The Major League Baseball season started this week in the USA. Though I’m not a huge sports fan anymore, baseball’s Opening Day always makes me nostalgic and brings back memories.
Growing up I was a huge sports fan and baseball was my favorite. During the cold winter months in New York City, I would count down the days till Opening Day so that I could start reading about my baseball heroes in the newspapers every morning. Baseball was my first love and I when I played baseball with my friends, I would dream one day I would be the starting third baseman for the New York Yankees just like my idol, Graig Nettles.
Later on as basketball became my favorite sport, my dream was to follow Patrick Ewing’s footsteps and play in college for the Georgetown Hoyas and then play in the NBA for the New York Knicks.
My friends had similar dreams…
The adults around me all idolized the pro athletes and had similar dreams as well…
To be a professional athlete was the COOLEST thing in the world. Not only do you get fame, fortune but you got to make a living doing what you love!
And back in school… the jocks were the studs and were popular. They were cool while the nerds were losers who everyone picked on.
So it was a shock when my father would scoff at my heroes and would not idolize professional athletes like the other people around me did. He always taught me that just wait a few years and you will see who the real “winners” were. The athletes were just the latest flash in the pan and my future would be better than theirs.
I just thought my dad was so dumb and just didn’t get it.
My Dad’s Wisdom
20 years later, I see the wisdom in my dad’s philosophy.
Over the years as I have built a successful network marketing home business worldwide, I have learned 3 critical components that are necessary to provide you long term success and security.
– Importance of time (our only asset that is limited)
– Building something for the future that will last
– Importance of your Mindset
To understand my dad’s wisdom, you have to look at the stats and reality of professional sports and how they violate all of these 3 critical components.
It’s All or Nothing
For most people, life really “starts” after age of 22 and we grow our careers and business and ultimately reach our peak around ages 50 – 60. For athletes, their career peak is at age 21 and things go downhill.
Only 1% of Division I college basketball players make it the professional NBA (for baseball players, less than 1% of the best high school players make it to the pros!)
So knowing the facts, why should anyone invest their time into something that has such a low percentage of success? To make it worse, often the kids that invest their time into pursuing a dream of playing professionally do it at a SACRIFICE to other important parts such as education and relationships.
The prime of an amateur athlete’s life is under the age of 22. Once they don’t make it to the pros, their options in life are limited. Their lives go downhill fast. They don’t have the education nor skills in the workplace to find a job or start a business. I got firsthand experience of this when I was a sports agent and helped professional basketball players who were not good enough in the NBA to play overseas. It was a sad to see former college stars who “had it all” go from the peak of the lives to bottom. Fame is fleeting and when you are a star, you have all the perks and friends in the world. When you don’t make it to the NBA, you wake up all day and realize it is all gone. The most painful loss is all the “friends” that they thought they had and often it is a very tough emotional adjustment for these athletes to realize that life is on the downhill.
It was unsettling to see how players were just discarded as if they were just pieces of a chess game but I guess that is how life is. When you are no good, no one wants you.
It is all or nothing and sadly, 99% of the time it is nothing.
My dad was right. These kids were investing their time (their entire lives) in the wrong area.
It’s a Short Party
Even if the amateur is good enough and beats out the 99% and makes it to the pros, he has a short career. The average career in the NBA is less than 4 years.
Most kids who fantasize about being a immortal star such as Michael Jordan don’t realize that most pros end up like Quincy Lewis (who the heck is he?) and forgotten fast.
Lack of Wealth Mindset
Even if you beat the odds and become a professional star and sign a big multimillion dollar contract, your future still looks bleak. According to Sports Illustrated, over 60% of NBA players file for bankruptcy within 5 years of retirement!!!
A great recent example is former NFL (American football) star, Warren Sapp who just filed for bankruptcy this week and owes creditors over $6.7 million. Warren Sapp was one of the top players at his position for over a decade and was a glamorous TV analyst but is still broke…
So basically, you worked hard all your life only to end up poorer than you started. I know money is not everything and doesn’t bring happiness but I’m sure being poor and bankrupt adds stress and doesn’t help you with happiness.
Why do these athletes become poor so fast?
They do not have the right mindset to manage their money. You can have all the money in the world but if your mindset is poor and weak, you will lose the money. The mindset to manage money is NOT easy to begin with and it is even tougher on these professional athletes because they spent their entire lives on sports and not on financial education or on life skills.
Another important factor to consider is the feelings of these athletes. Money is not everything but when you “have had it all” and then you not only lose it but have the media scrutinize you, how do you feel? It’s definitely not something you go to bed smiling about.
Invest Your Time Wisely
My Dad Was Right.
Now that I am older and more mature, I see my dad’s wisdom. He was right… You should be investing your time and activities everyday in creating something that will last long term.
I also think my own mortality has given me wisdom. I used to play basketball 7 days a week at a competitive level. As I got older and slower, I sadly realized one day that I could no longer play at the level I enjoyed. When that day came, I got bored with playing basketball and decide to invest my time (business) into something that I can do till I am at least 80 years old.
Here is a good question to ask your question.
Are you investing your time and resources into something that will last?
Are you in a career that will provide you satisfaction in the future?
If the answer is no, then are you currently devoting time to building a part time business that will allow you to do the things you really want?
If not, then you are simply wasting your time and putting your eggs in the wrong basket.
If you need advice in what you should do, please Contact Me.
Learn to use your time wisely!
I Still Love Sports
I still do love sports though and I do admire the professionals but I also know now that there are far better ways to invest your time and your life. I’d rather be a normal person and invest my time into a career or business that has greater chance of success and secure my future.
If my son Ethan tells me he wants to devote his time to practice and become a professional athlete, I would still let him pursue his dreams but also guide him to invest time into education and other options.
I’m interested in your thoughts. Feel free to share below.
P.S. And don’t worry, I’m still a sports fan! 🙂
P.P.S. If you want to invest your time into something that will last and need advice, feel free to Contact Me