Should You Be “Better” At Everything?

By: Dr Fred Rouse, CFP, The REAL Money Doctor 

Sally Hogshead and Dr Fred Rouse after filming her interview for Success Network in Winter Park Florida

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting in on an interview featuring Sally Hogshead that will be featured on an upcoming TV show, and I wanted to share a few insights with you. 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sally, she is a truly fascinating woman. She is a hall of fame speaker, two-time New York Times best-selling author and creator of “The Fascinate Test,” the first personal brand measurement, which identifies each person’s most fascinating and impressive qualities. More than one million professionals have taken her test, including leaders in companies like Facebook, Porsche, NASA, and Twitter!  

Prior to her speaking and writing career, she was a Rockstar in the advertising world, winning hundreds of national and international awards for creativity, copywriting and branding. She did some very well-known work for Jagermeister and some of her work is displayed in the Smithsonian Museum of American history.  

Having the privilege of hearing her story and getting to dig in and ask questions in person 

 was a very unique experience that I’m thankful I was invited to be a part of. 

Sally is a powerhouse speaker and it was great to learn about the creativity that led her down her career path, some of the advertising campaigns she’s worked on and the creation and development of “The Fascinate Test,” which essentially measures how other people see you.  

However, one of the things that most resonated with me is a quick story that Sally shared about her son, that I would like to pass on today.  

You Are Awesome, Just The Way You Are 

Years ago, Sally and her family were at a restaurant when her son turned over the paper placemat, scribbled a note onto it and went outside to hold it up for the people walking by. It was early evening, so most people had their heads bowed racing by or were focused on the cellphone in their hand. However, every time someone would look up and read his sign, they would burst into a smile.  

Obviously, that peaked Sally’s curiosity, so she ventured out to see what message her son wanted to share with the world. It said, “You are awesome, just the way you are.” 

Sally shared that all too often, we receive messages on how to fix ourselves or improve ourselves. It starts as children, we’ll be better if we get good grades, if we participate in more activities, if we get into the right college, etc. and it just doesn’t stop. So many people’s lives get consumed by the pursuit of better. Her son’s sign was a much-needed reminder that who we are at our core is awesome and enough. We don’t need to constantly chase being better, it’s a never-ending hamster wheel.  

Now, that’s not to say that we shouldn’t want to improve and grow as people, but we should be focusing on the traits that make us fundamentally who we are. Instead of trying to be better to fit into a certain mold that may not be meant for us, we should be defining the qualities that are unique to ourselves and putting our time into being more of who we are, not less of who we are in an effort to be “better.”  

When Better isn’t, Well, Better… 

When you bring forth and live in your most authentic self, you’ll also find you’re a more energized and confident person. You’re not fighting your innate abilities anymore; you’re letting them guide you to and away from the things you should and shouldn’t be focusing on. 

This got me thinking about myself and things I had done to eliminate the stressors in my life without even realizing it. I used to sell mutual funds, life insurance and annuities. Even though I knew that I was doing the right thing for the specific Client I was in front of at the time, I never felt happy. It was always stressful. I got some new training on taxes and started working with small businesses with 0-6 employees on tax reduction, business structure and management. The weight around my neck was gone. I spent the next 30 years helping the small guy/gal save tax dollars and navigate the system. For me it was one of the most fulling things I ever did to that point. 

And I wondered how many others are doing the same thing… or more detrimental to them, not focusing on what’s important to them.  

How many people are afraid to reach out for my help with their entire retirement situation because they believe they should just know how to do it?  

Or, are there people who think they’re doing something wrong if they’re seeking help instead of teaching themselves a new skillset? 

You don’t have to be good at asset allocation, portfolio, management and taxes, if it’s not something that brings you joy or fulfillment or gives you energy. I gave up selling mutual funds and financial planning services because it didn’t do any of those things for me. However, being retired and now having the ability to show others how to do it too enables me to serve the best version of myself and use my unique traits, while helping others.  

If you’re in a place where you’re fighting to try to figure out if you’ll ever be able to retire and hating every moment of it… let me help you. 

Typically, my student just watch a short video to learn what no other financial planner has ever told them was possible start by going to to access that video. 

And just remember, that getting help isn’t a fault or a flaw. “You are awesome, just the way you are.” 

About the Author Dr Fred Rouse

Dr Fred Rouse, The REAL Money Doctor is a multiple bestselling author and national award winning retired Certified Financial Planner. He created Short Window Retirement Planning, the ONLY system designed specifically for the needs of people 50 and older that want the option to retire in the next 3-5 years starting with as little as 10K. He and his work have been cited in The Wall Street Journal, FORBES, and USA Today. He has been seen on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX News and CNBC.