Given my background and because a number of our members are investment professionals (including Chartered Financial Analysts), I tend to write about investment-related topics fairly often. My perspective on the world is to some extent coloured by my investment training, and I think a number of investment topics have applicability more broadly too – including the focus of this post: our own growth rates.
I also wrote about models (such as financial models) being representations of reality in our post on Professional & Personal Development Cycles. One of the central models in investments is the Dividend Discount Model. It is used, along with other more complex techniques, to value the shares of a company. It is based on the theory that a share is worth the sum of all the company’s future dividend payments, discounted back to today i.e. the net present value of the future earnings that holders of the shares actually receive as dividend payouts.
Read more to explore this valuation model, think about intercepts, slopes and reinvestment, and consider with us a thought experiment on our own professional growth rates and future earnings. Please do build on the ideas mooted in the comments.
Success at the Olympics is a pinnacle of sporting achievement. It requires decades of dedication, single-minded focus and sacrifice (from a very early age) to meet the standard required to represent your country. Even participating requires intense commitment, not to mention the extreme levels you need to reach to win a medal! The path is incredibly tough, fraught with risk of injury and burnout, which can derail your ambitions temporarily or permanently.
An additional challenge faced by elite athletes, including those performing at Olympic and similar levels, is what’s next… All reach a point, perhaps in their twenties or thirties, depending on the sport, where they can’t participate at the levels they’d like to – it is no longer physically possible for them, whether injury- or age-driven. A natural quarter-life crisis of sorts...
While not comparable, we can think of qualifying as a professional from this perspective too. Years spent dedicated to studying and passing the technical requirements, step by step. Painful failures along the way that we cautiously pick ourselves up from, taking time to recover. Then one day, we finish all the exams and conditions, and are ‘qualified’. YAY! Well deserved celebrations. Once the initial euphoria passes, we start to wonder, ‘Now what?’… ‘I’ve got decades of work left. Should I study further? What other skills do I need, especially non-technical ones? What should my next goals be? How do I keep learning and remain relevant?’...
Another example of a significant transition, requiring a major mindset shift is when people leave the military, and move across into civilian life and careers. They move from a highly structured environment, perhaps with international deployments, to a foreign-to-them workforce culture. Some specific examples for athletes and servicepeople respectively are joining a physical performance troop (such as Cirque du Soleil) or becoming a financial advisor.
I’ve written before about bouncing back, and keeping going, even after we’ve achieved success and we worry whether we can reach those heights again. These emotions are indeed relevant to big career transitions, but incomplete here: it’s also about re-imagining and remaking ourselves as we grow wiser i.e. we’re not trying to bounce back to where and who we were, but rather, pole jump to somewhere new.
In support of this, I came across advice on reinvention from Alexandra “Sasha” Cohen, an American figure skater who won an Olympic silver medal, and was a World Championship medallist multiple times. In her early twenties at the time, Sasha achieved her Olympic medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Read more for Sasha’s reflections.