Sometimes we use teams.
In certain circumstances, it is common for people to surround themselves with a team of professionals. When building a house, for example, it seems perfectly normal to assemble a team consisting of a carpenter, an electrician, a flooring specialist, a painter, a plumber, and maybe others. It is also common for people to have someone, a General Contractor in that example, leading the team. Someone who makes sure the team members are neither duplicating each other’s efforts nor leaving tasks out. Another example would be an orchestra, where there is a team of musicians and a conductor leading the team.

Sometimes we don’t.
Yet, in other circumstances, we resist the idea of a team. For some reason, we think that a team is not only unnecessary, but somehow indicative of weakness on our part. This often happens in situations where we believe, rightly or wrongly, that we “know how to do that” by ourselves. As a longtime homeowner, I can personally attest to this phenomenon. Many times, I undertook a repair or replacement project, believing that I did not “need” to hire professionals to help me. Sometimes I completed the project quite satisfactorily, other times the result was less than stellar, and there were even times (more than I would like to admit) where I ended up calling in professionals (with my head hung low and my tail embarrassingly between my legs) to fix the disaster I created. I’m sure you can think of similar events in your own history.

Has this ever happened to you?
If I’m completely honest with myself, the sense of accomplishment I did get by doing some of those projects myself frequently came at the expense of valuable time that I could have spent doing something else. That broken pipe in the wall that I replaced, and the resulting hole in the wall that I patched and then painted, took me two weekends, whereas a professional plumber, dry-waller and painter could have been done in about two hours and I could have spent those two weekends fishing.
Don’t get me wrong— I’m not saying that we should all outsource everything in life to outside professionals. What I’m suggesting is that the criteria we use to decide which tasks to do ourselves should NOT only be “I know how to do that”. Instead, let’s look at how Olympic athletes make this decision.

How to decide?
Olympic athletes use the term “entourage” to include their coaches, managers, agents, physical trainers, etc.1  Do you think those world-class athletes don’t know how to work out by themselves, choose good food, get a good night’s sleep, and get stronger and faster on their own? Of course they do. They choose to surround themselves with an organized team of professionals because that’s how you get from “good” to “great”.

But I’m not an Olympic athlete.
The same concept holds true for your personal finances. People that want significant changes may benefit from the expertise, game-planning, motivation, and accountability that having a team of professionals (accountant, estate attorney, wealth advisor, etc.) can provide. Also, don’t forget that all-important team leader or “coach” who can coordinate the efforts of your team members. Without a coach, your team may unwittingly recommend steps that negatively affect other parts of your financial life. Sometimes your team members may make inaccurate assumptions about what other team members are or aren’t handling, which can result in steps being missed or being done twice. Neither is in your best interest.

So, if you want to make positive changes in the way your finances are being handled, remember those Olympic athletes and get yourself an entourage and a coach! Trilogy can lead your team with our DecisionCenter and DecisionCoach services. With DecisionCoach, we’ll start by consolidating all of your financial information into one easy location, including information from your other financial team players. Then, we’ll meet regularly to help you make informed decisions about your financial future. The progress you could make toward your financial goals would be motivating and easy to see. Those are both in your best interest!

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