Where do I begin?
First and foremost, welcome! I’m Cheyenne Knight — and I’ve been competing on the LPGA Tour since 2019. I’m excited to tee off my “Knight Life” blog with Empower Retirement and share some thoughts and stories around, well, life! We’ll chat about anything and everything along the way, from family to shopping to golf to cooking. And, of course, money. I’m so glad you’re here, and thanks for joining me on this journey.
I have to say that being a part of the Empower team and using this great platform to connect with you and talk about my experiences is a pretty cool opportunity. I believe it’s the start of something special.
As I’m writing this introductory post, I couldn’t help but think back to my first victory on the LPGA Tour. You know, in a weird way, I’ve learned that excelling at golf and saving for tomorrow actually have a lot in common.
It was at the Volunteers of America Classic in 2019. Truth be told, I had been struggling just a little bit to adjust to the professional level up until that point. Being a rookie at the age of 22 and facing off against many of the women I idolized was somewhat of a daunting task. After all, these were the same elite athletes I was watching on TV every weekend and modeling my own swing after in the backyard.
Heading into the last round of the Volunteers of America Classic, I sat in second place — one shot back of the leader. While I was chasing my first career win on the LPGA Tour, I was also seeking to retain my LPGA Tour card. At that time, I needed to finish no lower than fifth to avoid a return to the LPGA Q-Series. Not to be too overdramatic, but there was a lot riding on the outcome of the next 18 holes.
During warmups that morning, I was confident in my preparation, but deep down I couldn’t ignore that extra burst of adrenaline and anxiety I was feeling. Never mind the fact that I had dreamed of raising a trophy at an LPGA Tour event since I was nine. This was a very big deal to me. With so much on the line, Angela Stanford must have noticed how uptight I was in my pregame routine. So much so that she walked up to me and said, “Go out there and have fun” and focus. Now, Angela is a veteran on the LPGA Tour with countless clutch performances on her resume. I’ve considered her a role model forever.
I admire her poise, her drive and her strength.
In the end, Angela’s generous wisdom was just the inspiration I needed to conquer my nerves and trust my talents. I recorded a 5-under-par 66 that day and claimed the top prize — a memory and a milestone that I will never forget. Best of all, I had an absolute blast every minute I was out there enjoying what I love.
The more I think about it today, “fun and focus” isn’t just limited to the fairway, the bunker or the green. You can apply this combination to whatever field you choose, even when it comes to planning ahead for your financial future. If I’m being honest, saving can sometimes feel like trying to sink a long putt for birdie. It’s not easy! Both require putting a specific strategy in place to ultimately achieve a positive result. I’m beginning to realize, though, that both actions also rely heavily on “fun and focus.”
Fun is all about celebrating your progress and success, living in the moment, and having a passion for what you do.
Focus is all about having patience and perseverance, being in the zone, and concentrating on the task at hand.
No matter the goals I’ve set for myself, I strive to find a steady balance between fun and focus in my routine. It’s how I approach my athletic career and my financial future. Both parts are critical to my long-term well-being — and they can be for yours as well. Like in golf, it just takes a little practice to get the hang of them.
A little inspiration, too.
Recommended “fun” reading from Empower:
Start saving for the “fun” of it
Let’s talk retirement
A simple savings plan for the new year
Recommended “focus” reading from Empower:
Healthy savings habits
Top New Year financial resolutions
Arm yourself with good information in times of stress