I fell in love with NFL football 15 years ago, and it has inspired me in many ways on how to build wealth. Once I understood the mentality, strategy, and toughness it takes to win games on Sundays, I was hooked. A football game is much more than mindless buffalo-sized men running into each other. It is a beautiful chess match with human beings that move like coordinated pieces. Building wealth, like football, is a thinking person’s game. Here are seven secret wealth building tips I have found hidden inside the game of football:
1) Wealth Building Tip #1: Be Patient: Life is long. It’s Ok to make mistakes, and it takes a lot of plays to win the game and build your wealth. There are 60 minutes in a football game, and there’s 60+ years in a normal life. You don’t have to win or be perfect in the first quarter or half to win. Great football teams and players take their time, feel out the challenges that are coming at them, and then when they know what they’re doing, they strike to put points on the board.
Great wealth builders have the same mentality. They’re patient. They’re always learning, preparing, and planning for what’s coming ahead, and when they see opportunities to build wealth, they strike. Great NFL teams also make mistakes during a game, but they learn from them and come back to fight again. Financial mistakes happen to all of us. Learn from them. Don’t let your perfectionism get in the way. (Click here to read an article on overcoming perfectionism.) Then get back up, learn from the mistakes, and fight to do better next time.
2) Wealth Building Tip #2: It takes a team to win a championship, not just individual effort. Football teams win championships by using all 53 men that are on their rosters. Each player contributes different skills to create a powerful team that rises above the sum of their parts. Wealthy people think the same way. They are always looking to expand their network of skilled people who push, teach, and inspire them.
Happiness is not real unless shared with others. People who build wealth know how valuable relationships are in their life. It’s not about how smart, skilled, or strong you are as an individual. Building wealth is all about how smart, skilled, and strong your TEAM of friends around you is. Wealthy people invest a large portion of their time building teams of awesome relationships who help inspire them to be better. Grow your network of friends to include incredible people who inspire you, and you will take a massive step forward on the path to build wealth.
3) Wealth Building Tip #3: Pound the rock: Force opportunities to happen, even when nothing is going your way. Great football teams run the ball fearlessly into a line of athletic freaks over and over again even when it looks like nothing is happening because they know it only takes one lucky break to score a touchdown. Even when everything may be looking against you, keep pounding the rock and trying to change your future. It only takes one lucky break to turn all of your fortunes around. Just keep trying. I’ve watched enough football, and lived enough life to know this: Miracles do happen. But they can only happen if you keep trying to change your future and move ahead in your life.
4) Wealth Building Tip #4: Teachability, Discipline, and Drive are more important than talent. Every spring, I follow the NFL draft closely. This is where the top rookies come into the league being praised for their otherworldly speed, strength, and talent. If talent was everything in the equation of success, these rookies should all turn into superstars. I find it fascinating that the opposite often happens. A lot of these top rookies turn out to be busts and fail out of the league five years later. This has shown me that there’s a more powerful force than talent in a human being which determines their success. Desire, attitude, and toughness, are the qualities that ultimately turn a player into a high-producing superstar. The often-quoted saying in football is true in life too: Hard work is more important than talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.
5) Wealth Building Tip #5: Players must understand the language before they can master the sport. The New England Patriots have a pass play that is known by this name: Gun, Brown, Right, 74, Hoss, X, Follow. That code word tells all 11 players on the offensive-team exactly what to do when that play is called. Without practicing and developing this language, they’d run into each other and go backwards on the field. The same requirement of understanding a new language apply when learning how to build wealth.
Wealthy people learn how to become fluent in financial language. They learn to identify concepts and key financial plays to help them win. Their minds begin calculating growth opportunities (assets) and depreciating bad investments (liabilities) the minute they see them. They calculate impacts of IRA’s, Roth IRA’s, Mutual Funds, Dividend Stocks, Interest Rates, Sales charges, and how these relate to their taxable incomes to lead them to harvesting the best returns on the money they make. That previous sentence even resembles a football play call. Master the playbook of financial language so you can understand the right play calls to win growing wealth in your own life.
6) Wealth Building Tip #6: The best players and teams give back. Greed is a nasty human quality that instantly makes people and organizations unlikable. The players I’ll always remember are the ones who seemed to live life for a higher purpose of life than only winning games. These memorable players led charities, donated their time to those more needy, and seemed to have deeper calling on their life than football. The lesson here is building wealth, like football, is best used as a platform to share and give back, rather than to take. I was reminded of this as I just read Viking’s Linebacker Edmund Robinson tweet this morning, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
7) Wealth Building Tip #7: Practice leads to success in games. Football teams start practicing in late April, months before the first game is played in September. Practicing in life is just as important if you want to win. I first started reading other financial blogs to grow my own knowledge. Blogs like these opened my eyes to new possibilities of how I could use financial education to build my own unique dream life, rather than just accepting the life a job gave me. Once I started learning more about building wealth, I was inspired to save more, so I could learn how to maximize the success in my own life.
Here is a list of some great blogs on unique lifestyle finance.
In conclusion, NFL football and the art of building wealth are two very different games. But the qualities that make a great football team, and a wealthy lifestyle are the same.
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