I know that baseball has been used as a metaphor for business for a century. What I didn’t know was that baseball would break my heart. A recent fan, I took on the New York Yankees as “my team” at the beginning of the season in the spring of 2018. Even though I have lived in New York City for less than two years of my life, so far (I’m a native Californian) this is the most wonderful city in the world for a multitude of reasons, in my opinion. The people, the food, the history – these assets are just the tip of the iceberg when I begin to sing the praises of New York City. It is also the home of someone I care about very much who loves the Yankees as much, or more than anything or anyone else in the world. He continues to inspire me and embodies the idea behind baseball as a metaphor for business, and for life itself.
When I say that baseball broke my heart I am referring to the players and their stories. These include John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, the radio announcers from WFAN in New York. I had to get used to them calling the games. I made the decision to do this for two reasons – I didn’t want to pay several hundred dollars for a cable package and either not watch very many games or feel obligated to watch and not get my writing done each day during the season; I believed the process of listening to the games would enhance my experience and fine tune my auditory skills. The result after the first season was that I had listened to about fifty games and after the second season I’d listened to more than ninety games, including post-season. And I wrote more than ever, perhaps because I was enjoying my new pastime and inspired by the stories.
Now, back to the part about baseball breaking my heart. As with anything in life, it’s the people who affect you most and bring about the greatest emotions into your life experience. I can remember in the spring of 2018 reading on Twitter (follow the Yankees @NewYorkYankees) they had just brought someone up from the Minors and on to their roster for his first time playing in Major League Baseball. His name was Gleyber Torres.
I did not realize the roster of any MLB team was a dynamic one in constant motion. If someone is injured or not playing well it’s possible for them to be sent back down to the minors while someone who is playing extremely well and has great potential is called up to the “Show.” Gleybor was that person and he was on fire.
He had been signed as an international (he’s from Venezuela) free agent by the Chicago Cubs when he was only seventeen and traded to the New York Yankees three years later. Gleyber made his MLB debut in April of 2018 at age 21, and a month later became the youngest Yankee player to make a home run since John Ellis in 1969.
Gleybor Torres is just one example of a player touching my heart. Perhaps you read my post about Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia where I referred to him as a role model. Watching him make his last pitch and then dislocating his shoulder and having to walk off the mound in such terrible pain to a standing ovation brought tears to my eyes.
But let’s talk about the connection to business. Baseball, and other team sports as well serves as an excellent metaphor for the experiences we have as authors and entrepreneurs. This is what I mean:
* When someone is called up to the “Show” after playing in the minor leagues, they instantly become a newbie once again (Gleyber Torres experienced this in this first “at bats” with the Yankees)
* The manager of the team serves as a mentor to new players (Aaron Boone does this extremely well)
* The more seasoned players soon become friends and colleagues (I love hearing the stories of how they spend time together with their families off the field)
* The best players focus on developing one skill above all others (pitching, batting, catching, etc.)
* Players only improve by “doing” and not by observing or asking questions (taking action is everything)
* Team building is a crucial part of the process (Management is always seeking out the right people to add to their team)
What this “Baseball as a Metaphor” Strategy Means for You:
* Even if you have been successful in a job or career for decades, you’re a newbie when you first come online
* You will benefit from finding a mentor to guide you (contact me if I may serve you in this way)
* You’re not alone and you don’t want to be an island; reach out to others and develop friendships with your colleagues
* Choose one or two areas to specialize in above all others (authorship, affiliate marketing, membership sites, etc.)
* You only succeed by “doing” and not by filling your hard drive, posting on social media, or anything else instead of taking inspired action
* Surround yourself with a team of people who will enable you to build the business you are dreaming of online. In the beginning I needed someone to set up my websites and create attractive graphics for me. This has expanded to now include a project manager, several virtual assistants, an expert in analytics, an expanded technology team, and a CFO (Chief Financial Office) as my business has grown over time.
Every day is a fresh start for an entrepreneur. Whether you hit a grand slam or struck out the day before, the dawn of a new day brings unlimited opportunities. Fail as often as you can and your results will improve. Swing at anything that holds promise and focus by keeping your eyes on your goal.
If someone would have made this analogy of baseball as a metaphor for me in 2006 (the year I began as an online entrepreneur) I could have moved ahead in my business much more quickly. Instead, I struggled my first year and a half until a wise mentor pointed out the error of my ways. I shifted my focus, took action every day, and soon replaced my previous income I had earned while working as a classroom teacher and as a real estate broker/residential appraiser for twenty years. Please read this section over and let me know your thoughts.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I am updating this article on August 17th, 2020…
The Major League Baseball season almost didn’t happen this year. Spring Training turned into Summer Camp and they finally began on July 23rd. Instead of the usual 162 game season, this year they’ll play 60 games. This means they have just over five weeks to finish the season.
This is my third year as a baseball fan. During the previous two years I missed lots of games because I knew there would always be another one coming up. This year I have watched or listened to all but one of the Yankees’ games because I have a renewed appreciation for the game and the players.
You may be doing something similar as you think about growing your online business to where it can replace or supplement your income. You may tell yourself there will always be time, nothing will change, or that you’re just waiting until the time is right.
The time is right. Right now. Please don’t postpone your future as an online entrepreneur. Things change on the internet almost daily and it’s important for you to take action, find an audience to serve, and make it happen. I’m here every day and the joy of helping others keeps me moving forward…
I’m bestselling author, marketing strategist, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and I would love to connect further with you to help you to achieve your goals. If you are interested in learning how to optimize the syndication of your content, please take a look at my popular Syndication Optimization training course and consider coming aboard to increase your visibility, credibility, and profitability.