Last week for those that tuned in you got to see me interview my good friend Irv Rosenzweig.  For those of you late to the party Irv’s company has merged into ours late last year creating what I believe is the preeminent financial planning company in the country. 

Now as I ruminate on, not just my interview with Irv, but the last 8 months as we continually talked about making this transaction happen something dawned on me.  My friend Irv Rosenzweig is living a message we coach on every day.  More on that in a moment. 

As I sat down to write this summary blog I had to really fight the urge.  The urge was to write an obvious blog stating how Irv and his impressive staff joining our firm will enhance both practices.  Or how much Irv has devoted to his craft.  The list goes on of things I could share about how excited I am for this business deal and most importantly, to what this means to you our valued clients or future clients from a value we are able to deliver.

However, I like to focus on what I’ve learned and gleaned from Irv through our new friendship especially as it pertains to Wealth, Health, and Happiness.   I’m going to take off my business man hat for this lesson and put on my financial planner and coach hat.  When I met Irv I saw a very accomplished and passionate business owner/professional, much like many of you reading this.  I also saw a guy in the later quartile of his career who was being torn in a 1,000 directions.  This guy worked until 3am burning the midnight oil. 

Mission Critical: Irv Rosenzweig

Now some of what he was doing was certainly mission-critical stuff.  However, plenty of what Irv was doing was rote tasks that someone with his accomplishments shouldn’t be doing.  Not because they were beneath him, but because his time was better spent elsewhere.  Aha finally getting to the meat of the lesson.  BECAUSE HIS TIME WAS BETTER SPENT ELSEWHERE!  I’ll repeat it for dramatic effect (did it work?)

You see what Irv realized in his own life was he hasn’t taken a vacation in years, or a freaking day off.  As a solo business owner, he had great employees, which we are now blessed to have part of our family.  But the issue was he lacked the time, energy, and resources to be able to break through that glass ceiling.  Much like all of us should do, and I often preach about, Irv made a difficult decision.  My friend decided to put himself, his health, his wealth, and his happiness first.  I applaud this conscious decision as what you will see is it is a win for everyone.

His Health:

If you know Irv like I do this dude is fierce.  He can kick my scrawny butt and he is let’s say a few years my senior.  He also looks fantastic for well quite frankly any age.  But you see to maintain both his physical and mental health it is proving very difficult working the hours he was working and not focusing on his own well-being.  I can totally relate as I fell into the same rabbit hole Irv did and only recently started putting heavy focus here.  The result a better me and more of me to give back.  I’ve already seen this happen in Irv’s life and the best is yet to come.

His Wealth:

I am not going to speak to Irv’s finances except to say this merger was not financially driven.  Irv could have sold his company many times over and walked away an extremely wealthy man.  However, what Irv realized at this stage in his life and career is again what I always discuss here and with clients (or anyone that will listen.)  He realized his wealth was much more about his portfolio getting bigger (although nothing wrong with that.)  He realized his wealth, what made Irv rich, was much bigger than that and he couldn’t deliver it the way things were going.  For his clients, his wealth was about always increasing their value, much like ours.  For his family, his wealth was about being able to spend more precious time with them as he realized it is his most valuable possession.  And for himself, his wealth was about spending every minute of every day on value-increasing tasks instead of draining tasks.

His Happiness:

Ahhhh the summation of it all.  Why does Irv care about focusing on his health?  What about his wealth?  You guessed it because at the end of the day, much like the rest of us, Irv Rosenzweig is trying to live the most enriched happy life he knows how.  In our short but blooming friendship, I’ve already slowly started seeing his happiness increase as he is focusing more time both at work and at home on the things he loves.  He sees a path forward for his clients, his family, and himself that bring peace of mind to his highly active brain. 

At the end of the day, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is a bright one.  As a friend, I’ve challenged him to take that first vacation in years (stupid Covid) and I can see the wheels turning.  Seeing his happiness and peace of mind that goes with it increase, quite frankly puts a big smile on my awkward-looking face😊!  Irv for the first time in a long time is choosing happiness and doing so not at the detriment of his business, his family, or himself.  Instead, he is doing it because of those three things, which he loves so dearly, and the back end of this is a better version of Irv along with a better outcome for all.

Lesson learned:

I’d like to thank Irv Rosenzweig for his friendship, his contribution, and his inspiration.  I think we can all learn a huge lesson from him regardless of age or stage in your career.  In summary:

  1. Do what you love and you’ll love what you do.
  2. Being selfish some times allows you to be selfless.
  3. If you are being pulled in too many directions, fix it!
  4. Work smarter not harder
  5. If you focus on your health, and your wealth, happiness will follow.
  6. Never stop caring, learning, and growing.

Thanks, Irv, for all you’ve taught me and you are an inspiration to us all.  Can’t wait to see how great we can make this company!  To all of you stay healthy, stay wealthy, and stay happy (or time to change)!

Financial planning and Investment advisory services offered through Diversified, LLC. Securities offered through Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments, Member FINRA/SIPC. Headquartered at 80 State Street, Albany, NY 12207. Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments and Diversified, LLC are not affiliated companies.