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Lifetime Planning Tools to Help Busy Execs Maximize their Time, Resources

Photo of author, David McKinley, CFP®.
David McKinley, CFP®
President and Chief Investment Officer

Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve. – Wilfred Peterson

As you consider the possibilities for your life, do you aspire to the career heights of Time Magazine’s most influential and accomplished people like Brad Smith of Intuit, former President Barack Obama, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, or Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook?

These leaders achieved success in just one generation, dealing with the same human constraints we all face. Their attainment of excellence is largely due to their uncanny ability to focus – to see what is important and to eliminate distractions.

When you think about making your own impact as a corporate executive, political leader, athlete, entrepreneur, or other role, are you committed to attaining the pinnacle of your industry?

With an estimated 85 to 90 years in our lives and 40 to 45 years in our careers, we have a limited amount of time in which to make an impact and achieve a better future for ourselves and our families, our businesses and employees, and our friends and communities. To achieve success, we need to consider how we will invest our time, energy, and other resources to beat overwhelming odds and overcome the limitations that hold so many back from achieving a good life for themselves and those around them.

Regardless of your specific industry, you need to consider the resources, communication, and planning required to fulfill your intentions. With only so many hours in a day, days in a week, and weeks in a year, you must be disciplined, exercising judgment in allocating scarce resources.

To focus my own efforts, I have created a set of tools to guide my decisions and help maximize my achievements within the constraints of time and resources. I use these tools to review and, when necessary, revise my long-term outlook within various spheres of my life – entrepreneurial, political, personal – and to align my thoughts, plans, and metrics. I use them to make assessments of the present situation and to inform decisions and plans of action for the coming month, quarter, and year.


These tools help to keep me focused on what’s important and to minimize the distractions of competing demands on my finite time and resources. While I continue to work to achieve my vision for the future, I find great comfort in knowing that I am operating within an overall plan and have specific measurements of success to monitor my own performance.

Primary among my financial metrics is knowing how much I need to earn, save, and invest each year to be on track to achieve multi-generational financial independence. At some point, we all need to be able answer the simple question, “How much is enough?”

When we can assess that we’re on track, it frees us up to be able to care for other, non-financial concerns. As the adage “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” attests, we need to have interests outside of work. Knowing when we have earned, saved, and invested enough, allows us to reduce the intensity of our work and turn our attention to other activities that help us achieve the good life.

In addition to using these tools to inform my own professional and personal decisions, I use them to assist clients in doing the same. Through a collaborative process, we map out a plan that considers their comprehensive financial situation and minimizes the distractions along the way that may deter them from reaching their goals. In this way, we help clients focus on what they have a burning desire to achieve.


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