Thursday, January 24, 2008

Professional Basketball Investment Manager

What a day. One of those days where I hit the ground running and didn't stop till 9:30pm.

Loved my day. If I explained I spent an hour at a meeting listening to a description about emerging markets, company evaluations and... oh my god. I could have sat there all day. I didn't want to leave. I could have sat at talked about the 'China' effect, how to measure political turbulence and it's effect on private industry until the cows came home.

I love that stuff. I used to work for a Socially Responsible Investing Company and was responsible for finding new company ideas. Of course, it was a small firm, I was also responsible for taking out the trash- don't picture me in a three piece suit with six computer screens all scrolling something.

Only in my dreams.

But I loved what I did.

Operative word, though, is loved. My experience does allow me to serve on two private foundation investment committees, so I get the opportunity to delve into my financial geek world on occasion. Talk balance sheets, future earnings sustainability and competitive edges.

Drool. Drool.

I realized today as much as I loved what I did, I don't want to go back. It was a full time job that required complete attention. It taught me a lot. I had great mentors. I wanted to change the world.

I listened to a fabulous woman who explained, I have a husband. Two children. A job I love. And that's it. Nothing else. It is a sacrifice but ... I love what I do.

Not only does she love it, she's very successful. But I want more. I want friends, I want to walk my dog, I want to have dinner with my kids every night.

I still want to change the world. I think I have more tools available to me now. Helping a couple small foundations achieve their goals by investing in a way that supports change in our world- either by green technology or promoting women or better benefits packages or inclusive employment guidelines- is a big piece of what I do.

But I have had the good fortune to be able to find my voice. I have a range. I can sing the high notes- not so well- and the low notes. Some songs I'm better at than others, no question.

On a day like today, when I am in harmony, doing an old song I know by heart, it feels so good. I think... maybe...

And then I remember years ago when the WNBA first came into existence. Professional women's basketball, and there was a team in Hartford. Tryouts.

For a moment, I had that glean in my eye. I knew I could play. I had a great outside shot for a big girl.

And I was 33 years old and had a one year old baby.

Did I mention I was always slow, too? At 5'10", I was going to have to play point guard, not center.

It was not going to happen.

I never wore the three piece suit in the investment business. I brought ideas to the boss, some great ones but many that were shot down. I was an assistant, albeit a great one, but still just an assistant.

I loved what I did.

I am so glad I get days like today. It is a piece of who I am.

In reality? I no more want to be the fabulous investment professional I spoke with today, admire and respect, than I want to be a pro basketball player.


I love what I do.

And I am so grateful for the ability to do it.

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5 Comments:

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