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Swing Away

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The following is a guest post from Todd Boyer. He writes to inspire and motivate people about diet and exercise at PhitZone. While his passion is to help people reach their physical fitness goals, I think this shows he can inspire people to reach their financial goals too.

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run" - Babe Ruth

"The Great Bambino" is known for once being the home run king. That was quite an accomplishment. At the time, there were no other players that could park the ball as consistently as the Babe.

It would be a serious understatement to say that the Sultan of Swat was known for hitting dingers. Did you know that he also held the record for striking out?
1,330 - That's how many times Ruth struck out during his career, which ended in 1935. That record stood until 1964 when Mickey Mantle surpassed it.

Strike three. You're out!

When my wife and I were first married, we didn't have a clue when it came to personal finance.

I won't speak for my bride and her family. My family, however, were poor examples of getting ahead financially. Being from a military family, we were never
what you might call "wealthy". We weren't poor, but broke wouldn't be a stretch.

That was pretty much how I started my adulthood--broke. For various reasons, which aren't important, we found ourselves in a lot of debt. We couldn't pay it back. Creditors were hounding us. We couldn't answer the phone. Notices arrived daily in the mail.

We were just managing to keep the wolves at bay. Then it happened. My lovely wife lost her job.

That was the last straw. The camels back snapped like the bone of a chicken wing in the hands of a famished Michael Moore.

That was a strikeout. We ended up losing our house, one of the cars, and filing for bankruptcy.

Keep swinging

Those were tough times. We came out of that whole mess with some battle scars. Funny thing about scars - they act as a constant reminder.

We've done a lot of reading, and research. I know that we could stumble again. Now I'm older (she's still 27). Hopefully with those years I've become wiser.
It's been a lot of years, and we do not carry a large balance on the one credit card that we have. Our rule of thumb is that if we don't have the money for a purchase, we don't make said purchase.

Our business cost very little to start. It carries very low overhead. At the same time, it has the potential to make a lot of money (even though it doesn't now).

We are constantly working for it to create cash flow. One day it will pay off.

My wife has changed careers. She is now working in a field that allows her to work from anywhere. If she doesn't like working for somebody, she can work for herself at the drop of a hat.

Step up to the plate

Babe Ruth struck out a lot. But he kept stepping into the batter's box. He kept swinging the bat. And every now and again, he would connect, and send the ball sailing over the fence.

It's really that simple. Expect that you will swing and miss. There is no way to avoid it. It's inevitable that you will strike out. When it happens, dust yourself off. Choke up on the bat. Wait for your pitch, and swing for the fence.

Last updated on August 1, 2011.

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3 Responses to “Swing Away”

  1. Great post! Another great quote from Babe Ruth is: Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games!

    So, yes, keep swinging for the fences everyday… but also don’t stop swinging just cause you hit a homerun… there may be another strikeout coming. Hard work and lots of practice is what it takes!

    Good luck!

  2. I know this isn’t the main point of your article … but I’m a baseball fan who bristles a bit at the bad reputation of strikeouts. Statistically, they aren’t really that much worse than other types of outs:


    Ruth also started out as a pitcher (a really good one) before switching to the outfield on a full time basis … telling us not to be afraid to retool from time to time :)

  3. Todd says:

    @LazyMan, Thank you for the opportunity to write for your blog.

    @Join The Office Revolt, Excellent point about continuing to swing away even when we have hit a home run.

    @Kosmo @ The Soap Boxers, You’re correct, when it comes to outs, striking out is the same as flying out. An out is an out. But the act of a striking out stands out. When somebody known for putting bat to ball though strikes out, it really catches our attention.

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