Dreaming the dream
(Roger Dean's artwork for the album 'Yessongs')
I don't know about you, but I go through phases when dreams become more graphic, and therefore more memorable. Recently, I even took the step of writing one down before the memory faded, it was so eccentric. That is for private consumption, lest colleagues begin to question my sanity.
More recently, I dreamed about the DeFacto Engage Training Event we're holding in London on September 15th. On paper it all looks good. There are plenty of ValidPathers signed up for it. We have a great venue. Carly Bewick from DeFaqto, who is providing the content, has all sorts of interesting material for us - and, of course, we'll be working together on this excellent research system which underpins our independent advice. All good stuff. Who could fail to be positive, and enthused?
Clearly, however, I must be anxious about it. In my dream, I find that I have turned up wearing bermuda shorts and flip-flops - which is strange, because generally I wear a suit and tie on the beach, although of course Dimensional's offices are not exactly...er...beachy. A whole bundle of uninvited guests turn up, including a heavily-bearded chap in a huge wheelchair driven by a petrol engine, and sitting on large tractor tyres. The dream-seminar consists of all the delegates continually attempting to avoid being crushed, and hanging out of the window to escape the fumes.
Where does one get all of this stuff from, as the brain goes through its nocturnal dream-construction process? There are elements there which make a sort of sense - the nature of the event itself, perhaps, and the venue. The concern over dress code (smart casual is OK, beachwear is not a valid choice) is perhaps explicable. But the tractor-wheelchair? Where did that come from? That's just the imagination doing wheelies because there's nobody around to stop it. It would be a foolish person who attempted to argue that I was in some way responsible for what ends up in mix.
In real (conscious) life, we like to use the language of dreams to describe the visions we have of a particular kind of future. It may be idealised, and we may not necessarily realise 'the dream' (or all of it), but generally speaking our goals and constructs are rational, and in some kind of sense achievable. We don't throw random stuff into the mix, a la Kevin's Dreams - "my dream is to deal only with wealthy three legged-clients with green hair". No, that kind of dream is the fast-track to poverty and some form of institutional care. There is nothing wrong with dreaming, we just have to take care over the ingredients - and then we have to put in the legwork to turn the dream into reality.
In a way, the DeFaqto training event is part of the outworking of a dream of my own. My dream is that all ValidPathers will deliver demonstrably excellent independent financial advice. Which means that they need to have access to research tools of the right caliber. But, there's a big difference between having access to sophisticated tools such as Engage, and using them effectively - which means training, encouragement and forming the right disciplines. Black boxes do not immediately and inevitably translate through to great client outcomes - and that applies equally well to CashCalc, Clarity and any other systems we choose to adopt.
For ValidPathers wishing to dream the dream
We've grouped together a set of resources which, together, may help you in transforming your business model...
Access 'Getting paid your worth'