Monday, April 28, 2014

Being willing to be in the conversation

Yesterday I had a meeting with my financial adviser. Investing and long-term planning have never been a strength. In many ways, it was easiest when I had a salaried job and the university took care of that, giving us only limited choices. But working on my own, I had to have advice and I found a well-recommended guy and took his advice and never figured out very much. It was a game that didn't interest me; in fact, it pretty much scared me. 

Then in 2007, before the crash, I changed advisers on the advice of a good friend. The new planner suggested I get out of the stock market quickly and I didn't lose anything but I never went back in. Too timid, too conservative, I guess. I trusted the new guy but I didn't know how to talk to him. I didn't know really how to be in charge of my money. So I just nodded and didn't understand no matter what I asked and he replied. 

I realize now that I wasn't in the conversation. I couldn't be in it. There are lots of reasons for that, but when you have a conversation with someone who can't be in it with you, nothing much can happen. I've been on the other side of those kinds of conversations. With somebody who needs to stop drinking and can't yet be in the conversation. Or somebody who's in a bad job or an abusive relationship. They can't yet be in the conversation of moving forward into something new. 

Yesterday I was able to be in the conversation. It's one of the shifts that's happening as a result of being in this money program. Lots of conversations about money and about asking for what you need. I was armed with more information, the right kind, and knew what I needed and wanted. I also knew that Craig could help me get there. So I was able to create an opening for him to do what he does best. It was a powerful experience.