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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Pihl

December Newsletter

Happy December! I hope that you are doing well, and are making the most of this year and the many opportunities it has provided for reflection and reinvention. I also hope that you are able to take some time to enjoy the holidays and get rested up. Now, on to your recommendations.

On the personal level, an advisor-friend of mine shared this article, which includes 4 great questions to ask when reflecting on your life. Though originally written for healthcare providers, my friend pointed out that these can be adapted to almost any area of your life, whether financial, marital/relational, spiritual, or professional. Whichever area is on your mind, take some time with a pen and paper to walk through these questions for yourself.

  1. What is your understanding of where you are with your [health/finances/relationship]? Just pick one to focus on at a time.

  2. What are your worries for the future?

  3. What are your hopes and priorities?

  4. What are you willing to sacrifice, and what are you NOT willing to sacrifice?

Next, for those entrepreneurs and business owners among us, I think you'll get a lot of value from John Warrillow's Built to Sell. He argues that the biggest problem for most small business owners is that your business cannot function without your direct, day-to-day involvement. If you (the owner) left, or took a long vacation, your business would grind to a halt. This means you rarely get to unplug from your work to truly enjoy family time, vacation, or an actually restful day off. It also means your business isn't worth as much to a potential buyer. But that doesn't have to be the case. If you are intentional about what you are growing, you can create a business that can thrive without you, and which can one day be sold for a nice chunk of cash. Built to Sell is a fun and easy read, with a powerful concept.

Lastly, I wanted to share this wikipedia article on "Experience Curve Effects", aka "why stuff gets cheaper over time." This is a little technical but I think it is one of the most fascinating and important aspects of capitalism and technological progress. Whether you're dealing with a highly innovative tech company, or just your own business practices, you'll likely see the same fundamental trend. The more you do something, the better you get at doing it.

Many ideas and technologies, when they are first introduced, are unwieldy and expensive. The first Tesla prototype, for instance, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce. But as the company has grown more efficient, it has brought that production cost down substantially. In fact, Elon Musk has recently suggested that Tesla plans to offer a commuter model for under $25 grand.

I found this framework extremely useful when looking at what I do, and where technology is headed.

One more thing: many of my clients benefit from an annual review as we approach year-end. This includes wrapping up 2020 with some tax planning and retirement planning, as well as mapping out the year ahead. We're running a little bit low on time, but if that sounds like something you'd be interested in, please click here to schedule a 20 introduction call, and get started with your own financial plan.


Nicholas Pihl

Pihl Financial Planning

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