“Money is my military, each dollar a soldier. I never send my money into battle unprepared and undefended. I send it to conquer and take currency prisoner and bring it back to me.” Kevin O’Leary.
When you are an athlete, you have to do a few things to be good. You have to train harder than most people. You have to put in longer hours. You have to be stronger, faster and smarter than the other team or the other person. You have to also be the strongest, fastest, smartest version of yourself and look to improve that every day.
You have to think you are the best. You have to think you can win.
Then, you have to believe you are the best. You have to believe you can win.
You have to block out the other voices that distract you and be laser-focused on achieving your goal.
It’s a place you go on a regular basis.
You have to believe you are better, you have to believe you are stronger and you have to believe you can do things you think are impossible. You have to defy the odds.
That’s if you want to be good.
If you want to be really good, you have to multiply all this by ten.
I’m not saying this is good or bad, I’m just saying this is the way it is. People from the outside may call it pride, focus, mental toughness, heart – whatever.
For an athlete, this is our currency. We purchase our time with this, our grit, our strength our guts and our determination. We swipe the card to spend and then we get right back to earning again.
This is our currency. It’s the monetary system that overlaps most of how we live.
It might sound ridiculous, but everyone has a currency.
For an athlete this is ours and for us it’s very, very real.
Eventually there comes a time when our sports career ends. The money we’ve been taking to the bank and saving and spending has suddenly reduced in value. There is cash in the bank and we are still every bit as motivated to spend it, but now it just doesn’t buy as much.
We graduate or finish our professional sports career and then go out into the world and try to keep buying off this currency. We work super hard at our jobs, we hit our numbers or quotas, we want to lead, work on teams, form huddles and get the best out of others.
We still have money to spend.
The hard part is that most of the time, people aren’t quite sure what to do with our money. To them, it’s a foreign currency and they aren’t sure what the exchange rate is.
“You’re money’s not good here,” they may say.
And for a while, because we are used to defying odds and training to be better, we work harder.
We adapt. We look for what we are doing wrong. We may blame outside sources and shirk responsibility.
Sometimes, we just go looking for people who recognize our currency.
In the saddest cases, we bankrupt ourselves and forget we ever had money in the first place.
Here’s what I think.
We don’t have to spend our money to create value.
Sometimes the best thing is to start saving it. Start earning interest. Let it sit for a while. Let it burn a whole in your pocket.
We do not have to feel bankrupt because people don’t understand our currency.
We do not have to cash out in an effort to be understood. We don’t have to spend our currency where it’s not wanted.
Trust me, your money is still good – it just needs new value.
Look. I’m still just as motivated, determined and driven as I’ve always been. But I don’t spend my money in the gym or on the track or late at night hitting volleyballs up onto the roof anymore.
I’ve assigned a new value to my currency and I’ve had to figure out how to spend it. That has taken a lot of time and it’s taken a lot of work and a lot of failing and getting back up. It hasn’t been easy.
When push came to shove, I took the very currency I’ve always spent producing results and I spent it on myself for a while.
I live and breathe by the currency that I know and I’m not ashamed of what that is.
Best part is I get to spend my money how I like and the longer I live under this currency, the longer I know how much value it has and I’m not about to let anyone bankrupt me because they don’t know what to do with my money.
In this day and age, it means my currency is best spent teaching others how to use what they’ve been given. How to maximize their own currency and how to create value out of it.
I don’t make a lot of actual money doing this, but I am confident that I’ll always be in the red.