I studied management, marketing, and finance in college, and I use probably 0% of it in business. It’s what I learned in all the years of playing sports. How to pick up a teammate, how to be picked up by a teammate, how to not let a teammate down, how to overcome the challenges that we face when we strike out three times and then we have to get up and hit the game-winning home run to advance our team. It’s all those things. That’s really where the lessons are for entrepreneurs.
What do sports and business have in common? Here are 5 of my personal experiences from playing baseball (side note – I wish I was this smart while I played baseball…I’ve moved on to building other things and while I didn’t make the hall of fame. I’ve taken everything I’ve learned over the years and applied it to my businesses):
- Focus on Your Strengths. 3 out of 10 hits get you into the hall of fame. Forget about the 7 misses. To be the best at what you do, focus on what you did the 3 times you got the hit. In business, I would tell you to delegate out the 7 things you are not great at and go all-in on your strengths.
- Teamwork: There are 9 people on the field, and you must trust all 9 to play at their best each play so you have a chance to win. Also, you must have a team that their skills set, and attitudes complement each other and not just 9 superstars. This is true in building a team or company. A truly great team or company is not just 1 person. It is a group of people working together rowing in the same direction.
- Recover Quickly: When a member of the team lets you down, you must pick them up quickly because there’s another play coming, and you don’t have time for them to be thinking about the last play. In business, you must allow your people to make decisions, and sometimes those decisions result in lost opportunity and revenue. Help them see how it could have been handled differently resulting in a positive outcome and get them back out there making the same decisions with different outcomes.
- Attitude – Attitude is everything. You must believe you are the best. You can go 0 for 3 and still have an opportunity to have the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 9th with two out – but you better believe it first before you achieve it or else the other player will own you. In business, you must believe in yourself and your product or service. That you and/or it truly makes a difference in a person’s life. Then to have the complete confidence to ask for what you want and if it’s not given to you – be OK with the decision – learn from it – move on – and do it again!
- Be Coachable: The game evolves. Players evolve. You must evolve. You must prepare and plan for today’s business and what the business looks like in the future. If you do not, there will be a new person that takes your “job or client” because they want it more than you/they will do it for less than you/they provide more value than you because they see the opportunity differently. Learn, Adapt, and Grow!