Updated: Oct 25, 2021
If you are, I have some bad news for you. Perhaps back in the wild west of the O.K. Corral days, shooting from the hip made sense, and back then it might have even saved your life. But today, that approach to business and life rarely works.
People that shoot from the hip haven't taken time to prepare, and when you boil down preparation to its very basic components it equals a reactive vs. proactive approach. There's a clear difference between someone who is in a meeting, giving unsupported answers and shooting from the hip vs. the proactive professional who is not only prepared but has anticipated unexpected questions as well.
Planning is key for financial success. Building a retirement strategy, working on accumulating key assets, and monitoring progress along the way is paramount to aging with a financially-sound platform. Those who shoot from the hip without a plan in mind, wind up disappointed and behind the curve as years pass.
I often use my garden as a metaphor to life, and this is a perfect example. I could not simply throw some seeds into the dirt come Spring and hope to have a healthy harvest in the Fall. Instead, I plan which plants benefit from being near others, I till the soil and add fertilizer. I make sure to remove weeds and water generously. I stake tall plants and provide support for climbing ones. When the harvest season arrives, it is not a surprise that my garden did well, it's what I expected because I planned and I monitored my progress along the way.
Nearly every aspect of success in life (raising children, your health, financial wellness, career success, etc.) benefits from preparation. Shooting from the hip may work if you are a cowboy or cowgirl, but in today's society it's the prepared individual that flourishes.