Naja's sonI’ve just finished my second day in San Clemente, California where my son played in a Labor Day weekend tournament with his travel ball team, The Iron Pigs.

Micah is 11 and loves this game as much as I love tea, and over the last seven years of playing competitively, I’ve witnessed his passion grow and his commitment to improving his game increase significantly.

I’ve had the joy of seeing my son take his game from a physical competition to a mental challenge and turn his focus inward for a win.  It’s been such an interesting process to see this kind of maturity from a young boy – my son – and to extract my own lessons to use in business.

During the game, as I watched Micah pitch and analyzed the game more deeply than usual, I began to see a correlation between pitching a small ball to win a baseball game and creating a strategy to win in business.

I was reminded that it’s not the individual tasks needed to accomplish a goal that makes one successful (the physical competition), but the mindset needed to get there (the mental challenge).

One of the main pieces of the success puzzle in baseball – something I so often hear moms and dads screaming out from the bleachers – is the pitcher’s ability to simply play catch with the catcher, not to aim the ball for a strike.

As the pitcher for my business, I have many catchers – my vendors, my wholesale customers, my blender, and my internal team – the people I depend on to make my company a success.  When I try to aim directives at them – throwing out my needs and opinions without regard to their contribution to the process – I miss the strike zone.

But when I play catch with these people who I’ve come to depend on for their creative and professional input and we work together in a collaborative way, each bringing our gifts for the greater good of the company – STRIKE ONE!

There are times I see Micah stop and step away from the mound as he re-thinks a pitching strategy that hasn’t been working effectively.  At times, his coach (we all have at least one!) and teammates huddle to discuss a change to his form.  He may be reminded to go back to the basics.  Sometimes, we all must be reminded to go back to the basics.

In my previous post, I discussed how re-thinking my own process with my business and going back to the beginning have produced a successful outcome!

On the flip side of going back to the basics is taking calculated risks and challenging yourself, making executive decisions against the team’s consensus, and changing it up with the hope of a successful outcome.

When Micah is playing at his best, I see a master strategist at work, thinking how to set the team up for a win.

My mind is often working in this same way, thinking of a new way to make Naja Tea a competitor in the tea market – STRIKE TWO!!

As a gifted pitcher, Micah often gets put into the lead role at the most desperate time of the game.  Regardless of his mood, he is expected to perform at an optimal level.  But the fact of the matter is none of us performs at one hundred percent 100% of the time.

Keeping that in mind – in baseball and in business – allows us to take some of the pressure off of being perfect.

As I watched my son stand at the mound, wind up, and throw the little white ball to his teammate behind the plate, I smiled knowing that, like in business, it looks so much simpler than it is.  But it should never stop you from aiming for that final STRIKE.