This is a page from the beloved Dr. Seuss’ book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.”
This is me in the fetching yellow ensemble and my big idea is that deflated pink and yellow busted balloon.
My “Couple’s Retreat for Financial Harmony” is a no-go. Only one couple registered.
So many people told me, “That is a really great idea!” But it seems it’s not a great enough idea.
“It’s too big of a time commitment; we’re all so busy!”
I know that’s true.
“It’s too much money.”
(Actually the only person who verbalized this was a very close friend/adviser.)
“My husband won’t salsa dance.” (Seriously?)
“I want to come but my husband/wife doesn’t want to come.”
I suspect that’s the biggie.
I imagine the response went something like this:
“I’m not going to some stupid conference to have some strange woman tell me what I should be doing with my money.”
Many years ago when I was applying for a position as an account executive with the first financial services firm I ever worked for, I had to take a personality test (spoiler alert: it said I’d be no good at selling, but they hired me anyway).
Throughout the several-hundred-question test, there were several versions of this question: “The car you drive tells a lot about you.”
For probably five times I answered “disagree” because, at the time, I really wanted to drive a crimson Saab and I didn’t, so I thought my steel gray well-used and slightly dented car didn’t tell anything about me.
After the sixth or so question like this I started to answer “somewhat agree” and then by the end of the test I answered “agree.”
Do you want to know why?
Because that lousy car represented where I was financially; it was my reality, it did tell some of my story…it was just not where I wanted to be and didn’t tell my whole story.
I never did buy a Saab.
I know how emotional the topic of money is.
I get it.
It represents so much about us and yet it represents nothing about us.
That’s the dichotomy sandbox I play in as a financial planner with a holistic approach.
Marriage is a wonderful, surprising, challenging marathon of love and commitment.
Why let money steal that from you?
So after having a right-good pity party for myself, I got back on the horse and thought “This is worth people’s time and money. I want people to be at peace with their money so they can go on enjoying their marriage. How can people give themselves permission to attend this event the next time I host it?”
That’s what hope says: “Let’s try again.”