I was talking to my wife the other day and I realized without thinking about it, that starting a business is a lot like learning how to hit a baseball.
I remember back when my father was teaching me how to hit, I wanted to really really impress him and every time I tried to hit a home run. I did not hit the ball, it was strike, strike, strike and I was on the verge of quitting when he sat down and said “Scott, you’re trying too hard, do this for me, just try to touch the ball with your bat, but don’t swing.”
Sure enough as long as I was just trying to touch the ball, and not trying to hit a home run, I could do it every time. Then next thing he had me do was just take a swing at the ball, and of course, I was encouraged and I tried once again to hit a home run, and of course, swing and a miss. He said to me, “you’re still trying too hard , don’t try to knock it out of the park, just slow down your swing.” So this time he told me he wanted me to just use one hand to hold the bat and hit the ball. Success.
The next thing he said to me changed my game forever, he said, I want you to go about 80% in your hits. So before you were giving it 100% and with one hand it was about 40%, so I want you to go about 80% on everything and never go above it. Success.
Later that year I was selected to go to the all-star game for 2nd base, I was a lock to get on base, though I didn’t hit many home runs, I could always get on base.
Starting A Business is not about hitting home runs, which is what I’ve been trying to do, it’s about taking it down a notch, getting some success, taking it up a notch or two getting more success, and so on.
— Update —
I still like the quote: “Think big because it takes the same energy as thinking small.” But to become the home-run king, you first need to connect with a bat.