When the Toronto Raptors came into existence in 1995, I was an 18 year- old looking towards my future and working hard to be the best I could be. Like the Raptors, I was beginning a humble journey to be a winner in what I do. During the past 24 years, I’ve been through the ups and downs with the team, and in hindsight I am able to see how much the team’s philosophy, perseverance and passion have inspired my own pursuits and have motivated me to get to where I am today.

As many of my close friends and followers know, I decided to change careers at 40, and it was a huge risk. I was in my comfort zone, working in the restaurant business that my family had built, managing restaurants and making a decent salary. I had just married my wonderful wife, and life felt good. But like so many of us, something inside of me yearned for more in both my personal and professional lives. Twenty- four years in the restaurant business taught me that making people happy was not only something I was good at, but also the source of my greatest satisfaction. It was, at the end of the day, what gave me purpose, what filled my cup, and helped me thrive. Honing in on this, I saw an opportunity to extend the same kind of care I showed my restaurant clientele to an industry where the stakes would be much higher and the need for someone like me and who I am, could be even greater. I decided to take a leap of faith,went back to school full-time to get my real estate license, and have had the pleasure of helping some wonderful people and families find homes that have changed their lives.

Today as I launch my new path, I am greatly inspired by the recent glory of the Raptors winning the 2019 NBA Championship. Through sheer hard work, heart, desire, dedication, teamwork, effort and discipline, they’ve ignited the belief in all of us that we can make things happen if we put our hearts and minds to it. They have taken big risks to essentially go “All In” like trading their most popular player Demar Derozan for Kawhi Leonard. They’ve galvanized an entire nation by staying true to who they are. And the “We The North” campaign has become a cultural sensation, bringing people from all ages and ethnicities together.

In this same spirit, I am going “All In” on this new journey as a real estate broker. I couldn’t be more fulfilled, because I know that the way I do this work is really helping people, in any stage or life circumstance, to find the home and create the life they are meant to live. As Masai Ujiri, President of the Toronto Raptors said when he traded for Kawhi Leonard, “Believe in this City, Believe in Yourselves.” Thank you Masai and the Toronto Raptors, I am here and I believe!

Ontheballrealty, by Ryan Lee!