A Jerry Maguire Moment

What happens to a man when he wakes up one day and realizes that all the thoughts and values he held true are false? The movie Jerry Maguire was devoted to such a moment. If you recall, Jerry Maguire was very successful sports agent that had a “moment” of perceived clarity. Jerry went from seeing each player as a means of making money, to being a human being. He spent the night writing his memo on how a good agency and agent would operate in order to be better aligned with the client (the sports player). This meant less clients, more direct contact, etc. It was this document that changed his whole career…nearly ending it completely.

“Twenty-four hours ago, man, I was hot! Now, I’m a cautionary tale. You see this jacket I’m wearing? You like it? Because I don’t really need it. Because I’m cloaked in failure! I lost the number one draft pick the night before the draft! Why? Let’s recap: Because a hockey player’s kid made me feel like a superficial jerk. I ate two slices of bad pizza, went to bed and grew a conscience!” Jerry Maguire

After he had dropped off his “memo” to everyone in his office, and was subsequently let go.

His only remaining client which stayed with him was Rod Tidwell, an aging quarterback in need of a new “big” contract to support his family. While the famous line, “show me the money” came from Rod, the money that he was talking about wasn’t the same as the money that Jerry had been going after. No, Rod was more talking about his “Kwan”, which he further described as “love, respect, community… and money.”

I may be pushing things a bit far, but this “kwan” is really an ideal that people like Mother Teresa subscribed to. If you know about her life, she wasn’t just some frail looking female that helped women and kids in other countries. No, she was also a vigilant fighter for her cause and as such she would make a pilgrimages back to New Jersey to regularly call for support of her cause. Furthermore, when she started out NO ONE knew the magnitude of change that this tiny woman would be a catalyst for. When she asked for money she had to fight the “church” for it. And from stories I heard from firsthand accounts (a priest I knew back East), she was as tough as nails when it came to getting money for her cause. She wanted it… she needed it …for her cause.

Have you had a
Jerry Maguire moment?

My wife and I had one when we lived back East. It was after 9/11; we were working in New York and living in New Jersey. We had planned to work in the city (Manhattan) for another year while a house that we had designed was built. We had spent the previous year looking for property, selecting an architect and a contractor. It was all done. Our “dream” home was ready to be built, mortgage approved and everything… but as night after night went by and we continued to smell the burning of the World Trade Center (it smoldered for weeks after the terrorist attack), we felt pulled to come home. It was time for us to be back with friends and family… and for us to start a family of our own.

We bought a house that we saw only on the Internet while still living in New Jersey (my mother-in-law walked through it with the real estate agent) and moved back to California. We moved into the house and thought that we would build the house a year or two later. Our goal was to get things settled first, but over the next couple years our priorities in life changed. We were ready to start a family.
My wife wanted to leave her company and we decided the house we wanted to build just didn’t fit “us” (6500 square feet on 4.5 acres). While it was designed with family and friends in mind, a place that we could gather and enjoy each other’s company, it really didn’t fit our actual life and what we wanted to focus on (her consulting company, my practice, and raising our future children).

Erin at that point was working her butt off; traveling 30% of the time and putting in a minimum of 60 hours of work every week. The last software company I worked for had been purchased and for the last year I had been working with our financial advisor as an associate planner. Our goal was to set ourselves up for an easier 50 years… but when the tower fell, we realized how quickly life could change at the blink of eye. It was more important to find a better balance in life.

I guess you could say that we wrote a memo to ourselves on what we wanted our life to look like. It was this “blue print” that helped us to put our life back into balance.

Have you had a Jerry Maguire moment? What was it? Email me two sentences and we will include it (anonymously) in the next blog. If you haven’t thought about your current relationship with money, how do you see it? What is it used for in your life? Do you envy others? Do you want more of it? What are you willing to give up for it?

Money Making Opportunity
What is money? I am giving out a $5 gift card to everyone that sends me back a response of what they believe money is. If you have a friend that likes Starbucks, send them the blog and have them email me.

Want more? Describe the difference between money and kwan. If I get 5 people to respond to it, we will vote on the best definition of kwan and the winner will receive a $100 gift card.

This is blog #1 of a few on money and balance
Next month… What is money?

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