THE NEW ERA OF WELLNESS
EP6: Finding Balance in Finance, Mental Health, and Athletics
Dr. George M. Blount, financial professional, author, and founder of nBalance Financial, and Jori Davis, professional basketball player and founder of WeVolv, join us in our final conversation of this mini-series on sports, mental health, and finance. We dive into the resources for athletes to be financially secure in their post-athletic careers, and the role money plays in mental health and balance in sports.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
JORI DAVIS is an accomplished global professional basketball player. The New Orleans native has played pro in five countries. She completed a standout career at Indiana University as the 10th all-time leading scorer at the school and was drafted 33rd overall by the Indiana Fever in the 2011 WNBA Draft upon graduation. She is currently in her ninth pro season playing for Basket Costa in Italy.
She created WeVolv - an exclusive peer-based ecosystem of global elite athletes providing playing and career resources, connections, mentors, and support.
DR. GEORGE M. BLOUNT is the founder and managing partner of nBalance Financial, a financial therapy and retirement plan consulting firm based in Boston MA. He is a qualitative researcher and educator in decision-making, goal setting and motivation in financial, and economic matters.
nBalance Financial is an innovative provider of financial therapy, wellness & retirement planning. They address the financial illiteracy epidemic through counseling and guidance.
Their approach to achieving financial empowerment is designed for individual use and can be easily woven into existing employee benefit programs.
[00:00:00] Mary: Hi there, everyone. Welcome back to 'Your World, Your Money's' "Sports: New Era of Wellness" special series. Today, we are chatting through our final conversation on sports, mental health, and finance. Today, we chat with professional basketball player, entrepreneur and leader Jori Davis and Dr. George M Blount, financial professional, author and founder of nBalance Financial.
[00:00:28] Mary: We're going to talk candidly about the costs of neglecting mental health and neglecting financial education. Professional athletes are already under a level of stress, pressure and cultural expectation that most humans walking around today can only barely imagine. Under these levels of stress and pressure, money and mental health will determine the path forward, whether it's a clear path or a thorny one.
[00:00:55] Mary: Jori and George will chat with me to see what costs and tolls athletes are already paying in suffering and what role money plays in mental health and balance today, and in the path forward.
[00:01:54] Mary: Here, we have Jori Davis and Dr. George M. Blount. Jori is an accomplished global professional basketball player. She is a New Orleans native and has played pro in five countries. She is currently in her ninth pro season playing for Basket Costa in Italy. Jori created Wevolv to disrupt the sports industrial complex, and George is the founder and managing partner of nBalance Financial, a financial therapy and retirement plan consulting firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a qualitative researcher and educator in decision-making, goal setting and motivation in financial and economic matters.
[00:02:36] Mary: So, both of you represent some incredible organizations. So, for our listeners, tell us about Wevolv, tell us about nBalance Financial. Like let's just get our listeners started with how incredible both of those organizations are and, and what they do.
[00:02:54] Jori: Yeah, definitely. Well, on my end, Wevolv. I'm the creator, visionary behind Wevolv. Um, and in a sense, Wevolv is a members only platform that allows elite athletes to manage their own careers. We focus on player empowerment, social lifestyle mentorship. But in a sense, we're trying to make it where we combine tech and culture, and kind of help the athlete evolve and elevate into the new business that is kind of fastly approaching even on the amateur side. And so, we believe the commercial side has always been advanced. They continue to advance and get more intuitive. Yet as athletes, we've kind of stayed stagnant in where our place in this industry. And so, Wevolv is all about in player empowerment, but doing it in an intuitive way. So, relying on our data, getting around the right people that most times, you know, like a George. They're not out there and they're the ones we need.
[00:03:58] Jori: However, the commercial side, they don't do a good job at finding those people for us. And that's something my team and I we've all have identified that, that's the missing link with why we have so many issues because we haven't been approached or the right people haven't been put in front of us. So that's the whole idea behind Wevolv and also just finally having community.
[00:04:20] Jori: All these other spaces, creatives, business tech, they all have their communities, but in athletics, we haven't found a way to effectively build community from a grassroots level. And that's, that's what we're trying to do.
[00:04:35] George: Yeah. And for myself, I am the founder of nBalance Financial. nBalance Financial is a financial therapy and retirement plan consulting firm. I'll start with the financial therapy. First, the financial therapy is helping people with their emotional relationship with money. And so, it really dabbles into the elements outside of economics. So, specifically the psychological things that may happen with money, the behavioral aspects, relational in terms of how you came to understand your behaviors around money.
[00:05:09] George: And then we also have what we know are the emotional responses. There are certain responses that we are just triggered to have just based off of having emotions. And when that happens around money, it's important to understand where that's coming from and how to cope with it. In terms of how to deliver that, I can deliver it individually, but I try to work with organizations to introduce financial therapy as a form of employee benefit or part of a financial wellness program.
[00:05:38] George: So that way we can amplify the message of financial therapy and also help people with some of their problems. Ideally, the discipline can be used as a prerequisite to clear the pathway. We go backwards to try to understand if you're firmly planted, where you are today. And if we can do that, then most products and financial experts can take you to where you want to be in the future.
[00:06:02] George: But we try to specialize in going from past the present so that way people can make good decisions. To do it effectively, it happens through retirement plans, your, your traditional 401k. Or 403B that people may have if they work in the educational healthcare spaces, but then companies can also do them one off to actually just talk about the benefits, which is how I had the opportunity to meet Jori's group and work with athletes.
[00:06:29] George: Because once you understand the need, it is, I think very similar to, as Jori indicated, a community focus. This is a way to limit the gap between what people should know and what they do in financial matters, regardless of what their upbringing or educational attainment is. And if we can do that, then everybody has the right pathway to build wealth on their own terms.
[00:06:52] George: And whether that is athletes, business professionals, or those that are just simply waiting to, to enter in the workforce and are not quite sure, we still deserve the opportunity to build wealth, and this is a discipline that allows that to happen.
[00:07:06] George: Absolutely.
[00:07:07] Mary: And honestly, the first time I heard financial therapy and - obviously I work in finance, I was like, you know what? Everybody needs that. Everybody needs therapy. Everybody needs financial therapy, too. As a team, just the other day. We only answered, I think maybe, four or five questions, but they were questions like, 'how did your parents talk about money and how do you feel about money today?' And as a team, we literally work in finance and like helping people with financial literacy, and our little team's like, 'this is awkward.' And so, I think everybody needs that.
[00:07:45] Mary: Jori I do want to ask, talking about Wevolv as an organization, and maybe bringing George and nBalance into this, tell us why this holistic approach - because I know it is a very holistic approach in this community - holistic approach is so important, especially for an athlete.
[00:08:05] Mary: We have a lot of listeners that, you know, maybe they watch sports and stuff like this, but they might not understand why this is so incredibly crucial for an athlete's life or their career, just their experience as they try and walk-through finances, mental health, finding the next step. So, share with us why that's so incredibly important.
[00:08:26] Jori: Well, first of all, it's important because - again, we've been trained to have handlers. We've been trained to have someone tell us, ‘Go here and we work hard.' And more than ever, we need to work on the human side of the athlete. And so, we need to learn how to make decisions on our own. And we need to know that 'hey, who we want to work with'. That's okay. And so, what we try to do from a holistic standpoint is give them the validated people. Cause that's one challenge. Usually, we find ourselves with people that aren't there for the right reasons. But then once you're there, whether it's George or whether it's someone else, now you have an option of validated people to say, 'you know what? I like this person, I vibe with them and I want them a part of my team for financial literacy.' And one of the things when it comes to finances is that it's a big level of trust. And I know for me personally, when I looked at different financial advisors, I didn't trust that they really cared about me, where I was from, and my struggles.
[00:09:26] Jori: Or could they even understand, or would they judge me because of where I am, because they don't know my background, where my family came from, how they started. So, they would look at me in a certain way when it wasn't something for me to be ashamed of. It's just that's where I started the game. And so, I think for a lot of athletes, especially lead athletes.
[00:09:47] Jori: And then when it comes to the demographic of who's in these positions as athletes, it's important to give them options. And the holistic approach allows them to get help and manage themselves from a more of a person in human-to-human standpoint. And that's something that's been lacking because we usually are given, especially at our universities, you have the one psychologist who you, that's who you go to.
[00:10:13] Jori: Well, what if I don't like her? What if I feel like he doesn't even understand me? He hasn't done his homework to understand the diverse group of athletes that will come to him. So, that's why it's so important, I think. To kind of have more of a holistic approach. Not only because we need it, but also, it's a part of our personal development as individuals to start to learn that how do we make a decision?
[00:10:39] Jori: 'Okay, let me, let me make a decision and maybe fail and we'll learn.' So, that's the importance.
[00:10:46] George: It's a good transition, because the holistic piece is kind of what I have seen as well. I try to at least create one impression with everybody, which is that the financial system and the traditional economic system wasn't created with you in mind. It wasn't created with women in mind, with people of color in mind, even with poor people in mind.
[00:11:08] George: And so, it wasn't created as an inclusive system. It wasn't created with community in mind. And so, you have to force feed that. And one of the things that we're not doing is actually getting into this process of actually intervening and saying, 'okay, we have to make it more inclusive.' What we do instead, is we try to pretend as if the past didn't happen and that inclusivity already exists and we say, 'okay, let's move forward.'
[00:11:35] George: And I think this is a type of discipline that says, 'no, no, no, no, no.' I am basing or anchoring my belief in the fact that no one has education and finances because it's not in K through 12 and it doesn't have any in college university. So, I'm going to anchor my belief there. And so, before I even start talking about what I know, I can't even begin to provide solutions until I'm done listening to where you are. Like, how did you learn what you learned? How has it impacted you today? And kind of, what are some of the things that you want to change? To Jori's point, people are not provided with financial education, but they're still required to make financial decisions.
[00:12:15] George: Meaning it is either going to be a good decision or a bad decision. You know, we don't know. We have to just start and listen to people, figure out where they're at. We force people to make these decisions before they are ready, they mess up, they may be irrational. So, one of the things that we have to do is after that happens, we have to reassure people one you didn't mess up.
[00:12:35] George: Right? Let's just make sure that the next time we're able to make a more rational decision. You made an irrational decision because you either didn't have information. You were forced to make it too quickly, or the context that you were making the decision was off. And so, if we can correct those things, let's just move forward with making a better decision than you have made before. And that's changing behavior.
[00:12:56] George: And so, it is really required to not only understand where people are today, kind of, where did that come from? Let's go back in the past and let's understand where you're at today. Let's actually make sure we understand the mistakes that you have made in the decisions that you made. So, we can evaluate them and adjust them.
[00:13:13] George: Right. And then more importantly, once we get to this end stage, let's really decide if you want to change or not. Cause there are two sides of that coin. I talked to people that, 'hey, this is who I am, and I don't want to change'. And the path forward is 'okay, then let's just move forward with how you are.' Right. It may be difficult. It may be easier, but we're going to get there how you want to get there. Because this is possible, right? And here's the way that you can do that. And some people say, 'no, I don't like that. I want to change.' And if we go that route, then we say, 'okay, here's how we're going to change. This is why we're going to do it.' Then let's start to put you on that pathway and here's how I can do this to help. So those are the areas that actually allow holistic community-based financial education to be scalable, to be multicultural, to be multi-generational and actually have comprehension and utility.
[00:14:05] George: More than just kind of account openings and account balances and so forth. There's real world applicability to what we're dealing with. And, and I think that that is something that, that both my work and Jori's work, how it intersects and how it easily aligns when we're trying to achieve something very similar in our approach.
[00:14:27] Mary: Yeah. So, as you were talking about that, I immediately thought that as you were talking about identifying these mistakes and being able to address them and then move forward beyond that... That's something that for most people, especially young adults - and I can't even begin to imagine for young athletes that are under a lot of pressure - that's something scary. That's a scary request to say, 'hey, we're going to talk about your money mistakes.' That's a really scary thing to ask. And so, I wanted to use that to kind of bring in this mental health balance aspect of what both of you do. And so, from both of your perspectives, I want to dive in a little bit too.
[00:15:13] Mary: What are the costs of neglecting mental health and balance, and that holistic look at how you exist in this world? And so of course you can bring whatever perspective is natural or native to you, but just to kind of bring in the idea of like, neglecting that costs us, whether it's money or it's something else, whether it's family, our own, you know, sanity, let's talk about those costs.
[00:15:39] George: Yeah, I think in some ways the cost is twofold. First, there is financial trauma, right? So, so there are experiences that we all go through, and they are not always good. And so, let's just say that, that the way in which we experienced finances normally occur around bills, anxiety, or jobs or earnings or death and trying to come up.
[00:16:04] George: And so, when we're introduced to these financial topics, it can be pretty scary. It definitely doesn't always have the right sense of this is a nice, warm and fuzzy feeling as we're talking about it. And so, you have to understand that, that is what we as children observe. And so, we pick up on those things and then we develop just these micro sensitivities to the conversations, right?
[00:16:27] George: Bill conversations, money conversations. If you see your parents and they're arguing about bills, you may develop a relationship where you're like, 'I don't want to argue about every time I talk about bills. Whenever I saw that my parents argued. So, I'm just not going to talk about that.' Right. I'm just going to develop this behavior that allows me to do it.
[00:16:46] George: And you may never even say that to your partner, but 10 years into a relationship, once it comes up, that's where it originated. And until you actually deal with it, it's not going to be corrected. Now, add relationships, add friends, and everybody's going through that. You have no idea when you're going to be triggered in a financial experience.
[00:17:07] George: Every single time somebody pays a bill, there's a possibility that this could dive into a conversation that nobody wants. The anxiety is going to be off of the charts. And where's it really coming from? Fear, uncertainty, being unsure about whether or not you're acceptable. All of that anxiety is what we just manifest around all day long when it comes to money, simply because we don't have the support.
[00:17:34] George: And then when we are in situations that we actually need to think, move forward ahead, like in our careers and our lives, these money problems will drag us down. They'll fatigue us. They'll get on our minds. They'll keep us from being where we're at. So, I think that's where I can see some of it starting to transition over to Jori.
[00:17:54] George: You can't be this top athlete around the world and operating at this mental acuity level that allows you to kind of be this professional athlete. And at the same time in the back of your mind, you like, 'man, I'm going to pay the bills' or, you know, 'if something happens to me, how is that going to happen?'
[00:18:10] George: That lack of focus or that type of anxiety is present in everyone. And it can only become more problematic if focus, acuity, your mindset is part of your value in your profession. And I think that speaks to what Wevolv talks about.
[00:18:25] Jori: Yeah. I was going to say again, I call it that sunken place. When you are wondering how, when you leave sport, you're going to survive because you're looking at many athletes, we get to the point where we are like, 'okay, this is fun, but now I think this might be the end and I'm looking at what I make and I'm like, whoa.' And then you look at, how does my resume - if I have to go get a job - match up with everyone in the past five, six years that's been working. It's a lot of anxiety. You know, you just feel like you're in a sunken place. And usually for athletes, what we do, why you find athletes stay, stay, stay in their sport. Even if they are ready to leave, they don't leave because, you just double down on what you can cling to. That survival mode. But the thing is you can still be getting those checks, but you still haven't figured out and you feel like you're getting nowhere and you're trying, or you're overworking. When some people they'll get summer jobs, not from a standpoint of, I want to keep figuring out, you know, I want to explore what I might be interested in, or let's make some summer money just to take care of my, some expenses.
[00:19:32] Jori: Sometimes it really is like, 'I have nothing, and I need the work.' That takes a toll on your mindset and your mental. And then if you're dealing with, you know, a lot of people in the sport industry, the managers and stuff, they need mental health help. And so, when we talk about the pressures that athletes have, some of that is being projected onto us.
[00:19:59] Jori: Then we have our own issues because we've been groomed to say, we can get through, fight through anything. Now you're dealt with, I've made this money, the media, and everyone else thinks I make a certain amount and I should have a certain amount saved. And my lifestyle should be a certain way, when that's not the reality. You know, they don't know what we make. And it's a tug of war between your ego, because you're not telling anyone what you really make and that you need help to balance this. This is a great lifestyle. It's a great career. But you also need to know 'how do I manage this unique life and career, but also prepare myself for when I have to go into a different workforce.' And taking all of that on by yourself, uneducated on the process and the steps to take, is a lot. And what I think most athletes do is they ignore it, and they keep living and they say, 'alright, whatever,' because they don't want to face that truth. And that's where personal development and mental health go hand in hand, because we can get to a point where you're comfortable to say, 'I failed and this sucks', and 'I don't know what I'm doing', but guess what?
[00:21:11] Jori: It's okay. Because there's a way out. And when, you know, like there's a lot of people that aren't athletes that are also in my boat, we’re all trying to figure it out. Because as George said, for some of us, the system wasn't built for us anyway. The system was for us to be in this situation. But now we know there's a way out of it and there's a way to change it. And that's where community comes into play. And I believe a lot of the holistic approach is also kind of therapy for people. Like the one-on-one therapy, in my opinion, it's needed of course, but I think that community holistic approach to therapy and just mental health is what will help so many people to just know you're not alone.
[00:21:56] Jori: And then how do we now let's go one-on-one with who we need to kind of service our unique situations. And so. I think mental health for athletes, there's so much work to be done. Because again, once you get to a certain part of your career, you've been groomed. The ego, the lack of transparency. You're so guarded, and these are all things that, truthfully, we're all groomed to be this way. Because that's what it takes to become this high-level athlete. And so, it's finding a way, like how can we still be high level? How can we still be these great laser-focused athletes, but also not neglect so many other elements of who we are?
[00:22:39] George: I think it also talks to, uh, I'll say fear as an overarching theme and I'll kind of leave it in the athletics for you to speak of, but I'll speak about it from a professional standpoint. I think when I talk to people and they are experiencing fear, fear is a paralyzing type of emotion, and so fear allows you to just respond in fight or flight, right? The issue is it just, it's a reaction to every type of emotion. The fear is that there are so many other emotions that you should have around money.
[00:23:07] George: And so, if fear is the primary emotion, we have to make sure that we get rid of that fear. In a nutshell, and I'd like to talk about - more holistically is a thought, right? Like until it becomes action, you can't do anything with it, right? Fear in a thought really can stay there forever. But to get rid of that fear, you have to act upon it. Because if you act upon it, you can either reflect and say, 'okay, it wasn't as bad as I thought.' You can regret it and say, 'yeah, I shouldn't have did that.'
[00:23:35] George: You can enjoy it and say, 'oh, I didn't know what I was scared of.' You can appreciate it more. All these things can happen. If you actually take the action, but I think what we're talking about, especially when it comes to money, especially when it comes to authenticity, oftentimes is fear. And by limiting ourselves to that one singular emotion, it really allows us to have similar and common types of responses. Right. Which are either 'fight harder, ignore it', you know, 'get out of there.' I think some of those things that are heard, and people do it in their careers as well. Imposter syndrome is a biggie. And so, it is even bigger in the athletic community, but we are fearful that we will be exposed, or we are fearful that we won't be the managers or the leaders, or we're fearful that we don't achieve the things.
[00:24:23] George: And so that is something that, along with not having the wherewithal to understand how do you get yourself into a better situation? Who do I go to help me out? And when exactly is that going to happen? Only creates more anxiety, so it can definitely be paralyzing, but the key to it is really exploring and talking about it.
[00:24:49] George: Right. I think overall, if it is fear, we have to let fear manifest it to some type of action. We at least have to push ourselves forward. And I think athletes do that more than I think our professionals do here, because I'd love to see more people challenged in the professional side. But I think it happens a lot more in the athletic world and we really just have to embrace that.
[00:25:11] George: Now, if we did it in finance and we give ourselves away to help out people, hear what they're saying, and really allow people to alleviate some of the fear. What's the benefit of doing that, right? Like what if we just alleviated some fear and allowed more communication? What's the implicit response that we can expect in our communities as a result of that? I think those are the types of outcomes that are very important when we look at mental health, financial acuity and the ability to correct some of these gaps and trying to get people to where they need to be.
[00:25:44] Mary: To bring one other aspect into this conversation that I think both of you have been really speaking to... So, George, whether it's through fear or Jori through like the community, one of the biggest things that influences athletes is the culture. And I'm particularly thinking this, like the consumer side of culture. So, what people perceive, expectation wise, what an athlete should be doing, should be living, how they should be playing. Even though they're not athletes, but they're going to have an expectation there, aren't they?
[00:26:17] Mary: So, from that culture side, whether it's as individual people that you are, or it's through the perspective of your organizations respectively, what can we do? What can athletes do, organizations do, to shift that cultural expectation or that consumer side of culture? So that there's a little bit more maybe safety to come away from that fear, or there's a little bit more comfortability to say as a community, 'we want to demand this for ourselves so that we can have a future.' So, adding culture into that conversation, how can that be shifted?
[00:26:57] Jori: Mm. I mean, that's, that's an uphill battle. The culture, even if you talk about entertainment and sport. Oh yeah. The culture is what you're wearing. The culture is, 'I have this swag.' The culture is, 'athletes are this level.' And the reality is, for many not all, LeBron - he can come on the red carpet with certain designer things on and he actually is living that life and can afford, to a certain extent, that life. Is he paying for that? Probably not. It's probably sponsors. He's getting it for free, which is also the bamboozlement to the rest of the athletes in this whole community.
[00:27:36] Jori: But the struggle is that the culture is this. We are brands and we are products. So, you not having a brand or you not showing up looking a certain way and wearing a certain thing. It makes it like, 'oh, well you're not actually who we want to be promoting.' And so that's why it's a conflict. Because if you show up, some players, you hear the stories where some of the guys like, oh, they drive a Hyundai and you know, you hear a few stories where... but those are the guys that aren't in the, on the main scene. And actually, those are the guys that you find out later are living a great life. They have businesses and they're wealthy and they're not the ones that went broke. So, the question is why is it that certain athletes it's pushed to have this whole extravagant culture and lifestyle?
[00:28:27] Jori: Whereas these other athletes who have very long careers, aren't forced. That pressure isn't put on them. They can be very normal. They can wear their same Levi's and have their Hyundai and have a very good system in place. So, when we talk about culture and how to shift that, I think it needs to be shifted for certain demographic of elite athletes in my, my opinion. Because they rely on certain ones to be the show and others are there to simply do their job.
[00:29:00] Jori: And, you know, they don't have to worry about all the extra stuff. And so, I think that's a battle amongst what's expected from us not only on the playing field, but also off the playing field to show up in a certain way and entertain. Name, image, and likeness. This is getting, you know, even more crazy out there.
[00:29:19] Jori: It's the wild, wild west. So, when you are trying to present a certain lifestyle that you truthfully don't have the funds to afford, that's where issues come about. And I think we only can shift that...I don't know. I don't have the answer to that because if you take away the, as we say, the clout, then it's like, what do you have?
[00:29:41] Jori: You know, whereas the commercial side, they need us to be stuck in this mindset. They need us to be chasing the clout because that's what gets them more fans. And that's what gets them, all these other things that makes the business go round. I really don't have an answer to how do we approach that? I think the only way to approach it is just to show the bamboozlement to expose the bamboozlement the best way we can.
[00:30:07] Jori: And you can't do that nicely. You have to just say what it is. And that, for some people is, uncomfortable.
[00:30:12] George: And that the reality of it is also around, what you mentioned, is affordability. And so, let's just say, if your affordability compromised, what does that actually do for you? And that's where I think culture starts to breed into the conversation. We do not have a very adequate way of understanding affordability in this country. And so therefore we have an extreme inequality when it comes to earnings, living conditions and everything under the sun. And so, there are people that I work with right in Boston that are struggling. And I think that we need to look at the world more in terms of who is on the bubble, how many individuals are financially unstable versus just poor and doing well. Because the people that are doing well... you know, I'll give an example, just city-wise in Boston. You're not doing well if you're in your twenties or thirties and you have to have a roommate just to afford an apartment. You don't have a car and you need to be next to public transportation to get by. And like the first time you actually start to think about adult things like buying houses and, and kind of what you're going to do for your children when you've been able to make enough in your career to actually afford to live out on your own or partner up with somebody. Like that type of life says that if you can maintain and show up in a way, to Jori's point, where people don't see that, then when you get there, you're just there. I would say that the challenge is that from a cultural perspective, we all can do that, right? We all don't have roommates and we're not searching for our spouses and our friends at our offices and our workplaces. And some people are, you know, commuting 45 minutes to get in.
[00:31:51] George: Whereas others are walking to work because they're rooming three and four at a pop. The actual ability of us as a society to do more, to actually understand affordability, will allow us to talk about this clout issue. Because once you know what affordability is, and once you know what earnings are, you know, who's lying and you know, who's not. It is not really easy to pull this off when you know what the rent is in the area and what the average salary is, right? So those things make it fairly simple, and I think, to some of the conversations to athletes, I remember being in Canada for a while and talking to Canadian football league players who actually had to have full time jobs. So that way they could afford. Right. I know a lot of people in the, in the US that played semiprofessional types of sports to be able to do that and work full-time jobs. And so now we're dealing with missing time with your family, fatigue, travel time. And so culturally speaking, when we lack affordability across the board, you are actually able to see inequality based on culture, more than you are any other way.
[00:33:05] George: And you're also able to see that from a cultural perspective or from a socioeconomic perspective. When you are challenged with affordability, it's acceptable for you to get by in some ways that it may not be acceptable for other people. And I think that those two challenges in and of themselves will always make it very difficult to make people that are kind of, of privilege, to understand what that actually means.
[00:33:29] George: And for people that are seeking out that real acceptance and acknowledgement of their struggle, where they're not going to get it because people just aren't willing to listen. And I think that's the sad part.
[00:33:43] Mary: Yeah... to use the last time that we have to be a little bit more future looking, because I know that this is the core and crux of what both of you do. So, I want to give a nice little chunk of time for you to both dive into this. When it comes to the future of an athlete... so beyond the athletic career, what can athletes do, currently? Like while they're still an athlete to prepare for that, like what would be your advice and recommendation from your expertise? And then to any athletes that maybe didn't have this before they left their athletic career or they went out with a bang, however it is... to those athletes, what would you share with them?
[00:34:27] Mary: Like what would be your advice, recommendations, life lessons?
[00:34:31] Jori: From my standpoint, I just remember one book named, "Start Late, Finish Rich," was one book that I read and it's like, 'many of us retire. Some of us retire at 35, some a little earlier.' It's just like, 'if you have made mistakes, it's never too late.' So that's the first thing.
[00:34:48] Jori: Don't feel like you failed drastically, or you let all this opportunity being a professional athlete, go to the wayside and just remember the reality. Some of us. We do have great lifestyles that are financed by these teams. We can't afford the lifestyle, many of us, that we have. It's financed by the teams. We do get paid but realize like everything in the media and everything they say about athletes, many times comes from the top 1% of athletes. So, it comes from their perspective. You do not have to think that you have to finish like LeBron or Kobe. It's a different playing field. Most of us, our lifestyles are financed by the teams.
[00:35:27] Jori: We cannot afford it on our own. So, you don't have the money that you think you had in the first place. And then if you feel like you're finishing and you don't have anything, it's fine. Many of us are in that boat and it's never too late to start. You're still young. You still have so much to leverage going out into the workforce.
[00:35:49] Jori: So now it's just get with the right people. And the next thing I would say is, due diligence with the people you surround yourself with and with Wevolv. That's one of the biggest things we really want to do is take our time and validate the people we bring on our platform. So over time, we'll have those stories where people say, 'hey, I would have never met someone like George or worked with a financial therapist and this, this saved my life.'
[00:36:16] Jori: And hopefully it goes into like now we empower these businesses that we know need empowerment, and also it will trickle down to their families. And then with community, we start to really break generational curses because athletes have the platforms to speak out and we have the most power to go back into our community.
[00:36:34] Jori: So, for me, I would tell athletes is just really like the best ways to get deep, deal with the ego and really understand like, look, we all enjoyed the lifestyles that was financed by someone else. And we maybe got made mistakes, but it's never late. You still have so much more time. That's the biggest thing, because I know a lot of athletes still with that silently and we have that fight or flight.
[00:37:00] Jori: You see everyone at Forex. You see everyone doing this, this doubling down on crypto and we're all making drastic like decisions. Because we feel like we're pro athletes and so that should come with a certain bank account, but it's not true. And that's the biggest thing. And I think with Wevolv, that's why we focus so much on community and the holistic approach. Removing this technology is just really creating a safe space, like anything, the safe space and knowing like we are all in it. We either been there, and we found a way to get to another level or we're all kind of having our different journeys and it's cool. Let's talk about it and let's make it normal.
[00:37:40] Jori: Let's normalize talking about, 'man, I messed up. Let's figure how we get back.' So, for me, that's the way, that's the, that's the way I see. And of course, I know there are other people that see other ways that we all can collab and just try to, to make change together.
[00:37:58] George: My two pearls of wisdom. One always be where your feet are. It's an important aspect to kind of know where you're at right now and be okay with it or not okay. We can't do anything about the past and we cannot predict a future, right. But if, you know, if you are okay or not okay with where you are at right now, then you can seek out help. And if you could do that, then let's start to put these goals in place that allow us to actually achieve and then create new goals.
[00:38:28] George: I think one of the things I remember and just conversations with, with Jori's folks before is like some people, this is your dream. Your goal is to become a professional athlete, right? Nobody has that goal of 'what do I do afterwards?' And so, I think that's what I deal with when it comes to retirement. People don't think about that, or people don't think about the second act that they're going through. And one of the guideposts in the business that I'm in is really getting people to the idea that retirement is a very specific date that you set. It is not an age, right? It is when you become okay, creating income for yourself, right?
[00:39:06] George: When you have the independence to make decisions that make you feel better. And so, this ability to get people to see beyond their original goals and try to achieve their secondary and tertiary goals. That's where we have to be. And you can't do that until you see where they are at. So, we need to get you right to a place where we can say, "are you good or are you not good?"
[00:39:28] George: And if you say, "I'm good". Then I'll hold your hand and I'll walk with you. But if you say you're not good, we go out and want to hold your hand and we're going to sit down and figure out what's going on. But if I asked you that question, and then you tell me about the past, or you talk about what you're expecting in the future. I'm like, hush, we need to focus on right here. And right now, like I wasn't there. I can't do anything about that. And I can't see that far. And I know I can't do anything about that, but I am right here in front of you, right. Listening to you and willing to speak to you right now, what do you want help with?
[00:40:04] George: That's all we got to do as often as we possibly can and kind of as effective as we can.
[00:40:10] Jori: I would also add starting like, again, our dream was to play pro. We didn't think about money. We didn't think about what is that lifestyle? What money would I be making? We just want to play pro and you assume that I'm in that bracket of the top players of which you see forward facing in the media.
[00:40:29] Jori: You don't see the realities of what I would make as a normal pro athlete. The same way, someone that creates a lifestyle portfolio, they know, 'okay, if you work in the industry, you might make this, and you can afford this lifestyle.' For athletes, when we start, the goal is pro. We never really think, 'okay. If I make it pro, at which levels, what is my bracket compared to the rest of the world in different industries?'
[00:40:52] Jori: So, I think we need to start preparing athletes at a younger age to paint the picture of dual career. We should always be dual careering. LeBron and Kobe, they were dual careering. Now of course, they had leverage and a platform that was crazy where people came to them with all types of opportunities. But we too, as athletes, have some leverage. So, utilize our likeness to some extent.
[00:41:17] Jori: That's the message with the new name, image and likeness. It's not about being an influencer. It's more so how, now that we have these opportunities, how do we use this likeness in the right way? And I think what we need to preach for the future is dual career. That is the key thing. How do we create tools for players to dual career?
[00:41:34] Jori: How do we get the people that can help them understand dual career? And how do we get the right people that know finances and who can help them paint that lifestyle portfolio effectively? So now, no matter where they stop, it's not such a shock, you know, it's like, 'ah, yeah. Okay, man, I really want to make it here, but guess what? I've been doing little things that helped me here, man. I made it pro can I have this? That is amazing.' So that's the last thing I would say is that normalizing the dual career talk. And not just if you want to make it pro, and again, that goes against the commercial side, because they're trying to train us to be what they need us to be for this business model in this industry to keep going.
[00:42:19] Jori: It's been refreshing to know that there are people out there and that's why I've learned myself. Like man, they are there. We just been so consumed with playing and trying to reach our goals. It is hard to take extra effort for me to go dig in all here to find what I need. That's the thing for Wevolv. It's like, you know, truthfully, we don't have the time to validate and check in and do all these for these individuals. And so, it's been refreshing to know that there are a large group of people that are willing. And come from the right place to help athletes. And not only athletes, just people in general, but you know, their voices and their, their missions are kind of silenced behind all the smoke. So, yeah.
[00:43:02] Mary: Thank you both so much.
[00:43:05] George: Thank you.
[00:43:06] Jori: Yeah.
[00:43:06] Jori: For joining
[00:43:06] Mary: Thank you for joining us this summer. We hope you've been as inspired and motivated by this little miniseries as we have been. But we still have some work to do. We gave you a little teaser last week, and today I get to share with you what's next in this mini-series. So, some of our incredible guests during this mini-series sat down with us to dive into their own stories, their own truths and their own lives, living as professionals and professional athletes in an industry that asks them to be a little bit less human.
[00:43:39] Mary: Well, we are going to sit down with them and ask them to be completely human. Join us on socials and YouTube to watch our three-part docu-series meeting, understanding and learning how to make change as we look into the future era of wellness and sports. As always, thank you for listening with us, and we will see you soon in season three.
[00:44:04] Mary, Nolan, Laquita Ann: You've been listening in with 'Your World, Your Money.' You can find firstname.lastname@example.org and stay updated on Instagram at Global Thinking Foundation USA. Be sure to rate and review us, and you can reach us with questions or thoughts at email@example.com. Our thanks again to Hangar Studios and Global Thinking Foundation.
[00:44:31] Mary, Nolan, Laquita Ann: Thanks, friends. Happy moneymaking. We'll see you next time.