4th and Goal: Leaving It All on the Field

Many of you have heard me say "leave it all on the field" when it comes to living your life, and by that I mean that you should never go to your grave with the regret that you could've done something more or that you didn't expend every possible ounce of effort in the pursuit of your dreams. So today I'd like to share with you the story of Joe Moglia, the former CEO of TD Ameritrade, as it's told in the new book 4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream.

Moglia's dream in life was to become a head football coach in college ball. To that end, he'd spent 16 years coaching at various levels, reaching his peak as the defensive coordinator for Dartmouth in 1981. He looked like he was on the right path, and the defending champ Miami Hurricanes offered him a spot on their defensive staff in 1983. But life got in the way. His wife divorced him, he had four kids to feed, and he ended up having to move back in with his parents. He knew he couldn't make it on a coach's salary (especially back then), so at 34 years old he entered the Merrill Lynch training program.

Imagine having a 34-year old guy in your analyst class and that's about what it was like for Moglia. He was a good decade older than everyone else, and he stuck out like a sore thumb. He had no money for Brooks Brothers wso/">suits, so he looked like he stepped out of the pages of the J.C. Penney catalog. But his intensity was second to none, and in 17 years with Merrill Lynch he rose to take over their entire investment products division, their insurance company, and their 401(k) and middle-market businesses. Then he left to become CEO of TD Ameritrade.

For pretty much any of us, this would be the pinnacle of success. Rising from a training program to become the CEO of a major Wall Street firm is about as Cinderella as a gets for those of us who dream of a career in finance. But Joe Moglia never dreamed of a career in finance. His dream was to coach college football. So in 2008 he walked away from it all to do just that.

He resigned as CEO of TD Ameritrade at age 60 to take an unpaid internship with the University of Nebraska's team, and then took over as head coach of the Virginia Destroyers and the Omaha Nighthawks (of the United Football League). On December 20, 2011, Moglia finally achieved his goal in life when he became the head coach of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.

It's a great story of success and determination, and if you're looking to be inspired you should check the book out. As both a Wall Street guy and a huge football fan, I can tell you that Moglia embodies "leaving it all on the field".

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