Volatility | An Opportunity for Growth
They say, “timing is everything.” This phrase haunted me as news continued to break in early February concerning the severity of Covid-19. It wasn’t, however, until late February when the stock market began to drop dramatically, that the panic began to set in.
Six weeks before, in early January, I began having conversations with Doug about the possibility of a career change. Doug and I had been meeting monthly for breakfast to discuss some of the shared work we were doing for a non-profit here in LA. During these discussions, which sometimes trailed off toward life goals and aspirations, an idea was presented by Doug for me to make a career change. After taking some time to process with my wife, I decided to be brave and step out. I had very high trust with my boss at the time, so he was aware about the possibility of a change. After solidifying plans with Doug, I confirmed with my boss that I would in fact be transitioning out and a date was set for May 1st .
Those decisions were finalized the week the stock market tumble began. So, there I was with the responsibility of supporting my family, in an almost brand-new city 2000 miles from our hometown, transitioning into not only a new job but an entirely new career in the financial services industry, and this was the moment the market fell apart; I was already packing my bags.
Doug and I had a scheduled breakfast the following week and each day seemed to pass so slowly. I only had one question on my mind; “Is our deal still good?” It would have been completely understandable, given the unfathomable circumstances, for Doug to say, “Eric, I didn’t see this coming. We are not in a position to bring you on board.” But when we sat down, and I was able to get the question out of my mouth, I was delighted by the answer. In that moment, Doug saw an opportunity to teach, as he often does, and began to reinforce in me the value of the work we do.
One of the key components of our job is to plan and account for the inevitable risk that awaits people with every new day. Doug knew a situation like this might happen and it was accounted for in his process from the beginning. He not only said the firm was able to bring me on, but that this was actually fantastic timing. When you plan for it and prepare yourself, times of uncertainty create opportunities for growth.
Every time the market has gone volatile, our firm has grown. I think about the growth in my family that has come from being “safer at home.” We have had more playtime, story time, conversations, and life balance over the last three months than ever before. I am heartbroken for the families and individuals who have lost loved ones, businesses, and jobs in the wake of this pandemic. But for those willing, this season of pain and volatility will provide countless opportunities for personal and even financial growth. Timing really is everything, and there is no better time than the present.