As many of you will know I am running 1,000 miles during the first six months of 2021 to raise money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the Ryegate Centre and this commitment has taught me a great deal about the benefits of focusing not on what you’re actually doing but on why you’re doing it.
This challenge has turned out to be tougher than I had expected, initially with the cold, wind, ice and snow but subsequently with tiredness. It has been difficult to always stay motivated when simply focusing on my 1,000-mile target. However, when I remind myself of why I signed up for this, it makes it much easier to keep lacing up my trainers each day. When I think about the difference the funds raised will make to the children that rely on the hospital it gives me a renewed vigour to keep going. My target worked fine as a motivator when I was already raring to go but my ‘why’ keeps me going when I’m not.
Likewise in business, it’s easy to continually focus on a target while forgetting what made you set the target in the first place. Like many firms, we’re continually trying to improve the service we provide to our clients. I hope you’ll agree that our services have become more rounded over the last few years with an increased focus on how our clients’ wealth improves their real lives rather than just their bank balances. We’ve always put our clients’ best interests at the heart of what we do but I feel we now have a better way of integrating that into the services we deliver throughout the year.
For a long time, our ‘target’ for improvement had been to look towards examples set by other firms and advocated by professional bodies. This meant attending conferences and seminars, reading trade magazines, and seeking best practice from industry peers. However, it’s all too easy to step out of a seminar bursting full of great ideas only to forget them by the time you get back to the office. Eventually, our target to improve our knowledge became an ongoing pursuit without a specific end. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and I would definitely advocate being a lifelong learner. However, eventually, you have to put ideas into action and it was thinking again about our ‘why’ (improving the lives of our clients) which led us to implement significant changes within our business.
I would encourage you to think about what gives you purpose at this stage in your life, your ‘why’, and consider whether what you’re doing at the moment is having a positive effect on it. It’s easy to let inertia take you off course or to let the day-to-day repetition grind you down. Re-evaluating why you started on a particular path is always worthwhile and revisiting your original vision of the future will hopefully give you fresh motivation. You will undoubtedly have learned a lot during your journey so far and now may well be the perfect time to put it all into action.
This article was written by Richard Fyfe, Director & Chartered Financial Planner at Fyfe Financial.
Richard is currently fundraising for Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity and the Ryegate Centre. You can sponsor him at: justgiving.com/fundraising/ric-fyfe-1000-miles