Take a swing at the good ones



The home plate umpire’s bellow echoed against the backstop.

Swing the bat, Jon. You gotta swing the bat.

All kids would be valedictorians and athletic heroes if their moms’ thoughts triggered results.

Ball one.

Strike two.

Ball two.

He’s coiled, but the bat stays over his right shoulder as the next pitch crossed the plate.

Batter’s out!

It’s a long ride home when you’re blessed or cursed to have a dad as the coach.

“I don’t care if you strike out, Jon, but go down swinging. You’ll never get a hit if you don’t swing the bat.”

At the plate. Every day presents another at-bat for you, a chance for you to explore new ways of thinking on your farm. You don’t get a hit by looking for a walk.

Principle No. 1 of Entrepreneurial Creation: Opportunities rarely fall into an entrepreneur’s lap; they must be discovered or created.

From Virginia’s Batten Institute, research director Sankaran Venkataraman writes that serendipity rarely pushes successful people ahead. “… crystallizing an entrepreneurial opportunity more often requires tremendous energy and imagination.”

Energy and imagination. When was the last time you felt a smidgen of either? Mine got washed away with all the rain the last two weeks.

But there are ways you can reinvigorate your same-old, same-old. David Allen details how in his book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. (I get what he’s saying, I just haven’t mastered the “stress-free” part yet.)

Why am I doing this? Here’s Allen’s first step: Identify your purpose. (Why are we doing this? What’s your goal?)

Step two: Envision the outcome. (What would “success” look like? More money? More time with your family?)

Step three: Brainstorm action steps. (How are we going to accomplish it?)

Step four: Organize action steps. (What comes first? When do we do these things?)

Step five: Identify the next action. (Where do we start?)

And you have to grab a piece of paper and write it down. Or draw pictures. Putting the pen to paper gives you ownership of the goal.

Every day, ordinary people beat the odds to succeed with limited resources. To quote the words of the learned Cable Guy comedian, they “get ‘er done!”

Use the resources you already have: your own talent, education and knowledge. Use your resourcefulness, your optimism. Use your contacts.

Swing the bat. You gotta swing the bat.

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