In the foreground, a professional baseball player prepares to swing the bat. In the background, an opposing player is winding up for the pitch.

Baseball and Business Pitching

In baseball, it all starts with the pitch, the thing that happens when someone throws the ball off of a mound to a batter who hits the ball or tries to.

It occurred to me that nothing can happen until that pitcher decides what type of pitch to throw and throws it.

I am borderline obsessed with baseball.

There are fastballs, curveballs, sliders, and a host of other things a pitcher can do. It’s not as simple as I’m making it out here, but let’s assume there are no runners on the bases. There’s just the pitcher facing the batter. Let’s say it’s the first inning. The catcher gives a sign for what pitch he thinks the pitcher should throw. It’s usually given with finger movements. The pitcher nods or shakes his head to indicate that yes, or no, he agrees or disagrees with the pitch to be thrown. If he agrees, he throws, and the game is underway!

Let’s say that the batter swings and misses at that first pitch, strike one. Now what, do the catcher and pitcher go back to the same pitch? It worked once. Will it work again? Well, nothing happens until that pitcher throws the ball into that batter. If they change the pitch, say, from a fastball to a curveball, that batter may, or may not, hit it.

Let us say they stay with the same pitch and the batter lets it go and it’s called a strike. The batter doesn’t have to swing. If the ball is in the strike zone, it’s still a strike. The advantage goes to the pitcher. Now what? If they stay a third time with that pitch, will the batter swing at it? Probably. He’s seen the same pitch twice, and the batter doesn’t want to get struck out. But the pitcher wants to strike this batter out, so he might change his pitch for that third one.

Now the pitch is made! But the batter swings and misses over the top of the ball! Strike 3, he’s out! The pitcher won that battle.

Nothing happens until that pitcher throws the ball.

I find it interesting that nothing can happen in your business without a pitch – also known as an idea. If you don’t throw a ball in, you’ll never know what will happen. Will a batter, in this case, a client, swing at the pitch you offer? Will they hit it, or will they miss it? What will you choose next? Will you stay with the same business strategy or something different? What will your catcher, aka assistant, call for?

An assistant, virtual or in-person, can be an invaluable part of your team, and it takes a team of some sort to really run a business successfully. I have found that out the hard way, trying to do too much on my own as my own pitcher and catcher combination.

It all starts with an idea for something. Just like in baseball, it all starts with a pitch. Someone has to throw to someone else to get things moving.

The people who say baseball is simple really don’t know how a pitcher chooses what to throw and where to throw it. The same is true in your business. It has to start somewhere. It starts with an idea.

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