After a lifetime of financial advice ignored, rapper 50 Cent’s one simple idea of where to start can make all of the difference in the world.
Every 12 months, my wife and I sit down with our financial planner. It feels a bit like going to the dentist.
The problem stems from the question our planner asks at the start of each meeting: “What are your financial goals for the next 1, 5 and 10 years?”
The truth is, for most of the time we’ve been seeing him, we had no idea. And it showed. Our best attempts at long-term financial goals were “not going broke” and “it’d be nice to own something.”
Because we never took the time to flesh-out goals, the plans our planner made on our behalf never got more tactical than encouraging us to save for a rainy day, invest to keep up with inflation, and max out our retirement funds, if possible.
And then, in 2014, I read this article in which rapper 50 Cent became a guy’s life coach.
50 gives advice
The premise of the article is simple: A schlubby writer is paired off with 50 Cent for a month of life coaching in an attempt to up his game. Yes, that 50 Cent.*
In and among the fun facts—50’s dog’s name is Oprah—and the kind of advice you might expect from the guy who penned “In Da Club”—“If you want to be taken seriously you need to dress better”—is this gem:
“Make a vision board. Do it tonight, when you get home. Open your laptop. Create a new folder. Think about the things you want for your future.”
50 suggested the writer do it with his girlfriend.
We listened. And you should, too.
Feeling up for some silliness after reading the article, my wife and I decided to give it a shot.
We each made a folder and filled it images that were meaningful to us without showing one another. What we came away with was revealing.
On her vision board:
• One more child than I was expecting to have.
• A townhouse in the city.
• A large dog.
On my vision board:
• A rental property for passive income like my parents had at this phase of their lives.
• A vintage J40 Toyota Land Cruiser, not a suitable family car.
• An African safari with my son. A guy can dream, right? It goes with the land cruiser.
For the first time ever, we were able to think about our goals in a way we never had previously.
Not that you asked but we first prioritized the rental unit as the added income could help with some of our other goals. Next, we started a college fund for the second child I hadn’t yet considered having.
The important thing is that we now know where we want to go. From there, we can break it down into manageable chunks.
My advice for you? Here goes: Listen to 50. Make a vision board. “Do it now.” Then work out your plans from there.