The markets saw increased selling today, as some pointed to the
IMF's (International Monetary Fund) warning of a potentially
serious global slowdown related to fiscal problems in the US and
Investors' love for Apple (
) shares were certainly being tested once again today, as the
computer and mobile device giant continued its recent string of
down days. Wall Street analyst downgrades added to the nervousness
as well, with names like Intel Corp (
), Johnson & Johnson (
), and Lazard Ltd. (
) seeing red. As for today's downdraft, my guess is there may be a
growing concern for how earnings season will be shaping up in this
fourth quarter. After all, we did see some companies sort of get a
pass last quarter with earnings that weren't quite up to snuff.
The Window to Succeed
In my ongoing fascination with sports and how developments in
these games can relate to our own lives, I'd like to look today at
a common theme for many major sports franchises. Just a few days
ago, the Texas Rangers were eliminated from the Major League
Baseball playoffs after losing the one-game elimination vs. the
Baltimore Orioles. The Rangers had been cruising for much of the
season, but after losing 7 out of their last 9 games, they blew a
chance to avoid having to play the one-game playoff.
Why am I using the Rangers as my case study today? There are
several reasons, one being the team advanced to the Word Series the
previous two seasons, losing both times. Also, the club's superstar
outfielder Josh Hamilton is set to become a free agent this
offseason and could very well be playing elsewhere next year. Could
it be that the Rangers' window to succeed has come and gone? It's
quite possible, although the team does still possess one of the
more heralded minor league systems. As such, the Rangers may be
able to recover better than other teams if they lose a player or
two. Regardless, many Rangers' fans are likely wondering if their
best chance to win it all may have come and gone.
In our own lives, we'll all be presented with better
opportunities at times. Sometimes, our best move will simply be to
listen and learn instead of jumping into ventures that don't quite
fit our skill set.
Whether you're leading the way for others or vice versa, who you
team up with (for advice, partnerships, etc.) will ultimately make
the difference between making it big, just making it, or being a
You see, I believe the window to succeed for some is always
going to be small. Many factors lead to this condition, not the
least of which is a habit of turning to the wrong people for
advice. One thing I have learned over my years in business - and
talking to scores and scores of people - is that individuals all
too often base important financial decisions solely on advice from
their inner circle. This inner circle is usually comprised of close
friends and family, who all too often are completely unqualified to
give financial advice.
For others, I believe the window to succeed is quite large.
Whether it is staying in one's own lane or challenging oneself to
build a new business in an area of tremendous opportunity, there
are certain individuals that simply know how to mount a tactical
attack strategy that leverages their advantages quicker than
others. Plus, these successful folks know all the right people to
turn to for advice.
It could be that the Rangers elect to shake things up this
offseason. Maybe they won't re-sign their biggest superstar player.
Perhaps they'll bring in some new faces, or even trade off existing
players that couldn't quite get the job done. All I know from
watching sports all my life is that climbing back to the top after
coming close is extremely difficult. The same concept applies to
our own lives. That's why it's so important to seize each
opportunity when it arrives for us.
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