Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high” (from the Henry David Thoreau book, Where I Lived and What I Lived For”). Not all of us can, or even want to, live in the woods, but we can strive to live modern daily life “deliberately”.  To do so, the three (3) core concepts of business that you need to get control of, and thereby not let them control your personal life, are as follows: (1) ASSET PROTECTION LAW (2) FINANCE, and (3) ACCOUNTING.

Many people think that finance and accounting are similar, but that is a myth. Accounting works with balance sheets and income statements, so it deals primarily with the past. When you do your accounting you are “looking back” [e.g. tax returns]. Finance, on the other hand, is primarily “looking forward”. It starts where accounting ends – then projects forward to what your worth will be in the future. That leaves the third leg – Asset Protection law planning. Like finance – it looks forward and addresses risk. But whereas finance focuses on creating and measuring future value, asset protection law focuses on managing risk, and preserving ownership interests, in all your assets for future generations. All three (3) plans overlap, but they all have discrete functions. So even if you have a good current balance sheet, and a good future financial plan, the question is, do you have a good asset protection plan, including a business exit strategy? If not, all you have is a shaky two-legged cabin stool.

In his book, Henry David Thoreau quotes Confucius by writing, “To know that we know, what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge“.  Creating your own business legacy takes various trusted advisors, with the knowledge to help you plan what is really important in your personal life.  Even Thoreau entrusted Emerson for stability along his journey.  Who is helping you live deliberately?