4 Things That Kobe Bryant’s Retirement Could Teach Us About Personal Finance

If you are an NBA fan, you might have heard the news that one of the living (and playing) legends of the league announced his retirement last Sunday (Nov 29, 2015). Yes, I’m referring to Kobe Bryant. He’ll be playing only until the end of this season and will start facing a new stage of his life – Retirement.

Of course, we’ll not be talking about the Sports angle of this story. Let’s talk about what we can learn from one person’s story of success and perhaps emulate (on a smaller scale maybe) that could lead us to our own journey to Financial Success.

Here it goes…

Attributes to www.ThePlayersTribune.com
Attributes to www.ThePlayersTribune.com

I. We are not capable of working FOREVER.

Yes, walang FOREVER (no such thing as forever). Everything ends.

As the famous ironic quote says “The only constant thing in life is change”. Our mental and emotional state change, or physical ability deteriorates. This means that we cannot work forever. We cannot keep on depending on our active income to support us for the rest of our lives.

Here’s a more dramatic verse from Kobe’s poem ending his career where he earned a total of $680 Million:

You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

That’s the reason why we should and understand the second lesson (and take it seriously).

II. Build a second (third, fourth, fifth, etc…) Income Stream

Specifically, “Less-Active” to PASSIVE Income Stream

Knowing that our body will respond and perform differently when we are young compared to an age of more maturity (and seniority), we have to anticipate how we are going to live past the prime of our lives.

CNN reported that Kobe has earned around $680 Million from his 20-year stint at the NBA, majority of which were earned during the last few years as he acquire the “legend” status. Imagine how much he will be giving up by deciding to retire.

However, aside from his basketball career, Kobe do endorsement stints on the side for well-known brands like NIKE. Coming from a very physical and tiring profession, Kobe will still be able make money from less-active projects.

The lesson here is this, while we take our journey to Professional or Entrepreneurial success, we have to build an income stream that will require less energy and less stress compared to what we are currently doing. Everything should be aligning, our physical deterioration with our financial sources – from an active income, to a less active income, and eventually, to a passive income.

III. Invest in your Passion

Successful and happy people tend to do what they love to do, and that’s what we really want to achieve. At the end of the day, it seems that it will fill good to be wealthy, but it definitely feels good to be happy.

I don’t know where Kobe invests all his money, but based on my research, he have investments that are directly or indirectly related to the sport that he loves.

During 2013, he set up Kobe Inc. with the vision of owning and growing brands and ideas that challenge and redefine the sports industry while inspiring the world. I believe Kobe Inc. is a holding company that invests on other businesses (similar to Ayala Corporation, MPIC, amongst others).

The first investment made by the company was a sports drink called BodyArmorJust this 2015, he teamed up with a venture capital firm to invest in the The Player’s Tribune – a popular website that operate in the sports niche.

While we can make money on various ways, be it active, less-active, or passive sources of income, doing something that we really love will makes everything sustainable, since we are more likely to stick to something we love, through thick or thin, than to something we don’t.

My realization is that on the quest to generate less-active income, it could be an opportunity for us to explore the things that we love to do. Even at this point, say we are in a position that we don’t really like our primary source of income, we could always use our leisure time to make our passion profitable.

Easier said than done, but I remember a quote from some videos that I’ve watched that could inspire you anyway, “Version one is always better than version zero”. It just means that doing something, to achieve our passion in this case, is always better than doing nothing.

IV. Diversify

Diversification does not necessarily apply only to investments, but also to source of income.

With a variety of sources of income, we are able to decide freely on what’s best for us. Relying solely on a single income stream could probably lead to frustration and desperations specially if we don’t love what we do.