Business / Goals / New Graduates / Private Equity

Paying your Dues

Paying your dues - Scott Wolf, Grace Century FZ LLCOkay… you have just graduated from University. It was a top school (thanks Mom and Dad), and your grades were decent (accomplished somehow in between keg parties). Maybe you listened to your mentors and got lucky with some summer intern programs.

School’s out… time to start earning the real money, right? NO!

Most people will tell you, that unless you went to school to become a doctor, lawyer, or some other professional… the real schooling will start with your first real job. It never ceases to amaze me why graduates expect to command figures like $100,000/year right out of school. What are they bringing to the table? Remember, if a firm is paying you any salary, then your worth is probably at least double of that. It’s simple math. This can be a real shocker for people who are not prepared for this. I have always told young people to find something that excites them and the money will come. Find something you are passionate about. Don’t worry about those beginning salaries, they mean nothing.

Let me use a sports analogy that might make sense.Scott Wolf, Grace Century, Advice for Graduates

Recently, the dubbed ”fight of the century” happened in Las Vegas between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Without getting into a debate on how the billing was incorrect, what really raised eyebrows was the amount of money that both fighters stood to make from pay-per-view and other endorsements. The two ended up splitting almost $400 million, with the loser still making $160 million. Not bad for 36 minutes of work, right?

Wait, all you Millennials… DON’T leave for the gym yet!

Pacquiao turned professional in 1995. He defeated his first opponent in 4 rounds and the purse was $2! He continued to fight and won another 32 of 34 fights, for a relatively small amount of money.

Let me ask you, do you think he was any better of a fighter on his 32nd fight than on his 22nd fight? Probably not, other than gaining experience in the ring. He was climbing the ladder and paying his dues.

In 2001, he had his first U.S. fight and won $40,000.

What is not mentioned are the countless hours of training, sacrifice, and hard work. Like an iceberg, people only see the headlines.They don’t realize that it took 20 years to get there. They don’t realize that both of these fighters have “paid their dues”.

So back to our newly minted graduates.

When it comes to wealth, it reminds me of what my father always said to me,”don’t tell me what I have, and I wont tell you what I had to do to get it.”

My advice: Find an industry that excites you. Find what you are passionate about. Don’t judge your accomplishment with what somebody else earns or has acquired. It might be funny on a bumper sticker –”Whoever dies with the most toys wins”– but it is not a realistic life plan. Learn your “craft”, become the best you can be, and above all… realize that you are “just paying your dues “.

The rest will come in good time.

Scott Wolf is the CEO of Grace Century FZ LLC, an international research and private equity firm based in United Arab Emirates (UAE), with an established global network of strategic hedge fund alliances, venture capital firms, universities, and entrepreneurs groomed over 25 years of involvement with all aspects of business, Grace Century brings highly researched, game-changing projects to our members around the world.

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