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Fuck a home run. Get a base hit.

The illusion of being a “home run machine”, seeing through appearances in 2014, and being happy with what you have.

Astrodome

The first time I was quoted in Men’s Health, I thought it would be a home run.

I bought copies of the magazine for all my friends and prepared for the money and fans to come rolling in.

But I never made more than a couple hundred bucks writing for fitness magazines. And no one has ever told me, “I saw your article in Men’s Health.”

I did, however, get to put the Men’s Health logo on my website. (We call that a credibility indicator.) That was the trade, and it was a good one.

But getting in a magazine didn’t change my life, the way people may think. It just made things a little easier, a little better.

My home run turned out to be a base hit. So I went back up to bat.

When the rights to Built for Show were sold to Avery Publishing back in 2008, I thought it would be a home run.

I was going to be rich and famous and important.

But Avery only paid $56,000 1for the book, which was split in half with Lou Schuler, my uncredited co-author. (Since I was only 23, he was the designated “adult on the project.”)

After paying our agent, photographer, and other random people, we were left with about $20,000 each.

Not bad, but not incredibly lucrative either.

I paid off my credit card debt, spent the remaining money on a steak dinner, and wandered the aisles of Barnes and Noble hoping someone would recognize me.

My life got a little better and a little easier. But it wasn’t a home run; just another solid hit.

I’ve had a lot of base hits in the past few years, lots of things that made my life better but didn’t completely transform everything:

And now, after all these years of preparing for a home run and getting a base hit instead, I think that may be all there is. 

Lots and lots of base hits with the illusion of a true home run — a life-altering, game-changing, money-and-fanfare-producing, instant-happiness-increasing hit — sprinkled in to keep you motivated and inspired.

And I kinda like that.  Honestly, it’s a relief.

Because it means two important things:

1) Appearances aren’t always what they seem.

There are a lot of people out there — published authors, actors, entrepreneurs, internet-famous people, CEOs etc. — who look like they have everything made…but often struggle in some fundamental way.

I’m one of them.

Fortunately, I gave up long ago trying to maintain the illusion that I’m a home run machine.

It’s liberating. Anyone can get a base hit. 

2) Being consistent with whatever you’re doing — getting lots of solid base hits — will make your life a little better and a little easier.

Which is all you can really ask for.

So to really just round out this whole baseball analogy thing, here’s what I’m gonna do in 2014:

  1. Step up to the plate.
  2. Swing for the fucking fences.
  3. Feel fortunate when I’m standing squarely on first base.

Batter up.

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What I’m currently enjoying: Pairing cocktails with events. Like, instead of drinking champagne tonight (New Years Eve), I’m gonna make a French 75 instead.

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  1. This is relatively low for a major book deal. I mean, who wants to give a 23 year old kid a million dollars? But I do have friends who have had those big deals. And guess what? Still not a home run. Instead, it’s just lots and lots (and lots) of pressure and a growing insistence that they must maintain their “home run machine” status forever.

  2. I’m aware these are all work-related things. But there have been many other things outside of my work that follow the same path: a good number of satisfying base hits and nary a home run.