I ran my first half marathon back in March 2005.  At age 25, in the prime of my life allegedly, I was pretty pleased with the time of 1hr37mins.

Fast forward 14 years to April 2019 and a very tired, very sore me is celebrating a new half marathon PB of 1hr11mins at the grand old age of 39 and 3/4. But this isn’t a blog about running. This is a blog about time…and how much of it we have.

It was the Roman philosopher, Seneca, who said, “Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount [of time] has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.”  Although this nugget of wisdom was dispensed over 2,000 years ago there is much we can take from it today.

There is no way that 25 year-old me would ever have thought I’d still be running at nearly 40 years old, let alone running my fastest times ever. Back then I thought most people died at 40!

My inability to judge time correctly made me overeager to be successful, in this instance measured by running performances, as quickly as possible. This over-eagerness led to over-training, led to injuries, led to many, many years of not fulfilling my potential. The fear of being old and incapable made me impatient.

As a (only slightly) wiser 40 year-old, I can see what a mistake this was. A mistake made by me, and many others, not just in terms of running but in so many other aspects of life. We are all so impatient to succeed at work, succeed creatively, succeed in love, we forget how long we have to do all these things. We rush, we take unnecessary risks, we neglect things that we should have paid more attention to, we fail, we start again.

Good things come to those who wait

Legendary management guru, Peter Drucker, wrote over 40 books in his lifetime. Three quarters of these, including his best work, were written after he was 60 years old.

Warren Buffett, one of the world’s richest men and perhaps the best ever investor, only made his first billion at age 55. Now, age 88, he has amassed a fortune of $85 billion.

I have only just started my financial planning business, Financial Freedom Sooner Ltd, and I hope that I have the foresight to realise that it will take 10, 15, or even 20 years for this to become the business that I want it to be. Patience is a virtue, they say…and I say it’s also a bloody good business plan. It’s an even better life plan.

The power of planning

Our purpose at Financial Freedom Sooner is to help as many people as possible use their money to make the most of their lives.  The people we work with are open-minded, happy to challenge convention and understand that money is only a means to an end.  We make sure that both their money and time is well invested.

The planning process starts with an in-depth discussion about what is important and outlining hopes for the future.  We can then start to work out how much this desired lifestyle will cost and how much money is enough to achieve it.  From this point we can collaboratively put together a plan to help get to the point of financial freedom as soon as possible.

Being financially free means you no longer need to worry about the money and, as Seneca would suggest, can concentrate on investing that most valuable of assets, your time,  in the best way possible.

Author: Matt Bradford, Financial Planner at Financial Freedom Sooner

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