As much as I love financial planning, if you were to ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I’d have a different answer. My response would be the same now as it was if you were to ask me when I was five – a professional hockey player! From a young age, I couldn’t get enough of the game. It took daily amounts of extreme begging before my mom agreed to let me play and take on the financial burden of becoming a hockey parent. Being a part of a team at a young age did wonders for me. It taught me discipline, respect, and camaraderie. I also learned how to work as a team to achieve a collective goal and a long list of other lessons that apply not only to the game, but to how I approach life.
In my opinion, hockey players are the best true athletes in the world. The sport combines skill, speed, precision, intelligence, strength and endurance in a way no other sport can rival. Despite what these athletes do on the ice, it is how they carry themselves that solidifies my love for the game. When a player scores a goal, he doesn’t prance around and make a scene to let everyone know he just scored. You might get the occasional fist pump, but that’s usually about it. They’ve been there before and they act like it. At the end of each playoff series, win or lose, no matter how much hatred there was between the two teams, players line up and shake hands, acknowledging a hard fought series and congratulating the victorious team in an act of sportsmanship that I don’t see in any other major sport. Hockey players are not flashy, but rather down-to-earth, regular guys. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few of the Red Wings at local events and if you didn’t know who they were, you would never guess they were professional athletes making millions each year.
When the Miami Heat won their second consecutive NBA championship this year, Lebron James was interviewed to discuss his team’s success. During a span of seventy seconds, he used the word “I” eighteen times. When the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup this year, their captain, Jonthan Toews was also interviewed. He used the word “we” thirteen times and did not mutter the word “I” one single time. I think that says a lot. A team is not about an individual, it’s about creating success for the entire group – something we are constantly striving for at The Center in an effort to provide the best service possible to our clients.
I like to think of our team at The Center as “financial planning athletes”. We train hard and are always looking for ways we can improve our game. Athletes never stop practicing and neither do we. We work hard every day to maintain the knowledge necessary to serve you, our clients. There are a lot of egos out there, in professional sports, financial planning and everywhere in between. I can proudly say that our team of professionals embodies the furthest thing from an ego. We have an open door policy with one another; everyone is treated as an equal and is an integral part of our firm. We have one heck of a team here at The Center and I am very grateful that in some ways I’m living my dream job.
Nick Defenthaler, CFP® is a Support Associate at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. Nick currently assists Center planners and clients, and is a contributor to Money Centered and Center Connections.
Any opinions are those of Nick Defenthaler and not necessarily those of Raymond James. C13-001965