The secret to achieving our goals is often described in terms of a journey.
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there has become an organizational mantra. We’re constantly reminding our teams that we can’t reach our destination without creating (and following) an accurate “road map” for the journey – a detailed plan for getting from here to there that sets out strategy, tactics, and mileposts on the way to our destination.
But even with the most specific destinations and maps, it’s still possible to get lost on the road to success. As we move forward, head-down, focused on the next step, we can lose sight of our true purpose, and the beauty and rewards that come with achieving our goals while honoring that purpose.
Creating a North Star statement is one way to help keep our eyes on the real prize as we move towards our ever-changing business and professional goals. An effective North Star statement is a short, clear declaration of the organization’s reason for being. Unlike a mission statement, a North Star doesn’t go into the whys and hows of the organization’s work. The North Star is more powerful because of that omission.
The North Star Statement at my Investment Advisory firm, Capital Investment Advisors, is “Helping families find happiness in retirement.” Those six words keep our team and me focused on exactly why we walk in the door every day.
The words in our North Star Statement were chosen to be super purposeful:
Families – We don’t just serve clients. We serve individuals’ families. We want them to have peace of mind while working and saving for retirement that they are on track to enjoy life with their families. We want retirees to have the contentment that comes from knowing that they are going to be financially secure throughout their retirement, so they can enjoy everything from sleepovers with their grandchildren to taking the family on a Disney cruise without worry or stress.
Our CIA team is also family. We take our culture seriously. I love every one of my fellow team members as a brother and sister. We care for each other. We are there for each other when we celebrate and when we need a hug. This means a great deal to us at CIA. We also want each of us to succeed at work and earn a living where we can each find happiness in retirement.
We encourage a work-hard-go-home mentality at CIA. If we are not leading lives that we are proud of outside of the office, we certainly will not be our best selves at work. We want every team member to be able to take care of sick kids, eat dinner with their families and find balance in life.
Happiness – Happiness is a code word at CIA. My partner, Wes Moss, wrote You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think, a book which explains what makes a “Happy Retiree.” We can identify those traits because we are lucky to work with lots of really nice families who seem to be the happiest people in the world.
Happiness is our dream for every client. We strive to help them achieve the peace of mind of being able to retire easily, do what they want, and be financially secure.
Retirement – In the end, this is what we do and why we do it. We are helping families find their way to retirement or live their best life during that potentially wonderful season of life. We specialize in income investing for retirees and income management/savings for those that are aiming for it.
That’s our North Star, our guiding light. What’s yours?