If you are any kind of sports fan at all then you must love October. October is a great month on the sports calendar because it has almost everything going for it – football is in full swing, the hockey season starts with the NBA in training camp – and it’s baseball postseason – the best of all. If you have been following the postseason at all there has been two compelling series – Tampa Bay vs. Texas and San Francisco vs. Atlanta. The latter series held more significance for us here at D-Tools, as we have offices in both the San Francisco Bay Area and in Atlanta. I am going to say up front that I’m a Giants fan – have been since I was a kid when my dad used to take me to Candlestick park to see Willie Mays and Willie McCovey (yes I’m that old) – so I am very happy that the Giants won. But the real purpose of this post is not to talk about the Giants and their dominance of the Braves (winning two on the road to close it out – YES!). Really.
The point I am going to attempt to make is to try and connect October baseball with an approach to our day-to-day work. Let’s face it, it’s been a rough couple of years – everything has been harder – it takes longer to make a sale, resources have been cut, the general mood and outlook has been grim – but we still need to show up and produce. There are so many things that are out of our hands that the only things we can directly control are our own effort and attitude. We have no control over the macro-economics of our economy. Certain areas of the economy are going to take a long time to recover. We still need to figure out and execute a strategy to ensure that our business can survive the downturn and be poised for growth when the recovery comes.
It’s a grind – I know. I’ve been through this type of environment before when the dot-com bubble burst. It was awful for a long time – I had a lot of friends who were having trouble finding work – business slowed to a crawl, and it was well, a bit depressing. But much like this current downturn eventually things began to turn around and business started to pick up. We just came back from CEDIA a couple of weeks ago and to me it seemed like the energy was beginning to return to our industry. Our business has been steadily improving over the course of the year and as we head into the 4th quarter we are starting to experience some forward momentum – and with the dog days of August behind us, we’re heading into the stretch run for the year – working on the next version of our software, improving our data processes, streamlining our customer service and technical support – looking for whatever edge we can that will help us improve.
So what does this have to do with October baseball? Well admittedly, not much. Except this – in October, every game, every inning, every at bat, every pitch is magnified because now there is a deadline. It’s suddenly a best of 5 – best of 7 series. Lose and you go home. It’s no longer about 162 games – it’s about showing up now and producing in money time. Well, the same can be said for business – if you are trying to stay viable, if you are trying to stay ahead of the competition, if you’re trying to succeed – it’s always money time. You have to produce. Everyday. Show up, take pride in your work, and do your job. The teams that embrace that idea win more times than not. The businesses that build this into their culture do more than survive – they thrive – and ultimately both the company and the customer win. Now that is a goal to strive for.