Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Striking out swinging or looking?

Despite being an Aussie who should have probably grown up loving cricket, thanks to my American-sport-loving Dad I’m a huge fan of baseball instead.

For those of you not super familiar with the game, you’re probably still familiar with the phrase “strike out” - where the pitcher is able to throw three “strikes” past the batter meaning they’re out.

There’s two different ways you can “strike-out”.

You can strike out “looking” – which is where you watch the ball go over the plate not attempting to hit it.

Or you can strike out “swinging” – where you’re doing your darndest to connect bat to ball but don’t quite get there.

People write to me often asking me for advice on how to know if it’s the right time for them to start up a business. My advice to them is typically this - what’s going to hurt them more in the long term:

- the regret of knowing they had a great idea and did nothing
- or the potential downside that may come with the financial loss of starting up a business that doesn’t succeed.

In short, do they want to strike out looking or swinging? If you strike out looking, there’s no chance of a home run. If you’re swinging – sure you might strike out – but you might also make that connection that makes all the difference.

See a cute girl across the bar? If you ask her for her phone number and she says no, you’ve gone out swinging. You’ve given it your best bet. If you never ask, you’re in exactly the same position, but you never had a chance for a date.

Know that promotion is right up your alley? Apply or not? Swing or look?

Think you are deserving of an award? Nominate yourself or remain quiet? Swing or look?

If the possibility of striking out is real (and, lets face it, in almost every endeavour it is) how would you prefer to go out?

By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments


Excellent article, Kirsty! I absolutely love the analogy, and it is so true.

Good blog Kirsty. Reminds me of my golf-nut brother's quote: "100% of all short putts never go in the hole".

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