Any baseball fanatic knows the story; the Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908. It doesn’t matter if you’re a diehard fan, just like a good underdog story, or don’t even like sports; as a business owner, you can still learn from the key traits of the Chicago Cubs that lead to their eventual success one rainy evening in November 2016.
Willing to take risks.
If there’s one thing we know about the Chicago Cubs, it’s over the years, they’ve not been one to shy away from risks. Whether it’s signing a young Javier Baez with an affinity for swinging too often, or nearly wearing out your star closing pitcher in game 6 of World Series, they’ve proven that with high risk sometimes comes high reward.
This concept isn't anything new to the most successful entrepreneurs. After all, the simple act of starting a business in the first place is in itself a huge risk. Take billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, for example. His 2008 decision to invest 35 million dollars in a company facing extreme financial hardship during one of the lowest points of the U.S. economy was considered by most a foolhardy gamble. That company was called Tesla Motors, is now worth over $2.5 billion and is best known for its innovation surrounding the electric car.
Has passion for what they do.
As you watch any Cubs game unfold, the passion and love this team has for the game is palpable. Just look at their faces after one of their teammates scores. Or even if they strike out. Their passion runs deeper than just protecting their livelihood; these players go out there and give all they have every game because they truly love what they do.
Passion drives excellence. A passionate business owner will do everything they can, exhaust every resource, explore every idea, consider every potential mishap - all to drive their business to success. Passion fuels us intrinsically and creates far more motivation to see success than the simple material goals of getting rich.
Listen to any sound bite of head coach Joe Maddon talk about the past of the Chicago Cubs. Never does he succumb to superstitions and mentions of curses. Instead, he turns the listener’s attention to statistics and predictions of success based on previous performance in games and practice.
Being confident means knowing yourself, your limits, your strengths. In doing so, you set realistic goals for yourself and your business. You’re able to make better business pitches to your potential clients and investors. The confident entrepreneur is also less likely to give up on their endeavors as they truly believe in their ideas.
Learns from failures.
No team knows failure more than the Chicago Cubs. From losing the World Series in Game 7 in 1945, to facing elimination in the National League Championship Series in 2003, there has been a lot of failure in their history.
Much like the Cubs, a successful entrepreneur will not let these failures lead to giving up. Instead, they dissect the entire situation from beginning to end to determine exactly what went wrong. Once you know where you slipped up, you can focus your efforts on how to avoid that in the future.
Remains positive in the face of adversity.
On the subject of failure, remaining positive when the odds are seemingly not in your favor is one of the biggest challenges you can face as a new business owner. If you need some motivation, take it from 2016 Chicago Cubs team member, Jason Heyward.
During a rain delay in the deciding game of the World Series, it was tied 6 to 6 going into the added 10th inning as Heyward pulled his team into a weight room. Critics of the Cubs were saying the amount of errors that lead to runs by the opposing team would come back to haunt them and ultimately cost them the game. However, this was not the focus of Heyward’s impromptu weight room speech. Instead, Heyward told reporters after the game the theme of his speech was positivity. “I just wanted them to remember how good they were, how good we are.”
Of course, the Chicago Cubs aren’t the only sports team to demonstrate these traits. In any industry - be it sports, or television, or business - the recipe for success starts with developing a good foundation of strengths to help drive your business forward.