How about it, Ref?

In sports, we play the game by following the rules, putting points on the board, and playing good defense. But sometimes there is a breakdown. There is cause to halt the game. Someone stepped out of bounds or got hurt. When this happens, we are used to hearing the referee blow the whistle.

In life, it is easy to go about our days dealing with our people, working, making money: putting points on the board. We go through life as just another player on the court. But where is the ref?

Without the whistle, opposing teams turn into enemies. Without the whistle, the game devolves into a street fight. Without the whistle, all but the most jaded get burned out.

In life, invariably someone steps out of line, or gets hurt. Inconveniently, this happens when we are working toward an objective: get out the door, make the sale, finish the project. You have a choice. You can continue to be just another player. You can ignore the problems, allow them to fester, forestall the consequences

Or, you can do what is necessary to finish the day, dedicating time at the end to talk it through. This is not just about asking questions. (How did that make you feel?) It is about making a call. Someone committed a foul? They need to know that! Someone stepped out of bounds? If you don’t tell them, who will?

Sometimes you are not the leader. If you don’t have power to convene a meeting, do what is necessary to convince those who do that if this continues unchecked, both the team and the game will suffer. If you are a leader, allow followers to give feedback and prove to them that you value them by taking it to heart.

Are your objectives in life more important to you than your relationships? Are your relationships more important? You must decide, because out of that answer comes the way you handle breakdowns.

For my money, be a ref, not just a player.

How does this occur to you?

When I talk to friends and family about being an Investor Coach, they often ask what that means. My short answer is that behavior affects returns. They often follow up by asking what that means.

Investing behavior is the result of three things: your perceptions, your instincts, and your emotions. A longer answer is that you take investing action based on your interpretations of what you observe, your reactions to those observations, and the way you feel about those observations and those reactions. Your investing actions can differ greatly based on history (other people’s investing and your own), your character, personality, fears, and hopes. All of this sits on the foundation of how the world occurs to you and how you occur to yourself.

Ironically, I do not need to take note of any of that information in order to coach you. Most of it is very personal, and all of it is unique to you as an individual. What I do as a coach is to cause you to be uncomfortable with your life as you are living it now—not in a covetous way (comparing your possessions, relationships, etc.), but in a grateful way (making the best of your life). I cause you to think that there is a better way to live the life you have been given.

I do that by teaching you to unearth those places in your life that cause you pain: your past mistakes, other’s reactions to those mistakes, ongoing struggles, broken relationships. Once you do, you can change the way the world occurs to you and the way you occur to yourself. Then, and only then, your behavior begins to change. In the right context, it changes to your advantage.

I only know this because I have been through it before. I have been coached. And my life will never be the same. All it takes is an investor who is coachable.

Market returns wait for no one. Are you ready?

Coaching happens here.

Simon Joshua is a licensed investment advisor representative at Cornerstone Wealth Partners in Michigan. He has structured his practice around investor coaching and committed himself to leading communities in establishing a legacy of fulfillment.