Complacent 

A fellow advisor and someone I really admire recently wrote a piece on growth for advisory firms - and said that any Registered Investment Advisor who is not growing at a minimum of 20% annual revenue year over year is doomed. 

As a relatively new firm owner, growing 20% really isn’t that difficult - but something about this idea bothered me. I think it's because there’s no endgame in sight, the game is just to grow larger, bigger, faster. To what end? 

As I dwelled on it more, and spoke with some friends about it, I think it’s an issue of being content vs being complacent. Which is a huge issue - not just with entrepreneurs, but with everyone’s personal finances. 

Contentment means you don’t need more to be happy or fulfilled or survive. You’re still striving for excellence and improvement - but more Fill In The Blank doesn’t mean more life. 

Complacent brings to mind laziness, and perhaps a smugness with current situations and being unconcerned. There’s no effort to improve. 

The servant in the Parable of the Talents who received one talent was complacent. The other servants were content - but went to work. 

I don’t know what each person’s Endgame is - but I think defining Enough is a good start. Once you get to Enough, a thin and blurry line separates contentment vs complacency which requires caution to navigate around. 

I think my advisor friend and I simply view contentment and Enough differently. It's not a knock against him - we're just looking through different lenses. 
Interesting Resources 

1. A Wealth of Common Sense - Things That Were Said During the Bear Market
Remember December last year in the markets? Goodness gracious - even the most optimistic of us wouldn’t have wagered that we’d be at all time highs again already. I love the reminder here of Ben and Michael talking about what everyone was freaking out regarding the market and the economy. “December sure feels like a great buying opportunity now that we can look back at the outcome, but it didn’t feel like it to many people at the time.” 


2. Nick Murray - Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth (book)
Was reminded this week of this quote creating a parallel between a tree and investing from one of my favorite advisor authors, Nick Murray:

“You plant [the tree] in the earth, and a wonderful force of nature causes it to take root, and to grow. You don’t have to do much with it: the air and the water and the nutrients it needs are all around the tree, and it knows how to use them.

You don’t dig it up every 90 days to check on its progress. (Nothing much will have changed in that brief time, and you might harm the tree). You don’t uproot the tree and store it in your garage over the winter, to protect it from what you regard as bad weather. (Though its leaves fall and it stops growing for a season, the tree itself does not die. And even leafless, the tree is still producing oxygen, without which you and I could not live.)”
I'll close with a note of gratitude: to you. I shared my engagement statistics of these weekly emails with a colleague, who was blown away by them.

Thank you for your attention.
Thanks for your responses.
Thanks for the conversations sparked each week.
Keep them coming!


Gratefully,
Jeremy
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