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Easy Street

Scott's Column

There’s no such thing as Easy Street.

A small group of us launched First Ascent a little over seven years ago with the goal of creating the best TAMP for RIAs who want a team of experts to manage portfolios for their clients.

We had no track record, clients, or outside financial backing. Who’s crazy enough to do that?

Earlier this month, my fellow First Ascensionists and I sold our firm to our new friends at GeoWealth. We couldn’t be happier.

Ever since the transaction closed, I’ve been reflecting on the experience and looking for nuggets I might share with others who are on or contemplating a similar path.

My mind kept going back to a poem I wrote many years ago called Easy Street. Here it is:

There’s no such thing as Easy Street,
it simply isn’t there.

I’ve looked and looked for many years
and only found thin air.

Now having found it is a myth,
the only thing I’ll say,

Is that starting off tomorrow,
I’ll keep looking anyway.

At the beginning of any new venture, it is easy to imagine success and all the glory and satisfaction that come with it. The dream powers you forward.

But you soon realize that the world doesn’t care at all about your dreams. It wasn’t just waiting around for you and your good ideas to show up and save the day.

And even if it cared, the world is too noisy for anyone to even notice that you have arrived.

Antoine De Saint-Exupery, in his book, Wind Sand, and Stars, put it more eloquently: “It is idle, having planted an acorn in the morning, to expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of the oak.”

Calvin Coolidge, of all people, had it right when he said:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men and women with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. “Press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

So, surround yourself with people of good cheer who aren’t afraid of hard work. Travel with those who can look uncertainty in the eye and smile.

If you’re fortunate, as we were, you’ll find those who share your dream along the way. They’ll lift you up and make the journey, with all its hardships, profoundly fulfilling. But it takes time.

Have patience and press on.