24 Jun 2010

Business Owners Need to Stay Confident to Win the Game

The older I get, the more I enjoy watching baseball at all levels…youth, college, and professional.  Not sure why that is.  Maybe I simply appreciate the nuances and the difficulty of the game more, or that it demands both team and individual performances, or that it’s a slower-paced game allowing players to face mental demons and coaches to strategize.  Additionally, this wonderful sport gives me and my 11-year old boy (Murph) a true father-son connection as we toss in the backyard, as he pitches to me, and as I throw him batting practice.  Whatever the reason, I love the game of baseball and the valuable lessons it can teach us all, especially business owners.

Murph plays baseball on a Club Team during the summer months.  They play 40-50 games a season, starting with in-door practice in January and ending with the last baseball tournament in early July.  He loves playing the sport and most days he is very confident and gets good results.  However, during such a long season, there are many ups and downs, hitting streaks and slumps, and winning streaks and losing ruts.  Right now, several of the boys, including Murph, are going through a late-season hitting slump … they have lost their swagger at the plate.  For the team’s coaches, not only are they constantly teaching the kids the fundamentals, but just as important, helping the boys to believe in themselves and each other.  Growing their confidence, especially during the challenging times, is essential to having team success.

Baseball is a tough mental game and you need to have confidence in the batter’s box and in the field.  Effective baseball coaches constantly need to pick up the young players’ spirits and confidence when they strike out, commit a fielding error, get thrown out stealing, or really struggle on the pitcher’s mound.  The mental battles of baseball remind me of the mental battles of business ownership.  As a business owner, can you relate to the ups and downs?

To this business owner and business coach, business is a lot like baseball.  Business can be tough, competitive, and quite challenging to perform at a high level day in and day out.  With any business, there are days when an owner is mentally beat up, strikes out, commits an error, loses the game.  For business owners, who picks up their spirits and confidence?  In the past, it seldom happened …owners had to grind it out and tough it out on their own.  Fortunately today, that has changed and more and more entrepreneurs are turning to business coaches like The Growth Coach to help them gain clarity of direction, a focused game plan, on-going accountability, and just as important, a greater sense of hope and confidence … confidence in their business vision and themselves.  Baseball coaches and business coaches are a lot alike – helping their players/clients to believe in themselves and their abilities so they perform at peak levels.

As business owners, two of our greatest assets are our business vision and confidence.  We need to have a clear destination of where we want to take our business and confidence in ourselves and our team that we can get there.  When we are confident, we have less doubt and make better decisions.  Therefore, it’s our utmost responsibility to guard our vision and protect our confidence.  The Growth Coach clearly understands this and our coaching process supports this critical confidence factor.  Are you guarding your vision and protecting your confidence?  If not, why not?

We owners cannot afford to lose our confidence, no matter how rough and tough things get.  Regardless of external factors (economy, competition, credit markets, politics, mother nature, etc.), we need to hold tight to and believe in our vision and not let the daily hassles, headaches, and strike-outs erode our confidence.  We can’t afford to get into a batter’s slump and stay there.  As entrepreneurs, though we all feel vulnerable, isolated, overwhelmed, lonely and even a bit lost at times, we cannot afford to lose our confidence and swagger.  We need to stay strong, positive and productive.

You know well that being a business owner can feel like a long, grueling, unforgiving season at times.  Some days you strike out, other days you hit a grand slam.  Some days you win, some you lose.  Regardless, don’t try to carry the entire weight of the company on your shoulders.  Don’t try to be a super hero, lone ranger or tough it out in silence.  That’s an exhausting way to run a business and lead a life.  To maintain your confidence, seek out the help of a business coach, educational and motivational CDs, books, or business owner support groups.  Protecting your confidence is imperative … all of your other abilities, talents and skills depend upon YOU staying confident.  Play ball and remain confident!

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