The Waiting Place

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What are you waiting for?

In Dr. Seuss’ Oh! The Places You’ll Go! he aptly describes the frustration of what he names The Waiting Place. Any time I feel stuck, jaded or impatient for what’s next, I re-read this insightful children’s book (I question whether it really is for children or, rather, for adults when we need a refresher on the exciting adventures life brings). I find comfort in the words that remind me that sometimes life includes transition stages that frankly can be boring.

Maybe you have to work for someone else a bit longer than you want to save enough cash to spin off on your own. Maybe you’re a few months into your new practice and you wish you were growing faster. Maybe you still have a year of CFP® certificant–qualifying experience to be allowed to use your letters. Maybe you want to move out of your home and into an office but haven’t found the right spot yet.

The Challenge and the Errors
The challenge comes in knowing when you’ve waited long enough and it’s time to charge forward. The error often is either (1) you are waiting for “the perfect time,” or (2) you waste the time while you wait.

For No. 1, you think, “If I plan and prepare perfectly then I will avoid failure.” Usually preparing 75 to 80 percent will get you where you need to be to take the leap. This way, you give yourself room to adapt as you view the reality of your next phase. Yes, have a plan; but know there is no time that is 100 pecent perfect to act. The longer you wait the more you fall victim to inertia. And that won’t help you create what you want.

The second error comes about as you get anxious or mad about the waiting. You focus more on what you don’t have and what you have to deal with in the present rather than draw energy from your future vision.

If you need more cash accumulated before you can go independent, then use the time in between to research technology, set up your firm, find outlets to reach your target audience, expand your competency, or get to know more professionals. Draft your first 10 blog posts you will use when you “go live.” As you can see, the options are endless.

Before you know it, you’ll be on your way out of The Waiting Place, and you’ll realize in hindsight it was a necessary respite.

How do you inspire yourself when you have to “wait” for your next stage? What’s stopping you from leaving The Waiting Place?

Kristin Harad 2014Kristin Harad, CFP®
Marketing trainer for advisers
San Francisco, CA

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