Things Don’t Last
The first time I became aware that things don’t last forever was when “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings.
The second time, my long term employment was ending with the golden handshake.
I had a great ride and had no regrets.
The Backdoor Plan; Having An Exit Strategy
Even though Gretzky did not lose his job, he was leaving a team; he thought he was untouchable. Gretzky knew than this change would lead to developing a behind having a backdoor plan, an exit strategy.
How do I know Wayne was developing an exit strategy? His Dad told me.
I have never met Wayne Gretzky but meet his Dad, Walter.
Walter Gretzky is a humble guy, and it was my Great Pleasure to hear Walter speak.
There was an open question section as part of Walter’s presentation, and I got to ask Walter a question.
I am a big Wayne Gretzky fan. It is my opinion that Wayne retired too early from the NHL and his on-ice hockey career. (Rick Harris, armchair general manager, and one-time Edmonton Oiler season ticket holder)
Gretzky retired with 2857 total points; 894 Goals and 1963 assists.
My Question to Walter Gretzky?
“Walter; Wayne had 2857 total points; 894 goals and 1963 assists; his last three seasons in the NHL and with the New Your Rangers; Wayne averaged over a point a game.
Why did he not keep playing; go for 3000 total points; he could have quickly ended his career with over 1000 goals and 2000 assists?”
Walter; said he asked Wayne the same question.
He had a Backdoor Plan, an Exit Strategy. Wayne knew his on-ice hockey career would not last forever. Wayne retired in 1999; for you hockey enthusiasts, you will agree Wayne had a Backdoor Plan; formulated a plan long before he retired.
For those of you who are not big hockey fans, Wayne Gretzky’s jersey number was 99. Wayne had a plan to retire in 1999; this was an exit strategy he did not share with many folks. He had set a date, no matter what his ability and no matter what other records he could earn or break.
Wayne had been eyeing his off-ice retirement plans for years and for those who watched Wayne, he was using his experience with such organizations as Team Canada and the Olympics to get ready for his next career.
Wayne was setting the bar again, and this time, I was paying attention.
Wayne has had many behind the hockey bench and hockey management roles since being a player.
The Parttime Purchase; Fulltime Exit Strategy
In 2002 we started to purchase investment real estate, but it was not a plan. My wife and I bought a vacation property, which included a vacation rental component. We bought a vacation property in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and had the great fortune to purchase a property with the correct vacation rental home zoning and some revenue to offset some of our yearly expenses.
By 2005 we had purchased a couple of more investment properties; still no clear plan. The thought was some additional retirement funds, not part of an overall exit strategy.
The Awakening Read
In 2006 I read a book that changed our investment real estate life; Real Estate Investing in Canada by Don R. Campbell. This book is timeless and should be one of your must-read books before you retire.
The Backdoor Plan; Should You Have One?
Having a backdoor to your home is another way out and a safe escape route, both important. For me having a backdoor plan is developing a new beginning.
Thanks to Wayne showing me that there is life after On-Ice Hockey or any career for that matter. Use the skills and interest you have acquired along the way to develop a backdoor plan; exit strategy.
Your Backdoor; Gives You a Different View of the World and a Reality Check
I did not keep our investment real estate business a secret; either I did not share with most people at work.
Investment real estate was another method of investing and did not know that sometime in our future, this would lead to a new career.
Over the last six years, I have used my investment real estate to build and continue to grow a small entrepreneurial investment real estate business.
Don’t give your day job; use your current employee career to build a robust financial foundation; your lenders will look kindly to you securing investment real estate mortgages.
Remember to learn from Wayne and know that no matter how much you think you are valued, you are still an employee; the employer’s door will hit you in the rear end at some point.
Getting the Golden Handshake should not come as a surprise; it is how you handle the next stage of your life that is the tell-tale sign of your character.
Put yourself in the Skates of Wayne Gretzky and ask:
The Great One Question:
What is your backdoor plan; your exit strategy?