Last week I attended a training which took place in Portland, Oregon. It’s in the North West part of America. The training was on ‘Financial Life Planning’ which I wanted to attend from quite some time. Money Quotient is the organization which offers this particular training.

Life and money are two sides of a coin. Unless we give  life an angle to money, it doesn’t have any meaning. So to guide on money and investments, tying the money to one’s perspectives, dreams, apprehensions, and anxieties is very obvious choice we at Gaining Ground make and want to dive deep in this area. To learn how to do this better, we are working hard. This is why I attended this training program.

The very thought of planning a trip to the USA was intimidating while booking my travel ticket. Our minds have power to imagine all adverse things first. But as you start to plan, things unfold for better as per my experience. When you are ready, the universe conspires to fulfill desires and path. I totally believe in this theory of ‘The Secret”, by Rhonda Byre.

Technological advances helped me to get in touch with a high school classmate, who is now settled in Seattle and truly helped me to plan the trip and comforted me by offering to stay with his family. I experienced that people can be so gracious. When I landed in Seattle, someone was there to pick me up from the airport, take me home and give me food and comfort. That experience was home away from home.

It was nice to be able to speak in my native language in America. Seen the developments with kids and how families are maintaining the cultural ties with informal groups and formal cultural association. I felt the families have best of the both world, good quality life and Social circles in the form of fellow Indians settled there.

We are in the business of creating Trust. Relationships with clients are  center-stage of what we do. As I wanted to move from Seattle to Portland-my training destination, I reached out to one of our client’s daughter who has been living in Portland for several years. We interacted and planned (a month in advance), she too welcomed me to her home and I could experience the grandeur of the American dream while staying with her family.

Hard work and busy schedules are normal routines, but both families accommodated me and gave me experiences which I will remember forever. Kids are rooted in studies and cocurricular activities; they are well-planned and know their calling by the time they reach high school. I was gratified to see the humbleness of the couple and realized that success can come through if dreams that are follwed are accompanied by grit. Showing kindness after achieving the best that life can offer, is something I take back home.

Training Perspectives – Across the boundaries, challenges of practice management remains same.  The advisors on the other side of the world also care so much for growing a business with values, putting processes and do good for clients. The desire to learn and grow is the same. I felt only the regulations, the laws, and schemes to invest differ. The underline threads of client-advisor relationships are the same. Western world is not too different in this aspect. My belief of secret society of good advisors exists became firm.

If your phone works in any part of the world (irrespective of charges) and you can connect to people, half the worry is taken care of. I had to unexpectedly travel for longer distance on my own. The thought of taking a taxi or an uber in an unknown place and foreign country is scary. But as I travelled by Uber for the first time in the USA , i was lesser afraid. Drivers were so welcoming and respectful towards India. Many of them want to visit our country. Technological advances can make things possible beyond imagination. I remember how in 2010, which was the first time my family and I travelled to USA, we were stranded unless someone we knew took us outside to tour the country.

Exploring Seattle was fun. I had a whole day free to myself one day before i had to travel back to India. My friend pushed me to use the local transport to commute in Seattle on my own. A picture of the Seattle skyline with the space needle again left butterflies in my stomach, but I have good daring to try things out. The travel by bus, then monorail, etc. was a good experience and i appreciate the local transport system. At space needle I met a girl from Ohio- who was also on the same agenda as me. We paired up to see places around and I made a new friend overseas.

Finally the day of my return arrived. I reached the airport as per schedule. After checking in I felt that even though my trip is complete, I am yet to come to terms that I successfully managed everything as per plan. To that my friend quipped, “The world is a lot less scary place than our mind thinks.” And I thought of what Robin Sharma says, ‘When you challenge your limits, limits expand.’

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