Guest Blog: The Business Case for Putting Yourself First

The secret to maximizing energy, time, and productivity. 4th in a Series  |  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

By Colleen Jordan Hallinan, Qii Consulting

Strategic and Tactical. You know the difference, right?

Strategic is thoughtful, it’s high level, it’s directed, intentional, and it’s what helps you pursue what you want.

Tactical is practical, it’s action steps, boots on the ground, and it’s how you get you want.

We’re pretty much clear on this difference, yet sometimes it’s easy to find ourselves lost in the complexity, buried in projects, stressed out and wondering (not out loud, of course) “what do I do next?” or “where am I, and what am I doing with this [business/career/job]?” or burned out and not sure why.

Know What you Want and Need

When you find yourself lost in this or some similar morass, ask yourself, “Am I driving my business? Or is my business driving me?”

If it’s the latter, know you are in good company. This is quite common for ambitious, high-achievers who’re action-oriented, exposed to a lot of opportunities, surrounded by other high-achievers, and often riding on momentum.

So, how did you get here?

  • You may have tacked adrift and are no longer on the course you set out on. Or, you’ve had an epiphany, evolved your thinking, or adopted a new mindset, and your original destination or objective doesn’t fit this new frame of mind.


  • You made a business plan, but you never really took seriously the idea that the business is simply a component in your very full life, and you didn’t start the strategic process by figuring out what you really want and need for yourself and that the business is only a tool for achieving THAT.

In either case, sit back, take a deep breath and make the time – squeeze it in – cancel other commitments if you have to, this is really important, make the time to go about this in the proper order:

  1. In my life, what outcomes do I personally want and need for myself to feel happy, fulfilled, grounded and confident in my future? Figure this out before you focus on others and the business as we’ll discuss below.
  2. What action steps do I need to take to achieve these outcomes?
  3. What time and resources will I need to take the necessary actions?
  4. Then, and only then, should you consider “How does this business serve my Personal Strategic Plan?”
  5. Assuming the business indeed serves your needs, then “What outcomes does this business need right now to help me satisfy my personal needs?”

Protect the Asset1

As you work on articulating your personal needs, you will surely adequately account for your family and others, and for the financial requirements from the business. But what about you? In a personal financial services company, the most important assets are the people. As a business owner, that’s you. And in a small business, you’re most, if not all the team.

In strategic planning, it’s essential to find your biggest points of leverage: areas that with attention will yield progress over and above the time commitment, and that will compound over time. Your energy and cognitive performance are the biggest leverage you have and they are mostly under your control. Your ability to optimize how you perform day in and day out: think, plan, focus, persevere, endure, and achieve, is almost completely dependent on you. You are a walking chemical cocktail and the quality of those activities are driven by how the chemicals flow or don’t flow based on what you do or don’t do on a daily basis.

Make a commitment to assess how well you are protecting the Asset. Here’s a way to get started, inspired by the book State Change by Dr. Robin Berzin. Each of these items represents an area that greatly affects the chemicals that are activated or prevented from activation, governing your mood, your energy, and your cognitive performance. Give yourself a rating in each of the following areas and start making a plan to improve those areas you know are lacking.

Be especially thoughtful about items 6 and 7. Failing one or both of those will tend to trump good results in the others.

Sitting down to do an honest assessment of your self-care is the tip of the iceberg. Addressing any one of these, never mind multiple areas, is a serious endeavor requiring motivation, planning, discipline, strategies and tactics – and it will take time. But the help is out there and if you don’t feel equipped to handle these on your own, follow Qii Consulting on LinkedIn and we promise you’ll be exposed to the latest relevant knowledge, resources and experts to help you put yourself first in your strategic planning.

1. “Protect the Asset” is all about your wellness journey for a successful life. Thank you to Bridget Grimes of WealthChoice for articulating the business case for self-care.

Privacy Notice

We recognize the importance of protecting our clients’ privacy. We have policies to maintain the confidentiality and security of your nonpublic personal information. The following is designed to help you understand what information we collect from you and how we use that information to serve your account.

Categories of Information We May Collect

In the normal course of business, we may collect the following types of information:

  • Information you provide in the subscription documents and other forms (including name, address, social security number, date of birth, income and other financial-related information); and
  • Data about your transactions with us (such as the types of investments you have made and your account status).

How We Use Your Information That We Collect

Any and all nonpublic personal information that we receive with respect to our clients who are natural persons is not shared with nonaffiliated third parties which are not service providers to us without prior notice to, and consent of, such clients, unless otherwise required by law. In the normal course of business, we may disclose the kinds of nonpublic personal information listed above to nonaffiliated third-party service providers involved in servicing and administering products and services on our behalf. Our service providers include, but are not limited to, our administrator, our auditors and our legal advisor. Additionally, we may disclose such nonpublic personal information as required by law (such as to respond to a subpoena) or to satisfy a request from a regulator and/or to prevent fraud. Without limiting the foregoing, we may disclose nonpublic personal information about you to governmental entities and others in connection with meeting our obligations to prevent money laundering including, without limitation, the disclosure that may be required by the Uniting and Strengthening America Act by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001 and the regulations promulgated thereunder. In addition, if we choose to dispose of our clients’ nonpublic personal information that we are not legally bound to maintain, we will do so in a manner that reasonably protects such information from unauthorized access. The same privacy policy also applies to former clients who are natural persons.

Confidentiality and Security

We restrict access to nonpublic personal information about our clients to those employees and agents who need to know that information to provide products and services to our clients. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect our clients’ nonpublic personal information. We respect and value that you have entrusted us with your private financial information, and we will work diligently to maintain that trust. We are committed to preserving that trust by respecting your privacy as provided herein.