At some point, any fan of professional sports leagues (i.e. NBA, NHL, MLB) have witnessed their team go through a rebuilding process. In the context of sports, rebuilding is essentially when a team takes a step back with the expectation to be better within a few years time, hoping they can develop new strategies to address roster/staff deficiencies.
In the 2006 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers traded one of basketball’s greatest stars of all time: Allen Iverson. The departure of the superstar resulted in the team spiralling into mediocrity for several long and painful years. In 2014, the team drafted Joel Embiid, a budding star who was set to turn the team’s future around. They followed this up with a marketing campaign which beared the slogan: “#TrustTheProcess”. Since the 2017-18 season, the team has completely transformed, being one of the most exciting teams to watch. They are favoured to be playoff contenders with a very strong fanbase. In my life today, I’ve recognized that I am in the process of going through something akin to a rebuilding phase in my career. For the last couple years, I worked for the municipal government in their assessment department. During my time there, I was very blessed to have met some great people who encouraged me, giving me the opportunity to run with the different ideas I had to try and make things better. I was growing in recognition across the branch as one of the go-to people for the most difficult assignments. Plans were in place to put me in more leadership roles on different initiatives. While I was getting great exposure, I was aware that I was not getting specific experience on aspects of the business that would establish me as an authority figure in the Real Estate business.
After recognizing the gaps in my understanding of the business and the limited opportunity the municipality had for the exposure that I craved, I made the decision to move on. Moving on in this case meant that I would be taking a pay cut, accepting a lesser benefits package, working longer hours, reestablishing myself internally/externally, and enduring a STEEP learning curve. Sounds like moving in the complete opposite direction, doesn’t it?
Outside of examining the implications on my newly minted wife, I had to identify what I wanted my future to look like and work backwards to see what I needed to do to get to my destination. At the end of the day, I realized that I needed three things to get to that end-goal: knowledge, connections, and specific experiences. The absence of those key factors led me to have the clear understanding that I needed to make a move immediately or risk inhibiting my future growth.
The point that I struggled with the most was the acceptance of a pay-cut. Why? My ego. I was proud to be making a great sum of money at such a young age and to be gaining recognition as a young talent at the company. It seemed painful to have to go through some of that process again. However, once I woke up to the fact that as long I was still able to maintain my standard of living (by following the principles in the post: 3 WEALTH PRINCIPLES FROM JAY-Z’S 4:44 ALBUM) at this stage in my life, the objective should be less focused on the fiscal aspect and more on the knowledge and experience side of the equation. The decision became a no-brainer.
It is 100% clear to me that by opting to sacrifice today, not only will I be more of an asset to those around me, but my earning potential will no longer be bound by a pre-set payscale and will be limitless to whatever my mind can conceive. Unfortunately, I’ve come across a number of people who don’t take the long view on their expected future outcomes and they often speak with regret about not acting on their dreams/goals sooner. One of the important things I’ve recognized is that change can be painful and there is never going to be a perfect time to take a step back. But as long as there is a vision in place to keep the focus, it ultimately puts me in a rocketship forward towards my dreams. I will always accept the short term pain for the longer term payoff. The #TrustTheProcess slogan should be taken to heart by all people, but I believe even moreso by younger people, to avoid being mentally handcuffed to current circumstances and see towards the fast approaching future.