Aggressive Balance Newsletter with Dennis Morton

Creating A Compelling Vision

We’ve all heard the saying that luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation. 

I have found in both my life and my career that amazing things happen when VISION meets preparation. In life, marriage, and business, there are no smooth rides. But it is possible to build a mindset rooted in optimism and confidence that helps to weather the challenges that come our way. Vision and preparation set the stage for my career and marriage nearly 20 years ago and they are the foundations of our success in building Morton Brown Family Wealth.

Part 1: The foundation

In 2001, I met my wife at a wedding in Philadelphia. At the time, I was living in El Paso, TX, and stationed at Ft. Bliss as a PATRIOT missile officer. Gina lived in Jersey City, early in her career as a pharmaceutical sales rep. Both in the wedding party and intrigued with one another, we made time that night to deepen the conversation enough to know we may want to explore a shared future. [Photo credit to my father-in-law who must have seen something because he captured this moment between his daughter and a stranger from Texas that afternoon.]

However, we lived different lives in different time zones. We did not have the luxury of thinking about anything short-term in our relationship. There was no date the next weekend. If we wanted to think about being closer, it only made sense in the context of a vision for the future. Through many hours of late-night phone calls, we filled that vision with abundance and possibility. At some point down the road, we could do anything. So, what should we do? 

At this early stage of our relationship and my career, there was no more powerful lesson than this: The present is uncertain and the future unknowable, but that should not stop us from dreaming, planning, and growing along with each other.

Vision and Preparation

This mindset was crucial several years later in 2008, when I needed a vision for my career and a plan to get there. Gina and I had a scary, ‘burn the ships’ moment when I lost my job with a Wall Street firm for not selling enough commission products. I had a vision for this profession that I loved and a supportive wife who knew we would figure it out together. We had also prepared. We lived on one salary even when we both worked because we knew there would be lean times. We saved, budgeted, and prioritized. We prepared ourselves to be patient knowing that it could take years to fulfill my vision for my career. 

Vision and preparation kept us going as I became an independent advisor, grew in our adopted community, and developed relationships that would be the foundation of Morton Brown Family Wealth.

Fast forward to 2017, and another clear-eyed glimpse of what the future could hold. But first, I had to stare down uncertainty and prepare like never before. More on that to come…

I leave you with this thought: Creating a compelling vision for the future and the need for a plan go hand-in-hand. I’d love to hear about yours.

Dennis Morton sitting on a bench with a notebook and pen

Aggressive Balance is a biweekly e-newsletter authored by Dennis Morton, Co-Founder and Principal of Morton Brown Family Wealth.

A gifted storyteller and financial advisor by trade, Dennis explores topics of leadership, finance, and the human condition in his writing as they relate to curating a life worth living.

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