10 Business Lessons to Learn from Baseball (Part 2)

Why Watching Baseball is a Good Opportunity for Learning Valuable Business Lessons

America’s favorite pastime isn’t great just for enjoyment and relaxation purposes; it’s also the source of numerous life and business lessons.  After all, some of our culture’s most popular sayings (“You can’t win ‘em all,” “He really hit a home run that time,” and “He was out before he reached First Base,” for example) which come from the diamond, are also heard in the business world.  Whether you’ve spent years in the dugout, in the stands, or in the boardroom, hopefully these insights and business lessons will provide inspiration.

Picking up where we left off yesterday with our business lessons…..

Business LessonsBusiness Lessons #4: The Better You Do, The More Fun It Is

When you’re in a hitting slump or your team is in the midst of a losing streak, suddenly, the sport you love isn’t that much fun.  And of course, the converse is true: The better you’re doing, the more fun it is!

Translate that to the business arena.  When you’re in that golden space where every product you release is a hit and your customers love you, everything is fun — even paying bills and emptying the garbage.  But when the reverse is true, everything seems like a chore, including the tasks you usually adore.

When this occurs, it’s imperative you make a mental shift.  You can’t afford the luxury of a negative attitude.  So here’s how to make things more fun when it all seems to be going wrong:

  • Focus on small successes.  Did you meet a tough deadline, get a nice thank-you email, or release a new product?  Recognize and celebrate these achievements, however small.
  • Downplay the bad parts.  Remind yourself that everything seems worse when your attitude is bad.  Give yourself a reality check: Was the tone of that call from your partner as negative as your perceptions?
  • Choose to believe.  As the famous author and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote, “Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”  You have the right and the obligation to choose your attitude — so why not choose a positive one?
  • Do what you love.  If you truly love your job in a broad sense, then the little annoyances are just part of the overall mission.  In other words, the more you love the big stuff, the less the little stuff matters.

No professional athlete lasts long if they don’t have mental toughness that allows them to continue on, even when times get bad.  As a businesswoman, you need to cultivate that same mental toughness in yourself.

Business Lessons #5: Ignore the Hecklers

You’ve heard the phrase, “The customer is always right — even when they’re wrong.”  That means that you sometimes have to bite your tongue and move forward (even as a professional athlete must ignore the hecklers in the stands; not allowing their taunts, jeers, and comments to get to them)…even when an objective observer would say you were “right”.

Take the high road.  This is a huge business lesson to learn and some have a difficult time with it.  But keep in mind, your time and energy is precious; invest it where you’ll get good things in return.

Business Lessons #6: You Play Better with a Coach Who Knows the Game

Coaches matter.  Just as you’ve never seen a winning ball team without a coach, you’d be hard-pressed to find a winning business person without a coach as well.

A business coach can perform many of the same roles that a baseball coach does.  They can help keep things in perspective, guide you from their experience and wisdom, help you think past the next fiscal quarter, and motivate and inspire you to move forward.  They know what needs to be done, and in what order, so they keep you from wasting time and energy on unnecessary tasks.

The best coaches get personal satisfaction in helping you succeed, so choose wisely.  Find a mentor with a history of successes, not just in the field, but as a coach as well (someone who will be able to guide you through the business lessons you need to learn); you don’t want a business coach who feels threatened by your success.

As in baseball, the list of best talented coaches is short and the best candidates come from referrals.  The same is true in the business arena.

Business Lessons #7: It Hurts Worse When You’re Losing

If a player gets hurt sliding into home for the winning run, the player is more likely to leap to their feet and celebrate with their teammates, rather than having to be carried off the field on a stretcher.  The simple fact is: It hurts worse when you’re losing.

The same is true for business.

Losses hurt. But they don’t have to send you to the disabled list for the rest of the season.  Remind yourself there is a win hidden in defeat, and commit to finding and extracting the lessons.  It’s all just part of the game.  The only true failure is to fail to learn from your own mistakes.

Business Lessons — Part 2 Conclusion

If you found these middle four business lessons helpful, leave a comment below.  The final three Business Lessons #8 – 10 will follow tomorrow.  Click here to see the first three business lessons.

Business Lessons




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