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  • Writer's pictureBassam Tarazi

All Roads Led To This (Life Update)

No one has ever confused me as the most generous person on earth. I mean, so much of my ethos has been about intentionality; about living life in full stride, on purpose, no apologies. You know, the one-day-we’ll-be-dead-and-none-of-this-will-matter stuff. 


But sharing how I went about things inspired some people to do the same, and it shaped how I interacted with my community. I realized that no matter the job I had, what gave me the biggest kick was helping people do the things they said they wanted to do. 


And so formally or not, I taught people about accountability, planned grit, and owning verbs; about how you shouldn’t live like it’s your last day on earth, but like it’s the first day of the rest of your life. 


I banged the drum of “preparation” and “action.”


But over the years I’ve learned that even if people had the verve and focus, one of the biggest things that kept them from building a life of their own design was their relationship to money—not just a lack of it, but expectations around what it was for. 


Some people in their 20’s pretended to not care how much they had. Some people in their 30’s bragged about how much they made. A bunch of people in their 40’s were buried under the weight of how much they should’ve kept. And more than a few people in their 50’s were wondering what all the money was for. 


Money is a wily little thing.


Everyone thinks about it, but no one really talks about it. It’s kind of like the sun. It runs your life, you know where it is at all times, but you don’t look directly at it. In certain seasons you get more of it than in others, and if you ignore its power and you’ll get burned. 


And yet, in America, no one teaches us about money, they just teach us about the dream. A lot of us had to learn the hard way. Find yourself on the business end of compound interest methodically pawing at your checking account, and that’ll sober you up real quick. (I’ve been there.)


But I was a quick learner. Furthermore, I got an engineering degree, so I’m good with numbers. I got an MBA so I know about cash flows. I studied statistics so I’m comfortable with calculated risks. Wanting to travel the world forced me to budget and plan for contingencies. Getting married helped me think about “the bigger picture.”


(Trust me. If you haven’t thought a lot about finances, prioritization, and goals prior to getting married, you certainly will. What do you want? is still one of the thorniest questions for any of us to answer. But, what do we want? is next level stuff.)


Having money is having choice. And we all want options.


That's why living the life of your own design takes patience, gall, skill, opportunity, and…money to make it all happen. 


Ok, so why am I telling you this?


Because it turns out that all the things that made me good at getting things done translated very well into building financial freedom. I just assumed my friends were in the same boat, but as we approached our 40’s—that place where the start of our career was the same distance away as the end of it—I learned that not everyone was ok. 


There’s a certain pain you feel when a loved one admits that they’re not financially where they want to be and they’re embarrassed to bring it up.


I helped where I could by talking about budgets, savings, and investing, but my knowledge only got me so far, and my bandwidth only allowed for so much. I wanted to do more.


Now I can. Earlier this year, I busted my butt to become a bonafide ​financial advisor​ so that I now have the professional training and acumen to go with all of my life experiences.


I’ve never been afraid of starting new, but this felt more like a culmination than an embarkation. 


Yes, we all need to dream about the lives we want to live, but “hope” is not a strategy for getting there. Not experientially. Not financially. Let me help guide you to that future, where you can do all the things you say you want to do.


Interested in chatting? You can reach me here.

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