By Brad Alvarez - Chief Operating Officer
14 short months ago, we started a new chapter as a firm. With the successful merger of two prior entities, Legacy Advisors Private Wealth Management in the Midwest, and Grace Financial Associates, out of the San Francisco Bay area, a new combined firm was formed that we decided to name “Aspirean Wealth.”
The logical follow-up question here would be: “Well, what the heck does ‘Aspirean’ mean anyway?”
First off, you won't find the word Aspirean in the dictionary (we checked!). That's right, it's a completely made-up word. Although, a made-up word that does have a another very important word staring you right in the face: Aspire. Pronounced a bit differently than the root word “Aspire,” Aspirean (pronounced a-speery-en) derives directly from that same spirit.
In last summer's announcement of the merger, Chris Winkler described Aspirean as the following:
“While it does take on a unique meaning to each of us on the team, our priority was to align our brand with our strongest core value: helping you live into your greatest aspirations. Everything we work to do is centered around helping you create the best outcomes in your life.”
I couldn’t agree more, Chris! In borrowing a bit from Chris’ description last summer, Aspirean Wealth aims to align your financial plan with your greater life values, goals, and aspirations.
Every aspiration is about self-transformation: becoming a new person and living a new life. In other words, we want a new identity; we want to live a better version of ourselves. Some can call this “your best self”, “your ideal self”, or “your aspirational identity”. It is the person you want to become; the “why” behind your goals. It is where you will arrive once you fulfill your aspirations to a certain degree—your designed life. In a way then, your aspirational identity is both the result of your aspirations, as well as their driving force.
This concept of aspirational identity is key to helping you clarify who you want to become, and then find the true aspirations that are a natural expression of that end state. The concept is simple: you decide who you want to be, then see the gaps that need to be covered to get there. The drive to fill these gaps is your aspiration.
You may ask, “But wait, I thought you were financial advisors? What does my money have to do with me having an aspirational identity?” Well in our eyes, Wealth = Freedom. Freedom from doing the things you no longer want to do. Freedom to do the things you do want to do. Freedom to chase down your aspirations. And most importantly, the Freedom to pursue your aspirational identity!
Another way to think about what it means when you find your aspirational identity is the influence this can (and WILL) have on others around you. We all know the power of having someone as a positive influence in our lives. Who is that person in your life? What is it about them that makes (or made) them stand out to you? Could you be this for someone else?
My favorite description of the progression of this type of influence is as follows:
- Motivational - This means that you make someone feel a certain way, whether that’s on a stage, in a phone call, or through your actions and lifestyle. Motivation gives someone a motive for action and that extra burst to make a better decision. But unfortunately, motivation, for the most part, is very temporary.
- Inspirational - Beyond making someone feel something emotionally, this takes it one step further and helps them connect to their purpose and bigger reasons for doing things. Inspirational is literally derived from the phrase ‘in spirit’, and the result of being inspired is a more sustaining desire than a temporary injection of motivation.
- Aspirational - This is where people look at you and they want to be like you. They look at who you are, what you represent, how you do it, and want the exact same for their life. They see you and your actions as a standard that they aspire to achieve for themselves. It’s an incredibly humbling acknowledgment, and when you have this much of an influence on someone, you’re blazing the path that they get to walk down next.
I want to qualify this all with one last thought. You don’t need to be a celebrity or influencer or anyone recognizable to be Motivational, Inspirational, or even Aspirational. This is not something that is reserved to be done in public, for it will mainly only exist in your private life and closest relationships. And if you believe that making one life better is a life worth living, then I encourage you to be the example that motivates, inspires, and aspires other people to pursue more in their life. The very meaning of “Aspirean”!