I was in a lovely bookstore a few weeks ago browsing through the kids section…. because books with awesome pictures are the best books. #fact

And I stumbled across a book about things that were under the sea. Every page had a theme of underwater things, and one of them was about submarines.

It was awesome. It showed the entire evolution of the submarine from enclosed bathtub with oars to the peak of modern US nuclear technology.

And it got me thinking about the way we progress through things.

How Would You Start to Build a Submarine?

The picture that would be immediately in my head was a modern sub…. or at least the most modern one I’ve seen in a movie.

But I can’t build that.

I have no freaking clue how to even start that process.

And so, if push came to shove… I might start come to the same conclusion as some of the early sub inventors.

Enclosed space. Leak proof. Some sort of viewing apparatus. Oxygen present.

It would most likely be an absolute disaster, a Pinterest fail to be sure (are their pictures of homemade subs on Pinterest?…I’ll have to check that out).

But I can tell you… if I managed to make something that functioned as a sub, even just for 30 seconds… I would be insanely proud.

Turns Out Step One of a Process is Usually a Bit of a Mess

When we’re trying to figure out how to do something, we don’t get to skip to end.

Usually what we come up with first, is pretty shitty…. even if it kind of works.

It’s true in subs. It’s true in business. And it’s definitely true in finance.

That’s what I tell clients all the time as they start their first budgets. That this is going to seem like an absolute mess for awhile. That they’ll probably restart this process a bunch of times before they figure out ways that work. And then… when they find something that works… their life will change and they’ll have to pivot again.

Everyone wants to skip ahead to a process that works right away.

That’s what I want too.

But it doesn’t work like that… at least I don’t think so.

The ‘personal’ part of personal finance will always mean there’s a messy process to go through. It will always mean that you don’t get to copy and paste someone else’s design.

it’s going to be a bit of mess… and so we all need to be a little okay with that.

You Are Unique, But There’s so Much We Can Learn From Each Other

I come from a long and proud line of independent and stubborn operators. It started in the farming world, and it’s expanded into the artistic community.

We like to do things our own way.

And so often the idea of making our own process is a satisfying one. You might even be okay with it being messy… as long as it’s YOUR mess. But there’s a danger in that too.

That’s why I’m here to warn you about being too isolated in ‘figuring it out’.

I don’t want you rowing around in your bathtub submarine screaming about how it’s way better than the modern US model.

You get to build your own financial submarine… but there’s a ton that we can learn from each other, even if our lives are really different.

That’s why conversation is so key to this process.

Talking to people about how you’re figuring out the problem of your money. How you’re solving things, how they’re solving things, what works and what doesn’t.

In the latest episode of Because Money (a lovely podcast that I do with some friends) we talk about this very thing – why talking about money is so damn important.

If you’re interested in sitting in on that conversation, it’s in the video below.

Talk and be patient

Becoming a master at your finances takes time, and it’s an ever evolving process.

Sometimes I’m okay with that, sometimes I’m not.

But we all have to work at accepting that fact because it’s really not going anywhere.

And in the meantime… let’s talk to each other way more about what we’re doing. If you want to chat with me, check out my regular OFFICE HOURS.

I’m going to go do some submarine drawings… I mean… spreadsheets.

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