Recently, I read an article in Fast Company Magazine by Michael Thompson entitled “What I’ve Learned in 38 Years of Surrounding Myself with Confident People.” In that article, the author explains that he is not naturally confident, but after years of surrounding himself with people who are, he has acquired many of their characteristics to become more confident himself.
So what does this have to do with personal finance? Many people lack confidence in the financial decisions they make. Even those with a lot of money carry a great deal of anxiety about what to do with it—how to invest it, what to spend it on, how much of it they will need in retirement, etc. So I’m going to break down two characteristics from the article that directly apply to having confidence with money.
They Persevere (Intelligently)
Thompson writes, “Confident people know what they want, and they have the gumption to keep fighting for it, even when the odds are stacked heavily against them.” If you’re confident with your money, you have clear objectives with a clear plan. You may have lofty goals that seem impractical or ridiculous to others, but if you have developed a plan, have confidence that you will succeed.
However, they do not charge forward blindly. Their confidence stems from fully understanding their plan, which means they also ask a lot of questions. If you work with a financial advisor and you don’t understand their recommendations, ask a million follow up questions until you do. And if they get frustrated with you, find another advisor.
They Don’t Seek Others’ Approval
Confident people accomplish goals for themselves and not for anyone else. So if you’re killing it at work and you’ve reached a place financially that you have been working toward for years, then that’s awesome. But don’t waste it all trying to impress everyone else. Enjoy your money—create a plan that includes spending on what makes you happy—but don't expect happiness to come from a lavish lifestyle.
At the same time, if your income is capped so you have really cut back your spending, stuck to a lean budget, and made significant headway toward your financial goals, don’t expect a pat on the back from friends and family (except from your financial advisor). It’s like crossfit—no one else cares, and that should be totally fine with you.
Confidence comes from gaining knowledge and having a plan. It’s worth equipping yourself with these tools to know that you are set to accomplish your financial goals.
Josh Norris is an Investment Advisory Representative of LeFleur Financial. Josh can be reached at josh@LeFleurFinancial.com.