THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
I really enjoy watching the NBA playoffs and specifically love the NBA Finals. The playoffs are always more intense. I find that in the regular season, the games can be a tad bit boring. There just isn’t the same energy level as that of the playoffs. Plus on top of that, many of the best players sit throughout the season, so they can be fresh for the playoffs.
I can’t imagine how mad I would be if I bought tickets to a Cleveland Cavaliers v. Washington Wizards game only to see LeBron James sit out. Needless to say, I won’t be wasting my money at a regular NBA season game.
With that said, the playoffs are a completely different atmosphere. The energy is such that it feels like the momentum can swing from one end to the other based on a pivotal play. It pushes me to the edge of my seat. In my opinion, it’s the best type of drama. I’ll take that over reality TV any day!
Game 7 of the playoffs is the most exciting part. At that point, teams have already slugged it out over the first six games to a tie. Both teams know that if they lose, their season is over, and nobody wants to go home before they raise the Championship trophy.
Even though I love watching Game 7, it normally ends tragically for my Washington teams. They just don’t typically fare very well. The Washington Capitals have a record of 3-10 in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Washington Nationals have yet to win a playoff series, and the Washington Wizards/Bullets haven’t won a Game 7 since 1979. It’s been pretty futile as a Washington sports fan over the years.
Golden State Warriors
Recently, after the Wizards were eliminated, I inevitably jumped on the Golden State Warriors bandwagon. Ever since the Warriors started to spread their players out and shoot three-pointers offense, their fun and creative style has drawn me, along with many other NBA fans.
The humble superstar leading their team is Stephen (Steph) Curry. For those unfamiliar with Steph, he is the ultimate underdog. I have been following his career since high school. Yes, I am that nerdy that I follow high school recruiting. I had previously mentioned that my dream job was being the talent evaluator for an NFL team, preferably as a GM. For me, it’s always fun to project out how kids might do in their future careers.
Most of you may be starting to glaze over. What does this have to do with finances? Hold on, I promise I’ll get there.
Steph’s father is Dell Curry, who is probably considered the best basketball player to come from my Alma Mater, Virginia Tech. When Steph was coming out of high school, Tech showed some interest in him but did not offer a scholarship. The coach thought he was too small and couldn’t handle the ball well enough as a point guard to offer a scholarship. Needless to say, the school fired that coach shortly afterwards when Steph became a star.
Doubtful about His Ability
Steph attended a small school, Davidson, and although he was excelling in his basketball career, there were still people that doubted. Would a small-school player really be able to succeed in the NBA, or was his achievement merely a product of playing inferior competition? Plus, who knew if his body would be able to handle the rigors of a long NBA season.
Well his career isn’t over yet, but he has won two MVP awards and has also won an NBA championship with another one firmly in his sights. He’s also considered one of the best shooters in NBA history, if not the best. He is still only 28 years old with many potential NBA years left.
Hard Work Pays Off
Most of us are not born with a silver spoon. We have to work hard to get where we are, like Steph.
Right out of college, I received one job offer. I graduated during the early 2000s recession and the hangover from 9/11. Companies weren’t hiring many people, so I was incredibly thankful that one company was willing to employ me. However, it wasn’t in the field of finance and accounting, which was the field I had studied. But I knew that I needed to continue to improve my skill sets in order to progress.
My first job was at an auto insurance company as an adjuster. To be honest, I knew nothing about cars. I had to learn everything from scratch. Do you know what it is like negotiating with an auto repair shop that has repaired cars for decades? There were many times that the body shop guys would tell me that I had no idea what I was talking about. Accordingly, I had my fair share of self-doubt that I could do the job well. But, like Steph, I persisted and worked on my negotiating skill set until I was finally promoted into a job where I negotiated all day. I had no idea what the benefits of this skill set would be for me.
Since I started at the bottom, my focus has always been to build a financial bridge to my dreams. In the same vein, Steph Curry desired to dominate the NBA. He had to build a bridge to get there. He knew that he wouldn’t get there without putting in the hard work on the front end.
Too many people assume that if they do something for a little bit that success will follow immediately. It’s all part of our society’s instant-gratification mentality. I have friends that are shocked at how much work that I put into this blog. It takes as much time as my full time job most weeks, but I love every second of it. I’m hoping that it will pay off in the long run, in the same way it did for Steph Curry.
Ever since I graduated college, I really wanted to pursue the route of financial counseling. I knew that I could steer people in the right direction and provide valuable counsel. However, I constantly heard that no 40 or 50 year old would want to hear from a 21 year old about how they should operate their finances.
It makes sense. What freshly-minted college graduate has a significant amount of life experience? I would be doubtful too of a youngin trying to tell me how to manage a household or save for tomorrow while living for today.
But, I got older and wiser and began to hone my financial craft. I rounded out my skill sets by learning about investments, taxes, debt, and the psychology of finances. I began to volunteer at church as a financial course facilitator. However, I soon realized I wanted to reach more people with a slightly different message.
Creating Something New
A strong desire I have had is to come up with alternatives to some of the mainstream financial courses available to the public. Much of the advice feels outdated, and their empires have grown so much that money has become more important than people.
With that said, I’ve been working on creating a course called Reaching FIRE. My intention was that it would combine and incorporate all the best practices into an easy-to-follow guide. I hope it will make a tremendous difference in the lives of everyone who takes it. The book-portion of the course should completed by the end of August.
I’d love for you to review the material and provide feedback on what I’ve done right and what I’ve done wrong once I finish. While I may not be Steph Curry, I believe I can make an impact in an area that I care so much about.