This is Garret… he is my youngest child and will be 5 years old at the end of July. The picture is a few years old but has tremendous relevance because I am in the process of trying to teach him how to ride his bike without training wheels.
Last night he decided that he wanted to give it another shot. I broke out my wrench, removed the training wheels, put his helmet on (him not me) and we slowly walked out into the cul-de-sac. We began to devise our plan of attack on the obstacle in front of us–the open road with no training wheels.
I carefully explained to him the importance of positioning and continuing to peddle but also focusing on his balance. He understood completely. So, I stood behind him with my hands on his shoulders (for safety) and he peddled, wobbly up the road. After he got (or I thought he got) comfortable, I slowly started to remove my hands and give him the freedom to navigate the open road on his own. When I would let go, the balance wasn’t as strong and he would begin to fall to one side. Naturally, the little fella got scared. “Daddy, I don’t want to fall–it will hurt”. I said, “Garret, I promise I will not let you fall–I will not let you get hurt”. That reassurance was good enough for him so we continued on with the exercise for awhile with the same results. Eventually he had enough for one day and we played basketball instead.
What was interesting to me about this whole experience though was how I was also able to relate this situation to our practice. You see, our clients have a fears. They fear inflation and reduction in their purchasing power. They fear the stock market because of volatility and their dollars potentially “falling”. They fear not being “positioned” adequately or having “balance”. They fear outliving their money. There are number of different fears that our clients share, but you get the point.
What we tell our clients and prospective clients is something very similar to what I told Garret last night. “I promise, I will not let you fall–I will not let you get hurt”.
The choice is yours–you can leave the training wheels on or take them off. Either way you will have a great ride full of opportunity and you will NEVER fall!!
Have a great day!