Introduction to Awoye:
Through losses come the lessons needed to turn ignorance to wisdom—an acquired knowledge that leads to wins. Jordan Awoye of Awoye Capital took his setbacks and turned them into wins.
Life presents adversity; how you respond defines you.
Awoye’s ability to focus on a goal sets him apart in an industry with a high failure rate. Most new financial advisors do not make it past the first three years…let alone the first five.
His secret sauce? “Growing up watching my mom wake up every morning at the same time to work more than twelve hours instilled an indescribable fire in me. I reject the notion of working that hard,” says Awoye.
Awoye found lockers, after-school programs, and a peaceful environment on Long Island. “At the time, it seemed like The Disney Channel. What I encountered in Bay Shore reminded me of what I saw on television. On the surface, I adjusted quickly but internally it took time,” says Awoye, founder of Awoye Capital.
Of Trinidadian and Nigerian descent, Awoye spent his early years in Flatbush, Brooklyn, on East 51st and Snyder Avenue. His understanding of his old and new neighborhoods, coupled with an instinctive ability to pick things up quickly, set him apart from the other students at Bay Shore High School.
“I appreciated things my peers lacked and understood the challenges they faced from a young age. At times I would look at them and say, ‘Do you know how good you have it?’”
The comparison between Brooklyn and Bay Shore was stark. Even though Jordan lived in a rundown house in Bay Shore, he knew that he lived a new life.
“My mother rebuilt our home with her bare hands. Her work ethic inspired me…and still does. What she did in such a short period of time is nothing short of miraculous.”
Rain pours on a cold, early December night. The wind blows at a steady pace causing the temperature to dip. The roads adjacent to the basketball court remain clear except for an occasional passing car. The school parking lot sits empty…with a hint of fog, clearing out minutes after the Bay Shore Marauders beat their last opponent. Awoye dribbles away ignoring the cold and the rain.
He takes jump shot after jump shot, practicing after a game in which he did not get to play as much as he thought he should. Early on, Awoye dedicated his life to basketball—attending three or four training sessions a day in relentless pursuit of excellence in the sport he loved.
Awoye’s high school basketball career proved unfulfilling, including getting kicked off the team during his senior year. He attended a community college where he again found little success, despite his lifelong work ethic.
Awoye earned a full scholarship to Eastern New Mexico University—a four-year school—to live out his hoop dreams for the last time. Much to his dismay, the story played out in a similar fashion. The standout honors student dealt with a litany of issues…from broken fingers to irregular heartbeats. He even found himself ineligible for the team because of an administrative error with his grades. Awoye would not finish out his eligibility on the court—leaving him devastated.
“I put so much into the game I love. The game meant—and still means—the world to be. To not even play my senior season crushed me,” says Awoye. With his senior year of eligibility lost and student loans loaming, Awoye needed to re-think his NBA dreams.
Awoye spent his nights searching YouTube for content. Now a former basketball player with a degree in pre-med facing debt, Awoye looked for answers. Like most of his peers, Awoye no longer wanted to pursue a career in his degree path and stood at a crossroads.
“I wanted to be in sports medicine if I didn’t make it in basketball, but something did not sit right with me going to school and amassing debt while my mom was working to provide life’s basic necessities,” Awoye says.
One late evening, Awoye found his purpose on YouTube. “I came across Warren Buffett talking finance and investing and one video turned in to two, two turned to three, and the next thing you know the sun was up.” Awoye found his passion. With no prior knowledge of finance, he dove headfirst into his new career—determined to find success.
To succeed you most first start:
To win you must start small, so Awoye did…in a hurry! He earned his certifications in record time and put his former company on notice that he expected to move up the corporate ladder.
Through long days and nights, he worked alone, leaving him with doubts about his career choice. On one occasion, Jordan found himself on the edge. “I was just at my breaking point. Tired, overworked, and malnourished, my emotions got the best of me.” The upstart financial advisor found himself on the precipice of quitting. In a room with his closest friends, Awoye contemplated giving up his dream of success as a financial advisor.
“You are the sum of your closest friends. They did not let me quit because they were not quitters and knew I was not either. They reminded me who I was and what I represent,” Awoye said.
Over time, Jordan found his footing and became one of his company’s youngest and best performers. But the young financial advisor wanted more… independence and the ability to make money how he wanted.
“I remain grateful for that experience because it taught me the game of wealth management. I remain close to my former colleagues, but it was time to move forward. I felt constricted and wanted to see how far I could take things without those limitations,” says Awoye.
Now, the budding financial analyst faced a new set of challenges. “Not many people in my profession look like me, so breaking into the industry proved to be difficult. Gaining trust from people when it comes to handling their money can be daunting…even while I worked for a reputable financial firm. When I went independent, things got even tougher.
Awoye found himself in familiar territory, wondering if he bit off more than he could chew. Maxing out credit cards and hemorrhaging money from his savings account, Jordan considered other options before he could quiet the noise.
“I sat in my car thinking about the job offers that I got when I quit my job—the easy way out. I turned down the volume of negativity and got in tune with myself through meditation—a practice I relied on from the beginning of my career in finance,” he explained.
“In that moment, I found the solution and rekindled the fire. It just all clicked. It did not happen overnight, but what came to me worked,” explained Awoye. There comes a moment in everyone’s journey where they want to give up, but if you stay the course, things will all pan out.
Everyone sees the success but very little see the process. People try to emulate the success, but it was the process that got that person there.
Awoye Capital continues to grow, with the introduction of an e-course and a financial literacy tour undertaken by the firm in partnership with NBA guard James Harden’s Impact13 Foundation. Jordan Awoye, the founder of Awoye Capital, sees the firm taking great strides.
A loss is not a loss it is a lesson:
Awoye found his purpose through failure. Wisdom acquired through lessons learned leads to wins. The discipline, consistency, and focus that Awoye brought to his unsuccessful basketball career provided him with the tools for success in his new career.