The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament was first played in 1939. There was no Sweet Sixteen that year or in the decade that followed because the original tournament bracket included only eight teams. In 1951, the tournament expanded to include teams from 16 schools, and since then it has grown to the field of 68 we know today.
Most basketball fans are thankful for the tournament’s growth, and one reason why is the exciting possibility of compelling Cinderella stories each March. Remember the real life David and Goliath storyline created when the tenth-seeded Davidson Wildcats made it to the Sweet Sixteen and beyond in 2008 by knocking out much larger schools, including Georgetown and Wisconsin?
Even more surprising was the performance in 2011 by the Virginia Commonwealth Rams, who had to win a play-in game just to make the field of 64. The Rams defeated USC, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State, and Kansas to make it all the way to the Final Four before losing to Butler – a team having its own Cinderella run that year that earned it the title of the modern day Hoosiers.
One obvious observation about these Cinderella teams is that they are truly TEAMS. They are not carried to the final by a high-profile coach or a single all-star. No one has success in basketball by going it alone, but these teams bring that point home better than anybody.
Surrounding yourself with a great team is essential to success in more than just basketball. In my area – estate planning – all too often I meet families who tried to go it alone with terrible results. There are folks who try to do their own estate planning documents, file their own tax returns, and handle their own investment decisions. More often than not, these families wind up in bad situations.
Of course I recommend that clients work with my firm when they’re ready to get their affairs in order to avoid probate, minimize estate-related taxes, and protect assets from the high costs of long-term care. But the team should be bigger than that. The wise families also work with a knowledgeable accountant to ensure their tax returns are handled correctly and a dependable financial advisor on investment decisions.
Don’t try to do this all by yourself. The stress alone makes that a costly decision. Be your own advocate, ask the right questions, and assemble a solid team of advisors if you want to give yourself the best chance for success. Check out my website, ElrodFirm.com, to learn more. Or call today for a no-charge strategy session.