What happens when you find an occupation you love and spend your entire life working at it?
One of the best documentaries out there (in my humble opinion) is one called “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” It came out in 2011 and beautifully gives an account of the best sushi chef in the world. Jiro Ono is a 95 year old sushi craftsman (He was 85 when this film debuted) and his 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant, located in a subway station in Tokyo, Japan, has been awarded 3 Michelin stars.
Each customer is served a 20 course meal. With a high price tag of $270 per person, you’d think the sushi would be intricate with plates filled with food. However, all of Jiro’s sushi is simple, completely minimalist, yet packs huge amounts of flavor.
How can this be done? In the words of food critic Masuhiro Yamamoto: “ultimate simplicity leads to purity.”
The beautiful work of a craftsman comes about after complete immersion in one’s work, a dedication to mastering your skill. For only then can you take the complex and make it simple for others to understand.
When people talk about being dedicated to one’s craft, it’s usually brought up in the context of an athlete’s pursuit of stardom (or a top-rated chef), rarely is it about any profession we interact with on a daily basis – let alone one involved in financial services.
It may be odd to say, but Birchwood dreams of sushi, too. Of course, not in the fishy sense, but in the way we approach our work and our dedication to the craft of providing top-notch advice.
What are the valuable components of an advisor? Can we do more of that?
How can we make it easier for clients to achieve their goals?
How can we continue to improve ourselves so that we never become complacent?
Why do we do what we do?
We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about these things. While thinking is good, action is best. As James Clear says, “You can borrow knowledge, but not action.”
That’s why we thoughtfully created a pledge to anyone who crosses paths with Birchwood.
That’s why we stripped away the conventional financial plan and condensed it to its core elements on one page:
- How much money can my portfolio generate for me?
- How can I best protect my family?
- How can I survive down markets?
- How can I not get killed in taxes?
- How can I invest in a way that I understand?
While it’s a long road in building a business from scratch, it’s work that’s pure joy. Each day we get to dedicate ourselves to mastering this skill for the benefit of all. It’s the honorable thing to do and we take great pride in doing it.