Putting your best resources to good use is essential. The same principle applies whether you are planning your financial future or training for a triathlon.
For example, if you’re preparing for the latter, you should know that if your swimming skills really need work, they should be a priority for you. Alternatively, if you are strong on the bike, perhaps you should choose to focus a bit more time on an area in which you show more weakness.
Throughout the years, everyone has differing amounts of time, skills, energy and money.
Early on in our lives, or time is not worth much, but we invest that time in an education and it builds our skills. In our youth, most of us have boundless energy. As a result, money really isn’t that important to most of us.
Once our skills and knowledge become valuable, we begin to trade a portion of our skills and energy for money. We can choose to save some of this money, or not, but it is impossible to save time, skills or energy.
You can’t just open a box of carpentry or medical skills one day and use it.
But if you have money, you can save that for later use.
Later in our working career, skills are at their most valuable point, while our energy is usually beginning to wane. Maybe you don’t want to work for another 20 years anymore after you turn 60.
Perhaps you’d rather not work full 8-hour days once you hit retirement age. When you have less time and less energy, your skills should be worth more and you should have saved some money by this point.
At the end of our careers, we hope that we still have plenty of time and energy to enjoy the money we have saved. Most of us have heard the story of a person who has worked their entire career and passes away within days/weeks of retirement.
While there is a small chance that this could happen, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to prepare for retirement. Hopefully, you will live in retirement for decades. This means that you will need plenty of cash to see you through your golden years!
Now let’s return to the triathlon analogy.
Your time, skills, energy, and money are still absolutely applicable while you are developing your training plan. If you have a lot of free time and no strength or stamina on a bike, you should be spending a lot of free time on your bike.
In essence, you are trading a portion of your free time for improvement with your bike skills.
Many of us are constrained by our schedules. As a triathlete, you’re likely even busier than the average person. You need to allocate your time, energy, and money toward bettering your skills as a triathlete.
But how can you put your resources to good use?
One of the most efficient things I can recommend for this purpose is working with a coach. You have lots of options here with coaches, from DIY to outsourcing everything.
Whether you need someone who can be by your side at any time or you simply need a few tips from an experienced professional, you can find something to fit your schedule and meet your specific needs.
You could start by getting a book like the Triathlete Training Bible by Joe Friel. If you are new to triathlons and haven’t read this yet, I strongly suggest picking up a copy.
This will give you an intro into the DIY coaching method, which is a great way to save money without needing to make great sacrifices to your training.
You can also take a more direct approach and hire a personal coach. I will give a shout out here to my personal coach, Jon Klingensmith with Vitality Multisport. He is a tremendous athlete in his own right. He is also a diligent practitioner and is passionate about the sport.
Finally, you might also consider group coaching with a team like Endurance Nation. I also worked with these folks for a while and they do good work as well. Group coaching is a great way to keep your training on track while also mingling with like-minded individuals.
As much as I would like to think I am a competent triathlete, the accountability, infrastructure, and support of a coach is tremendously valuable.
Just like your finances, many of us start out on the DIY path, but if you want help, I strongly recommend you reach out to a competent fee-only financial planner you can trust.
If you could benefit from a financial coach that can help you navigate the triathlon of your financial life, we should talk! Click here to schedule a 30-minute (virtual) conversation to discuss your unique situation, learn more about Waller Financial and determine if we’re a good match.
If you are looking for access to some other fee-only planners, I would also suggest looking at the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and you can find their “Find an Advisor” resource HERE.