“If you want to love what you do, abandon the passion mindset (“what can the world offer me?”) and instead adopt the craftsman mindset (“what can I offer the world?”).” — Cal Newport, Author

When we buy a product at the store, we buy the finished product, shiny and new.  We don’t buy the individual pieces.  Companies would rarely make money if it sold the pieces and told us to go build it on our own, unless you’re buying a puzzle or build it yourself furniture, I suppose.  They make money because they put the work into designing the prototype, choosing all of the highest quality components and hiring the hard-working people to put it together and finish it off.  Companies make money selling their finished product.

If we knew all of the work that went into making the product, would that make us value it more?  Would that make us want it more?  Would that make us feel more confident in the financial exchange?  We have actually become more self-aware and socially conscious as consumers, wanting to know where the products in our home and on our bodies are coming from and how they are made.  Living in North Carolina, a worldwide furniture manufacturing hub, furniture comes to mind.  When my family buys a piece of furniture (a couch, for example) we want to know where it came from.  We want to see the factory and the process that the couch goes through from start to finish.  We want to see the cross-section of the couch, to touch and feel the components, to appreciate the quality, to understand how it was made and why it was made a certain way.  Companies with quality, handmade products are spending more time helping customers understand all the work that is done to take a product from start to finish.  Much like understanding how a company was built or the steps in creating a piece of art, when you understand all of the hard work that is done to create something beautiful, you appreciate it that much more.

Many of our clients are business owners and one of our many joys is in getting to know their business on a fairly intimate level.   After over twenty years in this industry, we recently looked at our business and ourselves to ask, “What do we do?”

We offer our clients an authentic relationship, an open mind, and creative, individualized advice.  We work with investors, business owners and families with a desire to reach financial confidence and awareness, often with an interest in teaching the same principles to their children and loved ones.  We serve our clients as craftsmen of our own financial planning process and discretionary investment portfolios.  We design the process and the product, we build it, and we maintain and adjust as necessary.  Financial planning never ends; it is a life-long process that evolves and changes as life changes giving us the honor to work with clients for life with the result of our work often extending beyond their lifetime.  Our product is a personalized, individualized experience that is unique to each and every client, often involving other client family members, our devoted team and trusted external partners to get a living financial plan in place.

We are in a business in alignment with our skills and talents and could not imagine a better place to be.  Passion did not lead us here.  Passion is what brings us back each and every day.

Author: Ivey Gaskin Baker, CFP®

Photo: Christopher Burns