I have two teenage children. Last year, that time came. The time my son started applying to colleges.
Confession: I was scared.
Not because my son was going to be flying the nest (although, naturally, this does make me feel a tad uneasy as his dad). I was scared because this whole application process was an unknown.
The Rick who knows the financial markets inside out was the rookie at something again.
We’d never gone through the college application process & expedition before, so we didn’t have any answers to the 101 questions we shared. Like, what topic should he write about in his essay questions? How should he make himself stand out from the thousands of other kids applying to the same places? What happens if he doesn’t get in?
It was so important to me that we didn’t mess this up. Because (and I’m sure you fellow parents know what I mean here), if you feel any responsibility over messing up your kid’s college application, you’ll probably feel like you’ve messed up his whole life before it’s even started.
I didn’t want to mess up his life.
So instead of the rookie helping the rookie (and hoping that spaghetti stuck to something), I called in an expert. A lady who helped people conquer the college application process – for a living. This was her ‘zone of genius’ as some people call it. She’d seen hundreds, maybe thousands, of college applications before. She could recite colleges and their courses and tuition costs from memory. She knew the ACT/SAT tests like Adele knows how to sing. She was a walking wikipedia when it came to the process.
Hiring her lifted a weight off my wary Texan shoulders. She brought certainty to our uncertainty. Whatever questions we had, she had answers for. Answers that we could trust. Because she was an expert.
She helped my son develop a solid résumé and answers to the three common essay questions that colleges asked. Had we done this on our own, we’d still be thinking about how to best develop these today.
It wasn’t just her expertise that was invaluable, though. It was the time she saved me. Without her, I would have dedicated one day a week from August to December helping my son with his applications. That’s a lot of time saved. Time I was then able to spend serving my clients, cooking curry, and hanging out with my son. (Or my daughter.) Time that didn’t revolve around an analysis of his extra-curricular activities.
So, was she worth it? Absolutely yes. My son was accepted to 8 colleges and has decided where he’s going to be flying the nest to. Hashtag proud dad.
When it comes to the application process, I’ve gone from feeling green and vulnerable, swimming in my inexperience, to a far more calm and experienced individual – all thanks to the help I hired. Which means when the time comes around for my daughter to apply to college, it will be a much more familiar place to swim in. And I won’t be intimidated by the unknown, because it’s not an unknown any more.
I’m sure you, like most people, recognize how important money is. But that doesn’t mean you know the best things to do with it. Your uncertainty is another person’s zone of genius.
Use me to help you make those important financial decisions that make you feel uneasy when faced with on your own. Use me to answer the questions about your retirement situation or saving for your kids’ college fund that do nothing except fuel your anxiety. Use me to determine if your investment portfolio is allocated in a manner that reflects you and your personality. Use me to determine if you have enough (and the right type of) life insurance, without getting tangled in an insurance salesman’s grasp.
It’s so much easier with someone you can trust on your side.
It might surprise you how much delegation can help you feel in control.