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Welcome to Above the Canopy
My name is Grant Bledsoe. I'm a financial planner who works with business owners to create clarity and confidence with regard to their finances. I started this site in 2016 as an avenue to communicate my thoughts and opinions about investing, financial planning, and the capital markets.
The most common misconception - and the most dangerous one - about financial planning is that having a lot of income will always lead you to financial success. More income can help, but many other pieces need to be in place too.
What's more, business ownership can be consuming. Many business owners and entrepreneurs tend to prioritize their work, wrongly thinking that if the business is successful there's no way they won't be financially successful themselves. Business success can lead to more income and financial success, but it's far from guaranteed. You still need to put in the work.
That's where Above the Canopy comes in. On this site you'll find blog posts, podcast episodes, videos, and other resources that will help you realize the financial success you deserve. We try to cover the gamut of financial issues busines owners face, formatted in digestible ways you can tackle at your own pace.
“You Can Have Everything In Life You Want, If You Will Just Help Enough Other People Get What They Want.” - Zig Ziglar
I'm in love with the entrepreneurial process. Opportunity arises when someone has an idea for a product or service they believe is superior to what's currently offered in the marketplace. That person can take a risk and invest their money, time, and energy in starting a company to bring that idea to market.
If their hypothesis is correct their company could be successful. The market might adopt & purchase the new product, which ends up being beneficial for everyone. It's beneficial for the customers, who are getting more value from the new product than what they were previously using. And it's economically beneficial for the entrepreneur who took the risk in the first place.
It's a beautiful process. One that rewards risk raking, hard work and determination. The more value a business owner provides to others, the greater the economic rewards.
For me, I've been around small businesses my entire life. My dad was an attorney and ran several different firms over his career. His dad was a dentist who ran his own practice and later a local dry cleaning company. Entrepreneurship is familiar to me.
I work with business owners professionally because I want to be a cog in the engine of that beautiful process. I want to help others down their own entrepreneurial journey because when they're successful everyone is better off. Customers get more value from the products and services they purchase. Business owners are better equipped to reach their personal financial objectives. The local and broader economy is stronger, which benefits the community at large.
Hence this website.
My Philosophies & Core Beliefs
I believe we have a responsibility to make the best decisions we can as we travel through life, as doing so improves the outcomes for ourselves, our family, our friends, and our community. I believe the only way to optimize decision making is to constantly seek the truth about the world around you. Sometimes the truth is hard or inconvenient, and falling back on our original understanding or opinion is more convenient. I believe that being open minded, open to new ideas, and open to the possibility you may be wrong is the only way to understand the truth and make the best decision for yourself and others.
I believe that while there are numerous nooks and crannies across the markets that are inefficient, most of the capital markets around the world are largely efficient. I believe that a team of highly skilled, experienced, professional investors with ample resources - and a whole lot of luck - is needed to exploit these opportunities consistently. Because of this, I believe that the vast majority of individual investors are better served with a consistent, globally diversified, broad based portfolio with a long term focus.
I believe that integrity is everything. Integrity can take many forms. Doing what you say you're going to do. Delivering difficult, honest messages that have the potential to hurt feelings or damage relationships. Beind honest with yourself and others. I believe that we can improve the world around us by making good decisions, and that the more integrity we have as a community the more we're empowered to do so.
I believe that entrepreneurship is our best opportunity to impact the world. Entrepreneurship is centered on improving other peoples' lives. Bringing a product or service to market that adds value to a business's customer base is a wonderful opportunity. It enables business owners to instill their values, culture, and ideas not just in their organization but across all stakeholders: customers, employees, vendors, investors, and their community.
I believe that to make good decisions we must understand human nature, and that the only way to do so is to study history. Studying history gives us key information about how others handled similar situations. The mistakes they made and the short & long term ramifications. How groups of people tend to react. History is a guide book for decision making. I believe studying history is a prerequisite for optimal decision making.
I believe capitalism has flaws, but is the most efficient way to allocate resources in an economy. History has shown that free markets where price, labor, and production are governed by supply and demand result in more economic progress than when dictated by a centralized authority. I believe that while capitalism can lead to income inequality and other problems, it still generates the most economic progress and is the best option.
I believe that we should never stop trying to learn and improve. Personally and professionally, learning & improvement leads to progress, which narrows the gap between your current situation and your desired future state. I believe that a focus on improving a little bit every single day will compound in extraordinary ways over time. Humans tend to overestimate what they can do in a year, but underestimate what they can do in a decade.
I believe that taxes are necessary to generate the funds any country, state, or locality needs to function. I believe that while everyone should pay the taxes they're legally obligated to, there's no reason to leave a tip. Thoughtful tax planning enables us to engineer what tax you pay and when. I believe that we have a right to explore such avenues, and that good financial stewards have an obligation to do so.
What To Do Now
If any of this resonates with you your next step is simple:
Just follow along.
Sign up for our newsletter to be emailed about new content posted to the site. Subscribe to our podcast Grow Money Business. Download the eBooks. Peruse the site to learn how you can optimize your cash flow, reduce taxes and invest prudently.
And if you're looking to hand off your financial planning to a partner invested in your success, you can click here to learn more about the process at my financial planning firm.