As the young people of today head out on their own, they face many unique challenges. In this economy, nobody is guaranteed a good job or a competitive salary, and the struggle to find steady, rewarding work is harder than it's ever been. That's why, as a man in his early 30s who has enjoyed a very successful career, I have one piece of advice for America's youth, and that is to throw a baseball really, really well.
And also really, really fast.
In this rapidly changing society, young people must learn to adapt and react to whatever obstacles or complications may arise. I can't stress this enough: Be able to throw a baseball incredibly accurately and hard. Believe me.
Of course, it's not that simple, and if you want to enjoy a long, lucrative career that will sustain you through retirement, you'll need to diversify your skill set by not only throwing a baseball 90 to 95 miles per hour, but developing some off-speed pitches, too. Throwing a baseball that curves or sinks has impressed every employer I've ever had, and will serve you well, too, no matter where you wind up.
Luckily, my family always encouraged me growing up. I had a pretty typical upbringing: My dad worked for a food distribution company, my middle-school trainer was baseball legend Bus Campbell, and scouts from the majors started coming to see me throw baseballs when I was 14. So from an early age, I was instilled with the values of hard work, throwing a baseball, and throwing a baseball as well as possible.
Some say that the best way to get ahead is to go to college first, and it's true, college can be a great place to learn all about throwing a baseball really hard. Not a lot of people will tell you this, but the truth is, if you can throw the baseball well enough, most employers won't even care if you have a college degree. I didn't go to college, but I still make an eight-figure salary and live in a very large house. So whichever path life takes you down, just be able to throw a baseball really well and you'll do fine.
Also, I strongly recommend you be 6'6" and 230 pounds. It really, really helps, although it's not completely necessary. For instance, I know a young guy, Tim, who throws a baseball really well; he's only 5'11", but still has a good job out in San Francisco, a really beautiful city.
Tim's example shows that it doesn't matter who you are—if you stick to it, have the ability to throw a baseball well, and throw a baseball as hard as you possibly can into a catcher's mitt, you can go far in this world.
Once you are among the best in the world at throwing a baseball, my biggest piece of advice to the young people of America is this: Have some fun! Motivation in the workplace is key, and you don't want to go stale when you're catching baseballs and throwing them. After all, as an adult, you can expect to work about 30 times annually, so you've got to find ways to stay sharp, focused, and happy. Use your six-month break from work every year wisely, and take some time to recharge and be ready to do your best when work starts again in April.
And remember, if you and your family are ever in need of any extra income, I suggest you pursue outsized moneymaking opportunities and sign a large contract with a sporting-goods company to wear a specific shoe and glove while you throw a baseball. And later on, when you get older and start thinking about retirement, you can add to your savings by talking on television about throwing baseballs or by appearing in front of a large crowd of people at a convention center and signing baseballs. After all, it never hurts to save for a rainy day.
One last word of advice: For young people who have torn or ruptured rotator cuffs, I'm really sorry.