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Mottos Matter

We quickly fatigue of the cheesy taglines and fluffy aspirational phrases that organizations plaster throughout their mission statements, vision statements, core values, and all over their offices, materials, and websites. I can’t be the only one with “inspiration fatigue,” and I’ve come to believe there’s an inverse relationship between the quantity of those buzzwords and how inspirational the company actually is. However, there is value to short, concise, direct themes that you can build a culture around. Mottos matter.


Within our family, before our oldest daughter was born, my wife and I talked at length about the principles we wanted to instill in our kids. We came up with this family motto: Olsens are Grateful, Kind, Curious, and Strong. We paid special attention to the order of those words. As parents, we stress about what schools our kids will get into, what teams they will make, what career they will pursue, who they will marry, etc., but at the root of it all, we just want them to be happy. My wife and I are convinced that nothing is more responsible for happiness than gratitude, which is why it is the first principles in our family’s motto. Likewise, regardless of if our children conquer the business world or live their life as humble artist, nothing will make us prouder of them than if they are kind. We want them to be curious about the incredible world around them and grow to love learning just for the sake of learning. And finally, we want them to be strong of body, mind, and principle. To stand up for and have capacity to lift those around them (whether literally or metaphorically). Similarly, I have a motto for Olsen Family Financial, in which I tried to capture our ultimate purpose behind every client interaction: Financial Security, Time Freedom, Generational Prosperity.


Financial Security is the greatest gift that money can afford. If you ask someone vacationing on their yacht in the Caribbean, they may disagree with me. If you ask a family who just had their home foreclosed, or a parent who struggles to put food on their table, they will agree with me. I would be willing to bet which one would be more convincing. Financial Security is like oxygen, it goes unnoticed in times of plenty, but as soon as it’s gone, virtually nothing matters more. For this reason, it is at the core of the firm’s philosophy.


In my opinion, Time Freedom is the next greatest asset that money can buy. Your time is one resources, the only one that comes to mind, that once taken, can literally never be reacquired. When I was younger I didn’t value my own time, if someone wanted to waste it or dictate my schedule, I wasn’t too bothered by it. The older I get, I realize how valuable it is. That’s why we focus on Financial Independence and the principle that you can, through aggressively saving, investing, and following a financial plan, one day create a portfolio of assets to replace your earned income and provide you the time freedom that so many will never achieve.


Finally, Generational Prosperity. For some people, material things make them happy, for others, it’s experiences that bring them joy. Personally, I kind of like both, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either. Prosperity can be a comfortable and exciting way to live life. I’ve heard that once you try heli-skiing, it’s hard to go back. I’d like to test that claim. And I just bought a new pair of skis last winter that will make me very happy. But, I don’t want my financial security, time freedom and prosperity to end with me, I’d like all of my future generations to enjoy it as well. That’s the same goal I have for my clients.


In closing, I’d like to challenge you to come up with your own motto. What drives you? Why are you choosing to work with Olsen Family Financial? And how can we relentlessly pursue Financial Security, Time Freedom, and Generational Prosperity for your life?

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