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Build a Life You Love

Sometimes the business of life gets us into a pattern of constantly doing, instead of being and pursuing exactly who we are. If that has happened to you, I encourage you to stop and reflect for a moment, because, there’s a big difference between just living your life and designing a life you love.

Wherever you are in your life’s journey, it’s never too late to build a life you love! This year, as I celebrate 25 years as a wealth advisor, I thought I might share with you my five life lessons I’ve learned about how to build a life you love:

Follow your passion.

I have a passion for wine and fine food. Years ago when I started fine dining, I was intrigued at the difference a nice glass of wine could make on the meal. A good glass of wine could either make or break the meal and the experience. So I began to study. Then, my OCD tendencies brought me to completing the Sommelier training! And Ibecame a Certified Sommelier as well as a Certified Specialist in Wine. I also became a member of Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the International Food and Wine Society,and became a board member of the Culinary Group at the Center Club.

You don’t have to stop at following just one passion, either. Wine and fine dining are not my only passions; l am also extremely passionate about health and fitness, ocean sports, and fashion.

Know your priorities.

Knowing your priorities, and actually living them, might be the most important factor in designing a life you love. Let’s face it…life is busy. Life can be all-consuming. If you don’t have you priorities straight, and are not following them, chances are you’ll never actually get to the point of living a life you love.

My top three priorities are, in order of importance:

  • Family
  • Health/Fitness
  • Spiritual Health

Knowing these are my priorities ensures I am spending my time where it makes me the happiest. Above all, I spend quality time with my family. Prioritizing my relationships is essential for not only my happiness, but my family’s. Sometimes that means giving other things up, and I’m okay with that. We have a finite amount of hours in the day; spend them wisely.

Have an attitude of gratitude.

It’s not always easy, I know. Trust me, I get it. But, time and time again research has supported that performing simple gratitude exercises can bring a range of benefits like feelings of increased well-being and reduced depression.

In my own life, I have a practice of always thanking God every morning for all of the wonderful blessings He has given me and my family, regardless of what is happening in life. That means even when things are difficult, I still thank God for it all.

Work Hard.

While my Dad was not around much as a child, he was a very good example of hard work and work ethic. Part of what he taught me is that to achieve something great, you need to work at it every day! That’s part of the reason why I’m disciplined about exercising or moving my body every day.

But, that doesn’t mean work at something so hard you burn out. Pace yourself, and work as hard as you’re able to sustain, and not impact your other priorities.

Be willing to be uncomfortable.

I think most of my life has been based on being uncomfortable.

  • Getting up at 4:00am everyday is uncomfortable, but I know that I need to do this to get to gym, so that I can be healthy.
  • Studying and obtaining my CFP certification over 20 years ago was uncomfortable.
  • Obtaining my Sommelier certification was uncomfortable.

But, the discomfort is short-lived in the grand scheme of things, and you know what? It’s been worth it every time. The challenge is to get past that initial feeling of wanting to return to the norm, so you can grow and benefit from that discomfort.

I’ll end here with these quotes:

“Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards” — Seal

“Anything worth doing is worth doing well” — Hunter S. Thompson

So cheers, everyone, to building a life you love!

Bart Zandbergen Nobleman Magazine

[This article originally appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of NOBLEMAN Magazine]

In a world where you can be anything, why be ordinary? As far back as I can remember, I was always particular about my wardrobe. I was taught that being polished in your physical presentation was a sign of respect to those around you. To this day, even though the status quo for work week apparel and beyond has drastically changed, I still choose to have a pulled together look, day in and day out. Especially in competitive industries, presentation is not only key, but it can be the ultimate deal breaker when working to close a deal.

Your presence is the culmination of your presentation, from your chosen look to the individually tailored materials you are presenting to a client. It is often said that the better you look, the better you feel, and therefore an elevated sense of confidence you bring to the table. Over that last 20 years, I have chosen to develop my wardrobe around signature, custom tailored pieces that compliment my look and frame. As a taller gentleman, off the rack apparel rarely fits well- and fit is half the battle sometimes. From date night to board meetings and dinner with clients, I always choose to honor those I am investing time with by showing respect through carefully curated looks.

5 Essential Wardrobe Investments:

  1. 4 Basic Suits: Navy, Black, Medium Gray, Charcoal. With these four colors you cover the gamut. No need to get all at once….pace yourself….take a year if you have to. The black suit, when paired with the right accessories (shirt, tie, shoes, belt) can be worn to a formal black tie event, a night on the town, or at an important business meeting. Three piece suits are a personal favorite. By going this route, you can get more looks out of the same suit. By building your wardrobe on solid basics you can develop the essential foundation to a power wardrobe. The solid suits can effortlessly be paired with a crisp white shirt, any colored shirt or patterned shirts.
  2. Sport Coats: Two or Three nice sport coats really allow you to get mileage your wardrobe. Navy and Black essentials, and a fun/patterned coat are great choices. These coats can be worn with nice slacks, pants from a suit, or with dark denim and five pocket pants. Sport coats help create a polished look for more casual days in the office, dinner dates, or informal client meetings.
  3. Jeans: Great denim and five pocket pants have become a big part of my personal wardrobe. I find myself wearing a jeans/sport coat combo more and more often. Look for a nice fitting, straight leg, dark finished jean. I have incorporated many different colors of 5 pocket pants (basically a jean design) made with brushed cotton into my wardrobe from brands like AG Jeans, the Matchbox Model style.
  4. Shoes: Often overlooked but essential. High quality shoes in a style that reflects your personality are a great choice.I tend to choose modern cap toe shoes, although I do have a few pair of monk straps. Choosing basic colors like black, dark brown and medium brown are the perfect foundation. Recently. I added a pair of dark grey shoes into my collection and I LOVE them. With jeans, I prefer to wear Chelsea boots in black or brown.
  5. Watch: To finish the look, invest in a great time piece. Find a style that works for you.

For everything above….less is more. I would rather have fewer, high quality, great fitting pieces vs a larger quantity of ill-fitting choices.

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Bart A Zandbergen, CFP® is a Registered Investment Advisor with Optivest, Inc and a Registered Representative with Gramercy Securities, Inc. Investment advisory services are offered by Optivest, Inc. under SEC Registration and securities are offered through Gramercy Securities, Inc., member FINRA & SIPC, 3949 Old Post Road, Charlestown, RI, 02813, 800-333-7450.


Investment advisory services are offered by Optivest, Inc. and securities are offered through Gramercy Securities, Inc., member FINRA & SIPC. Securities are not FDIC-Insured, are not bank-guaranteed and may lose value. This website is provided solely for Optivest, Inc. clients and does not intend to provide investment, tax or legal advice. Be sure to consult with your own tax and legal advisors before taking any action that would have tax consequences. All references to Optivest on this website refer to Optivest, Inc. (a California Incorporated company) and all references to Optivest Properties refer to Optivest Properties, LLC. Optivest, Inc. does not represent that the securities, products, or services discussed in this website are suitable or appropriate for all investors. Information herein is taken from sources deemed reliable and neither Optivest, Inc. nor Gramercy Securities, Inc. is responsible for any errors that might occur. Optivest, Inc. may only transact business in those states and international jurisdictions where we are registered/filed notice or otherwise excluded or exempted from registration requirements. The information on this website is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any entity or person in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation, or which would subject Optivest, Inc. or Gramercy Securities to any registration requirement within such jurisdiction or country. The opinions expressed by vendors or third parties are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Optivest, Gramercy or their affiliates. All links to other Internet websites (“hyperlinks”) are included as a convenience for our visitors and Optivest, Inc. assumes no liability for the content or the presentation of such linked sites. No part of this website may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other print or electronic publication without the express consent of Optivest, Inc. The material has been prepared and is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy. No representation or warranty is provided for any software that may be downloaded from this website. Copyright © 2016 Optivest, Inc.

Securities offered through Gramercy Securities, Inc., 3949 Old Post Road, Charlestown, RI 02813, 1-800-333-7450

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