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Lessons Learned From “Moneyball” By Michael Lewis

7 June 2009 No Comment

Two of my favorite subjects are business and baseball.  I recently read a book that masterfully combined the two.  “Moneyball” is the story of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, under the leadership of General Manager Billy Beane.  The A’s have long been one of the teams in major league baseball with the lowest payroll as other teams such as the Yankees continue to grow their payroll.  Basically, at first glance, the A’s chance of winning in baseball’s unfair landscape seems impossible, but the lack of money forced the A’s to question everything about how they ran a baseball team.  The result was extraordinary success.

I took a lot from this book.  The first, which I won’t spend a lot of time talking about, was the impact on my fantasy baseball team.  This book gave me a few new angles to approach fantasy baseball.  Hopefully, it leads me to win my league and pocket a cool $800.

More importantly, the example of the Athletics in major league baseball is a great example of challenging the status quo of any industry or business.  The A’s challenged the traditional baseball wisdom that was a part of every clubhouse.  They refused to accept the way things were just because that was the way they were.

This principle can be applied to business, making money, and investing.  When it comes to business, it’s important to question the industry and the common way of doing business in this industry.  Can you do things differently from your competitor?  It might look crazy at the outset but most change does.  This approach can also help you create income streams.  What are some common problems that can be solved in new ways?  What would be a fantastic service to have that you can’t seem to find online?  Maybe you should create that service!

Quick aside:  A friend and I have recently found a problem that needs to be solved with a website and we are currently working on it.  I will be writing about the website closer to launch.  Stay tuned…

This principle can be applied in so many ways to investing.  For one, do you tend to put money in play only after you hear somebody on TV talk about a specific investment?  I am completely disillusioned by the mainstream financial press/media.  They are completely wrong more than they are slightly right.  First question to ask yourself is are you taking investment advice from someone who was telling you to buy stocks when the Dow was at 14,000?  They are probably many of the same people who are throwing around the term “green shoots” every time you look their way.  Find real advice that is consistent no matter what the market is doing.  Find a real strategy.  If you have to, pay for that advice.  I have a handful of resource I use to guide most of my investment decisions and thoughts, and no, none of them are on CNBC or Yahoo! Finance.

To sum up, challenging the status quo is a great way to grow in business, income and investing.  If you like baseball or are looking for a different kind of business book, check out “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis.  It’s a great, unique read.

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