I write this while sitting on the lawns of the Lion and Elephant Motel in Zimbabwe, 76km from Beit Bridge. It’s time for the bush, some R&R and the odd Zambezi lager. The trip has been well planned ( I love the planning), in fact, so well that for the last two weeks, the Pajero has been driving around St Francis with a fully loaded roof rack.
One would think that with months of planning routes, accommodation, border crossings etc., everything would be smooth sailing. Still, as we know, stuff happens which can make us doubt our preparation. I have been reminded about this already, just three days into our trip, and the parallels to what happens when we help our clients set up their financial planning is uncanny.
Out of all the navigation apps at our disposal, I decided to use Waze because of how intuitive it is, being able to suggest an alternative route if it picks up a problem in the traffic ahead. We planned to spend Friday evening in Pretoria for an easy drive the next day. The only potential issue was that we would arrive around 4 pm (according to Waze), close to peak traffic time in Gauteng.
As luck would have it, the traffic was worse than expected, so I decided to trust Waze to take us on the best route to our accommodation. What an experience! We drove through some of the dodgiest areas I have ever seen. At some point, we made sure our doors were locked and made sure not to look anyone around us in the eye. From our expectation of driving along the freeway to weaving in and out of streets with broken or NO traffic lights, this was not the experience we had planned.
Despite this, we went where we were told to go by Waze and finally got to our accommodation. We stuck to our plan, and in the end, it worked out.
Financial planning works the same way. We set our long-term goals, plan how to reach them, and then follow the steps to get there. Along the way, we encounter volatile markets and unplanned events, but if we stick to the carefully crafted plan, we will achieve the life we planned to live.
In our work, we find that most people do not even have a plan, let alone one that is flexible and personal to them. This is what we do, helping people with every detail of their life, now and in the future. Make sure they get to where they want to be and enjoy the ride.
The rest of our plan for this trip is to avoid getting eaten or trampled in Gonarezhou.