Xentum | What is your Harajuku moment?

What is your Harajuku moment?

August 24, 2017 - 3 minutes read

Posted by Claire Parker

Around 4 years ago I fell out of love with financial advice.

I found out that my father had been mis-sold pensions and investments by people he trusted.  The whole family finances suffered because of some very slick salesman who sold a very complicated scheme.  The result was disastrous.

I walked around for about an hour and I had quit the profession in my head.  I was angry and disappointed when I looked around at the state of financial advice.  It seemed that selling fancy solutions was common, lots of stories of poor advice and high and opaque charging structures and just generally it left a sour taste in the mouth.  I have to be honest and say that it wasn’t looking good.

I also felt like I was wandering into a career that I didn’t have a huge passion for in the state it was.

Here comes the Harajuku moment

“This is the moment where a person is actually ready and willing to change their life.”

I read this in the 4 hour body by Tim Ferriss (also cool if you want to shed some pounds)

In the book he talks about a story where he was unhappy with his weight and and he decided to do something about it, hence the book and the complete changing of his life.  I think the term was originally coined by the great Malcolm Gladwell but Google failed me this time.

This idea stuck with me though.  When I look back, that moment in time above where I walked around for an hour was my “Harajuku Moment”.  It is the moment that drives me for very specific reasons and is the reason today that I am focused on improving the financial planning profession for future generations.

People laughed at me originally but now they are taking it seriously.

So what does this have to do with money?

I come across many people in my job that have “Harajuku Moments” with money.

Money and finance is such an emotive topic.

I have one client in particular that was obsessed with making money.  It was like a drug to him.  Every discussion was around returns and saving tax, not driven by me but by his mindset.

One day I just sat him down in our meeting room and I literally stopped him dead in his tracks.  I asked him to cut the BS and asked him what he really wanted to do with his life.

After a huge silence and a confused look, he told me:

He wanted to spend 3 or 4 months travelling around the world in different locations for a month at a time in the Winter.  He had a browsing history full of Airbnb dreams and was too afraid to do it.  He was so descriptive, that I knew spending the Winter months in the UK made him unhappy.

I won’t go into the detail but with the help of financial forecasting as I talk about in this blog, I demonstrated that he was easily able to do this if he wanted.  We went down to the finest details of what would happen in the worst case scenarios and he was still ok.  All I did was give him the information to reconsider what he was able to do in the future.

The result?

I spoke to him this week hence this blog and he had just returned from Nepal walking with a lifetime friend (that he paid for).  He had taken the family all over the world to exotic locations and had already booked the next phase of adventures.  He was on great form.

This is not about holidays because that is missing the point.  This is about him pursuing something he didn’t think was achievable as he was so eaten up in the daily grind and the continual rat race.  He actually took the time to consider what he wanted the future to look like, a common flaw in successful business owners.

This was his “Harajuku Moment” . How are you going to find yours?