“Money Loves Speed”

That’s one of the phrases that my friend and mentor Paul Avins often says. He also shared another insight with me….it’s useful to remember

that speed ≠ haste.

That is, to say, that moving with precision, focus and clarity with the intent to achieve a specific result (speed) is not the same as leaping blindly into an opportunity as quickly as possible hoping to get any result (haste).

Think about it.  When was the last time that you saw a top athlete – let’s say a boxer – win a fight by swinging and punching rapidly in the direction of his opponent? So it can be said (if we stay with the boxing metaphor)that speed and agility are essential.  Additionally, strategy and precision also have their place.

Sun Tzu, the Chinese general who had his strategic insights documented in the book “The Art of War” stated “Know the terrain” and “know your enemy and know yourself”. In other words,

  • study the terrain – so that you are aware of the environment in which you will do battle AND
  • know yourself as well as the habits, strengths and weaknesses of the man/men that you will face. By doing this you have clarity, confidence and respect for the land and people. A leader who does not have a sufficient supply of these qualities increases his (or her) chance of failure. 

As with all things, moderation is the key.  The moment that you think that you have 100% of these qualities then you in danger of failure…… Just remember the story of General George Custer! He led his men to their death primarily because he lacked a the balance of these three qualities which lead to overconfidence, and lack of respect for the land and people that he fought.

I say all of that to say this….

Strategy, planning and systems are essential to individuals, families and organisations alike. The depth and level of the activities may vary but the message is still the same.  If you are aware of the current environment (e.g. the economy or market place) and the strengths and weaknesses of the people (both friend and foe) then you can act quickly to respond to opportunities and threats in a way that is far more efficient, more effective and less stressful that you could have without that essential information.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

How quickly could you respond to an opportunity if it were given to you right now? If you were presented with a great investment opportunity that could give you a five to one return but you had to get hold of a substantial amount of cash (e.g. twice the amount you currently have in liquid cash savings) Would you be able to respond quickly without having to risk your financial future or pay heavy interest on a loan?

Maybe you are a business owner and entrepreneur. If someone was interested in investing £100,000 in your business RIGHT NOW and you had to clearly and accurately convince them in 5 minutes that you would be using the money in THE most impactful way…. could you make the case?  Could you give them a clear idea, strategy and numbers that would justify the investment?  ….Truthfully and with integrity?

People with a clear idea of their personal assets, finances and that have developed trusted relationships are able to respond and take advantage of opportunities like this while others are still scratching their heads.

Take the time today to take inventory of your personal and financial assets. Whatever you may find, you will end up with in a better place because you will have

  • clarity – a factual view of your current status
  • confidence – because at least you know where you are starting from in order to get where you want to be and
  • respect – hopefully for yourself for taking another important step toward a brighter future amongst those who have their assets work FOR them when opportunities arise.

These are the characteristics of the ‘early bird’.  The other birds will have to learn before they earn the best returns.