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Joint Ventures and Baseball

I live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and we have a AA Farm Team for the Atlanta Braves.  Tonight was absolutely a beautiful evening with perfect weather for watching a baseball game.  I was with family and friends, I’d had a freshly-baked pretzel, was munching on popcorn and sipping my diet soda.  It was the first downtime I had experienced all week, and I thought I would totally get my mind off business and writing.

But, no…my mind began to focus on what was happening around me, and thoughts began to gel, and I knew I had to write about how this ballgame can offer us tips on life and business.  Here’s what I observed:

First, it’s all about the teamwork.  Every player has his unique skill — not all are pitchers, not all could be a catcher (I know my knees wouldn’t put up with the job), outfielders look like they might get bored, but when it’s their time to jump into action, you realize how valuable they are.  You see where I’m going with this.  It’s the same in a business or in a joint venture of any kind.

I shall digress here and talk about joint ventures.  I was on a teleseminar this morning with one of my business mentors.  She recommended that all of us on the call reach out and find one or two people with whom to do a “joint venture partnership” and work on creating a product that we can sell online.  So, after thinking about this all day, when I saw the ball players out there, all “doing their thing” it prompted me to think of how a team functions, even a small team of two or three people or joint venture partners.

Everyone needs to know what are the unique strengths and skills of the other players. That way, unreasonable expectations won’t cause frustration and disappointment.  I didn’t see the pitcher running out to the bases and getting in the way of the base players.  It would be a mess if that happened.

So, in a joint venture, or any other business partnership, get it figured out early on who’s good at what, and work from a position of the strengths of each one, certainly not from the weaknesses.

Even though there were two opposing teams, there were a few moments when all hearts, minds and eyes were focused on something bigger than the ballgame — the American flag and our sense of patriotism.  When the national anthem was sung, we were in unity — players and fans alike.  I believe this is also true in life and business; there needs to be something bigger than ourselves or our “teams” on which to focus, something we can share, in terms of higher values or even faith.  Shared values will make the rest of the “game” of life, business and family easier to play, easier to roll with the punches, if you will.  And a LOT more fun.

Let’s play!