Podcast Transcript

Katie:

You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals that they are written down, and you are 76% more likely to achieve those goals. If you write action commitments and share weekly progress reports, imagine that.

(SOURCE: Gail Matthews, Dominican University, 2015)

 

Hello and welcome to the Imagine That Podcast. I’m your host, Greg Weimer, founder, partner, and wealth manager at Confluence Financial Partners. Each month we’ll explore new ways to help you maximize your life and your legacy and meet some extraordinary people along the way. So if you’re looking to get more out of your life today and legacy tomorrow, let’s get started.

 

Hello everybody, This is Katie Montagazzi here at Confluence. I’m the director of marketing and communication. Today, I have the privilege of having a conversation with Greg, who’s usually the host of the podcast. We’re flipping seats. Today I have the privilege of sitting in the room for all the podcast recordings and over the few, over the past three years we’ve been doing this. It’s been very obvious to me that Greg is a great podcast guest. So I’m taking the role of host today. Greg is a guest, if you will. And we’re going to talk about becoming the architect of your future. So this is a phrase that we’ve thrown, not thrown around, we use in internally here at Confluence. And it’s essentially the framework we use for, we’ll say, dreaming, understanding your why in creating, in, you know, five-year goals, one-year goals, quarterly goals, daily initiatives, and how that drills down into every single day what you do.

 

So Greg is a great example of somebody who uses this framework very well. So we’re going to walk through what it is, how to use it. And then I know Greg has some real-life examples of how he’s done this over his career.

 

So welcome Greg. Hey, that <laugh>, that sounds so weird. The becoming an architect, becoming the architect of your future. This is sort of the framework that we’ve been using internally for associates to plan both professionally and personally. I guess to start off, do you want to walk through the actual framework?

 

Greg:

Everybody wants to do goal setting, like, hey, okay, I’m a goal setter, but, but you have to ask like, why is it important? Like, you have to go back and say, and, and I’m sure there’s a gazillion of them, but there’s a couple moments in my life when I realized then, you know, one wasn’t that long ago, maybe a year or two ago, year ago maybe I was on social media and there’s this guy, Gary V and there was a woman that came running up to him in a cab and said like, Hey, gimme some of the greatest advice you can give me. And he looked at her and said, You’re gonna die. And we all know that, but I think when you start, and I don’t want to start it low, but, but I find it motivating. Like, because you, you have to allow it to motivate you.

 

You’re gonna die. And so that just helps you with the concept of life short. And you know, at my age, do I have 25 more Christmases with my kids? I don’t know. But I know if I only have 25, I’m gonna make sure every one of ’em is sort of special. So I think about, you know, how many days I this weekend, it’s so pathetic. I was calculating if I live like 20 more years, how many days I have in my life and what. So, so you start with that motivation of life is short. And there’s cert, there’s certain things that I feel like there’s certain things that are so true, but we, we just say so often we don’t really hear. And one of them’s like, grandchildren are the best. And I’m gonna tell you grandchildren are the best, but, but two is life is short.

And I think when you really understand that, that gives you a different motivation to make sure you maximize it. That gives you a different motivation to make sure you’re living your intentional life.

 

Katie:

You always say, and I think everybody can agree, a lot of people are really good at dreaming about someday, you know, someday I’m going to do X, someday I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that.

 

Greg:

Gonna, they’re gonna.

 

Katie:

 

I’m gonna, they’re gonna, and then, so that’s cool. I like to dream.

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Katie:

And then there are folks that do daily tasks really well, but those daily tasks are just tasks.

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Katie:

If they’re not really connected to your dreaming about someday, you’re gonna have some issues, and in 20 years—

 

Greg:

Groundhog Day, they’re just doing Groundhog Day.

 

Katie:

And you wonder how you end up where you are. This framework does a really good job of connecting the dreaming with the daily tasks and everything in between. Can you share with us, back in your career, I think it was American Funds, you had this manifesto—

 

Greg:

I wanted to fundamentally change the way people thought about investing their money in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia. And if I did, so if I did that appropriately, I would help people retire without worry and become educated without limit.

 

Katie:

So that was your dream.

 

Greg:

I mean, I that yeah, that’s been a long time and we had not planned this. And it’s there. It’s, it was my passion.

 

Katie:

Yeah. So I just wanted to note or put into perspective, you have done that really well. Like I think in your career at American Funds, in your career here at Confluence, you’ve done that really well and you do it every day. And—

 

Greg:

I don’t know if we become lazy or more precise, but now at Confluence, it’s real simple. We wanna help people maximize their lives and legacies, I mean, right? I mean, that’s what we wanna do. Yep. And so we’ve a little more precise than that long paragraph I wrote, so, you know, back in the day.

 

Katie:

Yeah. I thought it was, I thought it was good though. <Laugh>. Yeah. So finding your why, so that was your why back then.

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Katie:

Finding your why now, how, maybe share a little bit of your why even though it can change, but—

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Katie:

—most of the times it’s the same thing. And then maybe Confluence our why.

 

Greg:

Like, it’s sort of the same because — it’s all the same. Like I don’t really have Confluence and my life, it’s just — I may have told this story on a different podcast, but my wife and I were in Turks and Caicos and a really cool dude, like 80 years old with a bandana that was really successful. We were one of those huts on the bar at a bar having a drink. And, and he said to me, son, he said it, it’s all about figuring out what you’re all about is all about. And that really caused me to think about what I’m all about. And it’s changed over the years. You know, you, you just get a different vision and you get something that motivates you and you and, and you and you probably get a burst of precision. So I thought, you know, I wanna be an impact.

 

I wanna be an impact in people’s lives. Like, I, I wanna be, you know, like, like there’s hock— we’ve been blessed in Pittsburgh with great hockey players, whether it’s Lemieux or Crosby, and they make everyone around them better. And I don’t want that to sound arrogant. I really want to be that person that makes everyone around me better. And, and, and I, and I want, I want their lives to be better. And in Confluence, I think that can mean, you know, help people literally maximize their life and the portfolio should support their very best life. And they’re going to have a legacy. They might as well design it and be the architect of it. So let’s have ‘em let— And by the way, part of your, part of your legacy is, is exists while you’re alive. You’re creating it, you’re creating it in moments. So yeah.

 

So it’s really about making an impact and helping people maximize their lives and legacies. And when you can get— And, and by the way, I really, I really force myself to be, to be vivid in what that looks like in 10 or 20 or 30 or 40, 50 years. Because the more specific I get and what it looks like, the more passion and motivation I have about creating it. So, so, so I, I was listening to some stuff over the weekend. I realize I probably could get a little clearer on that. Like, what does that mean in, in 50 years I won’t be here. But you never know. So yeah, so it’s, it’s, it, it, it’s, you just, you get that vision of the future then you just keep working on, on making it better and crystallizing it.

 

Katie:

I will mention when we talk about your why and dreaming you all like, it’s you, you will say, but you will fight and get bloody for your dreams.

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Katie:

You won’t do that for your goals. Yeah. So the passion and the emotion you just shared in that little two- minute rant, you just said like, that is super important.

 

Greg:

There’s a sports psychologist, Bob Rotella, he does a lot of the pro golfers and and I, I heard him speak. We were at Pebble Beach and so Bob Rotella came out to speak with us which was sort cool. And he said, Martin Luther King said, I have a dream. He didn’t say I have a goal. So you will get bloody, you will fight, you will have motivate, you will be motivated, you will be inspired to meet your dream. A goal, you’ll, you’ll work at it. Goals are good, dreams are better.

 

Katie:

Yeah. So finding your why dreaming, it needs to be emotional and really get you fired up inside, which is very obvious. You’ve, you’ve done that. Okay. So you have this massive dream, you have this idea that you want for your life, for your family over your lifetime. How do you filter that down to we go down to five year?

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Katie:

That actually seems like it goes from really big to really small, really quickly, but we always say, what does great look like in five years?

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Katie:

So how do you think about taking that big dream, putting it down into five-year increments?

 

Greg:

Well, the reason it’s five years is because 20 felt long. I started with my, my my 20-year goal. So I really started, I think I, I think I was, if you don’t have “beach it” time, you gotta have “beach it” time. And I don’t know where your “beach it” time—

 

Katie:

What’s “beach it” time?

 

Greg:

“Beach it” time is like it when we go away. I have a, I have a little picture in our house in Naples that says, you know, my other office. And it, and it’s a, it’s a, it’s a chair on the beach and, and you need dream time. So I had “beach it” time and at a family vacation in Hilton Head. And I sat there and I thought about, okay, so what do I want the next 20 years to be like and what do I need to do like, you know, daily to make that happen? Which is cool. And I still do that, but, but for a lot of people thinking about 20 years is like way too. Like it’s just, it’s just like too much. So you should have that. But then what we really do personally and professionally in Confluence is we say, Okay, five years, you start with the end.

 

You don’t take your current whatever and multiply times whatever. You say like, okay, for me to like kill it, for me to be like high fiving in five years, like what, what is my, what do I need to look like? What is it? It could be your health, it could be your wealth, it could be what, it could be whatever that is what has to happen in five years for it to be awesome. And so you have to have quantitative, qualitative. And so we put together our five-year goal and say, okay, in five years, I think, I think all of Confluence knows what our five-year goals, I hope. But we have a pretty specific, here’s what we want to be in five years. And, and I and our clients will benefit from that and our associates will benefit from that. But, but we’re pretty precise on where we want to be in five years from service, et cetera.

 

Katie:

I think this is a good point. A good time to bring up the art of pivoting. Oh yeah. That’s a, I don’t— a buzzword that you use a word that you like.

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Katie:

A theme. When we set five-year goals, once you identify those five-year goals, it’s probably, it probably behooves you that you need to pivot. You have to pivot. If you want to accomplish things, you have to understand that you have to, there’s different seasons of life in between those seasons is pivoting.

 

Greg:

Life happens and things happen. A great running back, you know, a great running back can pivot and go in a different direction if they have to, to find the open space so they can score. And you have to be able to pivot. You have to be able to change speeds. And I think if you’re gonna lead a business or if you’re gonna be successful, you have to know when to pivot and, and in, at Confluence I think we pivot pretty well. And I think we change speeds pretty well. You know, I mean hopefully by the time people are listening to this, the down market is over. But my guess is it may not be. And we’re pivoting. I mean, we are, we are really thinking through our — we’re thinking through everything. And making sure that we’re doing everything humanly possible to communicate well and invest well for our clients. You gotta pivot.

 

Katie:

You have your, your dream, five-year goal. Now we’re talking about annual initiatives, annual goals. At Confluence, I’m thinking about our five-year plans and me being marketing, understanding what my one-year initiative needs to be over the next — well we haven’t drilled down into quarters even right now. But annual

 

goals, how, if you give some advice on how to take the five-year goal and then understand each year what do I need to do?

 

Greg:

Yeah. So you have to like take that, that that five-year big vision and you say, Okay, so what does that mean mathematically has to happen? What does that mean, like initiative-wise has, has to happen? Listen, I’d like to do all of the— I’d like to my— I don’t like— I’d love to take the whole five years and put it in the next quarter. And people try to do that and they get nothing done. So you say, Okay, these are, these are all important, but when you build a house and you’re the architect of your future, you, you build certain foundations so then you can ultimately do the decorating.

 

 

 

 

 

So what we do then is we, we take the five years, we break it up into annual into the, the, into the individual specific years. And then we put the big rocks that we have to accomplish and every year to get to the five- year vision. So and, and then by the way, in the next, the ones that are going to happen in the next year, like fourth quarter, good news, and I, I know this may be over already, but in this quarter, I think we have all of our rocks pretty well met. And it, it, so I think we’re good. But, but we, but we put together our rocks and so then if if it’s in, if it’s over the next year, we will, we will then break it down quarterly. And so, okay, so in the next year we can’t do all of ’em in the first quarter like we want. What do we have to do quarter by quarter when you’re one year out? So, so we’re taking our, our what’s it all about? all about.We’re saying what does five years look like? So we’re on that trajectory and what do we need to get done annually to get to five years? So we’re matching our activity with our vision.

 

Katie:

This seems like it’s like Pandora’s box, but annually goes down to quarterly—

 

Greg:

No, no, you know those little dolls they open up, keeps getting—

 

Katie:

Right, exactly.

 

Greg:

 

Well it is like that.

 

Katie:

I dunno what that’s called.

 

Greg:

I don’t either, but it, but it’s what it is.

 

Katie:

Yes, yes. So quarterly initiatives. So I will, so obviously when you identify the annual goals, initiatives you need to accomplish that are like, just need done, it’s a, it’s a fact of life. Quarterly, quarterly accelerators is what we call them here at Confluence.

 

Greg:

If you pivot, you gotta start to accelerate?

 

Katie:

Right, yeah. So they’re—

 

Greg:

Or it’s a stop.

 

Katie:

Right there are goals, but you’re accelerating into the quarter.

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Katie:

So for example, and I’ve never done this, but a lot of people like have a word of the year.

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Katie:

 

Type thing. That might be like the theme of the year.

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Katie:

But we have for, when we’re recording this now, it’s the fourth quarter of 2022. And we think it’s really important for us to engage with our clients and our network and our friends and whoever because the market’s not great right now. We can all agree if hopefully this’s not the case when this podcast comes out, but who knows. But our word is engage. So that word triggers in our heads how we are going to accelerate in the fourth quarter and help our clients get through this time. We don’t always have a word, but that’s the word for the quarter.

 

Greg:

And that’s engage.

 

Katie:

That word informs all of us at the Confluence, whether it be the advisor level, associate level—

 

Greg:

Feel like I need to go into the engage—

 

Katie:

Right.

 

Greg:

Engage Maverick.

 

Katie:

That’s a good example. Okay, we won’t do that. But anyway, that word really helps us understand—

 

Greg:

We do that internally, right? Engage Maverick. It’s time to engage.

 

Katie:

 

Yes. It’s time to engage. So as a team, that word to us for the team means something for everybody differently in, in the team, but the whole theme of the quarter is engage. So I don’t know if that’s helpful for on a personal level, if you’re listening to this and you’re not a part of Confluence internally, but—

 

Greg:

By the way, we wanna, we wanna have a thousand engagements. And that’s the, this quarter. So then we will, we’ll engage. And then we all be at Nemacolin celebrating in, I think it’s, I forget when it is, April. April or something like that.

 

Katie:

Yep.

 

Greg:

We’re gonna take all of our associates, all of them and their spouses are significant others to Nemacolin to celebrate that we engaged. And we’re gonna celebrate the fact that hopefully those engagements helped a bunch of investors.

 

Katie:

That’s right. What are quarterly accelerators?

 

Greg:

Yes. What are the three things that I really need to change, accelerate, pivot this quarter? I think if you get 4, 5, 6 sevens too many, what are the three things you really need to get done this quarter? It’s not your normal activity. That’s a change. It’s an acceleration of something or something you’re doing different. What’s your, what’s your three things that you need to get done that, that are really gonna be game changers in your life, your career or business, whatever that is. So everybody has three of those that are by the way, in line with your annual goals. So it’s all, it’s like, you know, you can see how it’s that thing, right? So it goes to your quarterly goal. So what you’re doing is you’re taking your five-year goal, you’re looking at it, you’re looking at your year and you’re saying, Okay, I get it. Now what do I need to do in this, this quarter for the end of the quarter for me to make significant headway on that five-year goal?

 

Katie:

And if you do that four times a year?

 

Greg:

 

Magic.

 

Katie:

Magic. Three things you’re doing this quarter, how do you filter that down into your daily activities.

 

Greg:

Yeah. So own your calendar. Like if people are like, it amazes me, people don’t own their calendar and they just let it happen. Your calendar, and if you think about it, it’s true. Your calendar is your life. And a day is part of that calendar. And it amazes me how many people are not intentional about what they do that day. And it could be a date with your spouse, it could be something business oriented. But we encourage people to really come to the office and enter the day with intention. And that means that you should be doing things that are in line with your quarterly, five-year and what’s it all about. Now we all have to go to the grocery store. And I understand that’s not like, you know what, like what you’re all about. But we all have time to make sure we plan the day.

 

So, so I put on my daily goals every day I write my things, I need to do my tasks across the top every day. I put I put my three goals. So my three accelerators, every day are across the top, so they’re top of mind. I put some things I’m measuring there, every day, certain amount of things I want to get accomplished, they’re there. And then I think the most important is the N.M.W. My “no matter what.” My “no matter what” is the one thing I need to get done that day, that if I only did one thing, it would, it would put me on the trajectory of my five-year goal or the firm’s five-year goal. So by the way, if you do your most important thing, if you just did that one thing, the most important thing every day. If you’re working on spiritual, maybe it’s reading the Bible, whatever your thing is, and it can be different every day.

 

Mine is different virtually every day. If not, it’s just the normal stuff. But you know, you put your “no matter what,” but if you, but if you, if you really, really think about where you wanna be and you realize life is short and you realize you’re gonna die. And so you really realize that when you look out 20, 30, 40 years, that you’re gonna look back and when you look back, how are you gonna be remembered? What did you do? Did you make an impact? Did you live your dream? And then you have, okay, so what do I need to do to get on the right way? Go in the right direction in the next five years? And then when you break that down from five years to your “no matter what,” you have a way better chance of getting to the end and feel like, you know, you, you did your very best, you did life. It didn’t do you.

 

Katie:

 

So listening to you go through that framework again, I think it’s, somebody might be listening this might say, Wow, he sounds really obsessed with goal planning—

 

Greg:

He is.

 

Katie:

No, he is, I can attest that, but that kind of reverts back to when I said the beginning, the sports psychologist, Martin Luther King said, I have a dream, not a goal. You’ll get bloody, you’ll sweat, you’ll get your uniform dirty for a dream. So being obsessed is part of that. You have to be obsessed.

 

Greg:

Yeah, and it’s, you know, we talk about all the time in Confluence, I I probably mentioned on a lot of podcasts. I mean, we don’t work and we don’t play, we just live. So I’m also obsessed at enjoying getting a break and being in Naples. Now, do I still think about work? Yeah, I love it. I mean, I love it. But part of my goal was to have a place in Naples so I can share Thanksgiving with my entire family this year in Naples. So it’s not just, you know, growth of a business or proving our experience in the business. It’s, it’s also, I, I mean the house in Naples, for me, was about sitting around the table at Thanksgiving by the pool, enjoying time with my children and grandchildren. So it’s not just an obsession with the five-year business goal. It’s just really trying every day, you know, to, to understand I’m gonna die.

 

Katie:

Thanks for sharing all that. Not only we do this internally at Confluence, but we help clients understand the importance of life is short, you’re going to die, let’s help you plan, you know, a plan that maximize your life and legacy. We would love to help anyone listening, our clients, community, friends, network. We really live by this. We think we’re good at it, but we’ll always get better. We’re not, we haven’t really figured it out.

 

Greg:

Yeah, so I it’s for clients, listen, it’s like, I don’t wanna go in there, we’re gonna have to dream about 20 years and like everybody, like, Lighten up Frances, like that movie Stripes. No. You know, everybody thinks about it differently and, and, and like fly fishing, we, we can match the hatch. I think, I think the most difficult part of our job, and yet the most rewarding is when you can see a client light up. And when you can really, you know, talk to client about what the money’s about and what their portfolio is about and what, what their life’s about — without, you know, we’re not, we’re not overdoing it, but you know, you really say, Yeah, I’ve

 

worked hard. This is what I, or I this is, I wanna work hard. This is what I wanna accomplish. You can see it in their face.

 

Like when you can see, when I wanna educate my children, I wanna change this charity. I want to like I wanna be able to retire and have freedom. Like I, you know, whatever. I I remember my mom when she lit up, she said she wanted to retire cuz she wanted to be able to get up in the morning and have a cup of coffee and not rush outta the house. And I remember that moment. I haven’t thought about it for a while, but I remember that moment. And when you can see that in someone’s face, it’s pretty special. And in our firm, we have the ability to see that in people’s face and help ’em accomplish it.

 

Katie:

You’ve said before it’s a really, really good meeting if a client laughs and cries.

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Katie:

Within the same meeting. So thank you Greg.

 

Greg:

We will not make you cry No

 

Katie:

<Laugh>. Unless you really want to. If you get the, you know, the emotions rolling. But yeah. Thank you, Greg. This was, I think this is helpful for listeners. It’s always helpful to have a conversation with you, so thank you and thanks for being my guest.

 

Greg:

Hey, thanks. I enjoyed it <laugh>.

 

Thank you for listening to the Imagine That Podcast. We hope you enjoyed this episode and welcome you to reach out to Confluence Financial Partners with your questions and comments. If you’d like to hear more episodes, head over to confluencefp.com/podcasts or find us wherever you get your podcasts.

Join Confluence Financial Partners CEO, Greg Weimer, along with Confluence Director of Marketing and Communication, Katie Montagazzi, CFP®, for an inspiring conversation on goal planning and the importance of living an intentional life. In this episode, Greg will share his strategies for becoming the “architect of your future” and how to develop the ability to turn “someday” into “today.” For individuals and business owners who would like to build discipline and focus in aligning your day-to-day activities with your long-term goals, this is an episode that can help you get there.

Subscribe for the Latest Podcasts

  • Apple
  • Spotify