With the U.S. Open recently crowning its champions, I’ve had tennis on my mind. I imagine that for most people, when they think about the sport of tennis, they’re not thinking about how much in common it shares with financial planning. Maybe at first glance, one might think I’m referring to the financial gains one might benefit from by doing really well and succeeding at each of these disciplines. However, what I’m referring to instead is that in both tennis and financial planning, strong commitment, discipline, and energy are key to reaching your goals, all while having the right strategy in place.
The Importance of a Plan
Guarding Against Unforced Errors
Discipline Is a Key Difference Maker
Finally, in tennis and in our financial lives, we need to continually improve on our strengths and our weaknesses. This takes time, energy, and, most importantly, discipline. For example, if in tennis your serve is your weakest shot, you cannot expect that it is going to significantly improve overnight. It’s a long process that requires a tremendous amount of patience and effort. It’s the same idea with financial disciplines, such as budgeting. If you consider budgeting to be your Achilles’ heel, don’t expect it to become your strength overnight. You will have to work on it, put your best efforts into it, and not get discouraged if it doesn’t become an immediate habit. Use patience and discipline, stay positive, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Respond to both “wins” and “losses” with appreciation and reflectiveness. Engaging in such an approach will increase your likelihood of future achievement and success.
From Player to Coach
Tennis is a lifelong sport—one that I expect to hold as a passion for years to come. Although I no longer play competitively, I’m honored to leverage some of the most important lessons I’ve learned to serve as a financial coach for my clients.
NOTE: The information provided in this article is intended for clients of Carlson Capital Management. We recommend that individuals consult with a professional adviser familiar with their particular situation for advice concerning specific investment, accounting, tax, and legal matters before taking any action.