Focus on what really matters

Guiding Principles Series – Principle 6 – “We encourage clients to ask ‘why’ questions”

Welcome to the Ten Talents Guiding Principles series! This article dives into Guiding Principle #6, “We encourage clients to ask “why” questions.” If you haven’t read the Introduction to the Guiding Principle series, you can check it out here.

What’s your why?

In his TED Talk “How great leaders inspire action”, that has now been viewed over 44 million times, Simon Sinek shares the insight that great leaders don’t inspire you primarily with their product or product feature. Instead, they inspire action and allegiance to their brand or product by connecting their audience to their ‘why?’. Do you want to change the world? Well then, perhaps you may be interested in XYZ product. Now you aren’t just buying a product or service, you are changing the world by participating in the purchase.

It’s this connection to a ‘why?’ that is more inspiring and long-lasting than simply a cool, helpful tool or gadget. When it comes to financial planning however, too often the focus is on the numbers, the strategy, the alpha….the product.

Dig deeper

Certainly, there is a body of knowledge and professional level of technical expertise involved with financial planning. However, financial planning is not primarily technical. This is because our primary interaction with money is not technical but rather emotional. If money was primarily technical, then the highest IQ individuals and highest educated among society would be the most financially successful. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Too often the highest educated and “smartest” people in the room have the worst looking personal balance sheets and make bad financial decisions.

Here’s the truth: the only way to successfully create, implement, and course-correct a beautifully designed financial plan is to connect with a deeper purpose. Do you want to offer your children more opportunity than you had growing up? Do you seek to financially support causes you deeply care about based on your personal and family values? Do you want to “retire” so you can spend your time investing in community, church, or local government projects? What’s your ‘why’?

Hard but worth it

To be sure, asking ‘why’ questions can be difficult, especially if you’ve never asked yourself deeper questions about why you are doing what you are doing. When it comes to making money decisions though, finding your ‘why’ is going to be the difference between realizing that personal finance has less to do with “saving on taxes” and more to do with changing your family tree for multiple generations.

Finding your ‘why’ casts a vision for you and your family. And where there is vision and a greater purpose, you are going to thrive and find ultimate lifelong success with money. You won’t be following a plan, you will be living a vision. That’s why we encourage clients to ask ‘why’ questions. Because we want to see you thrive. We want to see you live life well.

– Kaleb Paddock, CFP®

You can learn more about how Kaleb, a financial planner based in Parker, CO, helps families live life well, here.

This is part 6 of 7 of the Ten Talents Guiding Principles series. To learn more about the Guiding Principles series, please check out the Introduction here. To learn more about financial planning for every life stage click here.


  1. Chris Acker, CLU, ChFC on June 27, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Excellent post, Kaleb. It’s amazing to me how many people do not take the time to question themselves before any major decision, let alone important financial questions. I wonder “why not”?

    • Kaleb Paddock on June 27, 2019 at 10:50 pm

      Thanks for your kind words Chris! “Why not”? Another great question to ask.

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