When I was growing up, I was a big baseball fan. Every morning I would study the box scores to see how my favorite players and teams were doing. I had two players I liked the most: Carl Yastrzemski and Hank Aaron. I got caught up in the "Yaz" excitement in 1967 when the Red Sox had the "impossible dream" season and Yaz won the triple crown. I was barely seven years old, but I could read a box score. I knew what Yaz did every day, and from that excitement, a baseball fan was born.
When I could read for real, I started reading biographies of sports stars. The book I read on Hank Aaron was written well before he was even thought to have a chance at the home run record. Most felt Willie Mays was the guy who had the best chance. But when I read the story of Hank, how he had first learned to hit with his hands on the bat backwards (he held his left hand on top like a left-hander would do), and how, beginning in the Negro leagues, he forged an amazing career, it was undeniable that a Hank Aaron fan was born. And Hank stood the test of time. He was never flashy, just a consistent force in the middle of the lineup. A five-tool star who was often overlooked. It wasn't until Willie faded in his pursuit of the Babe that people began to think, "Maybe Hank can do it."
And as that possibility became a reality, I was Hank's number one fan. I was only 13 when he broke the record, but I remember it like it was yesterday. It felt like I had discovered Hank. As if my belief in him and my faith that he could beat the Babe had been a key to his success
. His success was my triumph. As he circled the bases on April 8, 1974, there was no happier kid in the U.S. of A.
I write this today because I just finished reading the biography, "The Last Hero — A Life of Hank Aaron," by Howard Bryant. Reading about Hank as an adult was a different experience, but for me, his greatness still stands the test of time. And his life can give inspiration to us in our business. His work ethic, his faith, his consistency, his principles, his ability to stay strong in the face of incredible adversity — all of these attributes helped define Hank but can also be lessons for a financial advisor who also wants to stand the test of time.
In our business, there is no easy way. There are no "get rich quick
" schemes. It is consistent hard work and doing right by our clients that will stand the test of time. I have worked with many different types of financial advisors. The flashy ones come and go. The one-trick ponies never last. The best understand the need for consistent activity, for reliable advice and balanced thinking. I appreciate the hard work necessary to be successful in our industry. When times and the economy are tough, our unchanging message is what shines the brightest. And a balanced approach will bring success and a long career. Just check the record book.
Consistency: the model to increase your success
What childhood baseball taught me about life