How about a little hot stove league in the middle of December?!

In 2018, veteran first baseman for the Baltimore Orioles, Chris Davis, went 0-54 in plate appearances, a hitless streak that spanned 17 games and became the most at-bats without a hit in MLB history. A fun honor to hold, right? He broke the skid with a two-run single at Fenway – his teammates going wild.

Failure is an inevitable part of baseball. Failure is also an unavoidable part of a business – whether that is sales, leadership, execution, hiring, etc. You will fail.

Sometimes, the downs drag on for a long time, testing your perseverance and grit. So how do you get out of a business slump?

1. Mental: This won’t last forever

Life is full of ups and downs. You shouldn’t get too high in the good times. You also can’t get too low in the hard times. Be confident in yourself and the business you’ve built to overcome the dip. You have been successful before, and you will be again.

2. Outcomes always lag behaviors.

Look at your behaviors. Are you standing still, waiting for the slump to go away? Are you hoping someone is going to come and save you? Get going! Take action! Your scorecard and leading indicators are no lie. When you are slumping, there will be prominent places to look to guide you on what steps to take. Take them! Do it now! Do it in bulk. Go! The big difference between business and baseball is that you can create more at-bats by taking more action.

3. Look at your hitting mechanics.

Do you have any bad habits slowing you down? Has the market shifted, and are your processes antiquated or no longer working? Don’t change to change, but look at the process that isn’t producing the desired results and make wise choices in doing something different. Sometimes, you have stopped doing the right things to achieve the result. You’ve gotten lazy and aren’t following the process. That’s an easy fix. Assess and execute. Then go back to increasing the actions.

4. Ask for help

This one seems obvious, but high achievers often feel they need to figure it out themselves - pulled up by their bootstraps. “I got us into this mess, and I can get us out.” Why would you do that? Lean into your team and those with the expertise to help solve the slump. Although hitting is individual, baseball is a team sport. Use all nine players on the field and call someone in from the bullpen if you need to.

Failure is a part of the business. You must get back to the basics when it becomes a habit to find your hitting groove again. If you are in isolation in your business, find a team of other owners to help you become an all-star. Join an Acumen team in 2023.

 

Dan Cooper
Post by Dan Cooper
December 15, 2022
Dan Cooper co-founded ej4, a video-based online training company, in 2003, and was its CEO until selling in 2012. During his time with ej4, he grew the company from a startup to a nationally-recognized firm, serving clients including Pepsi-Cola, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Honeywell, Monsanto and Syngenta. Channel partners included SAP and Oracle. As of the 2012, ej4 was serving 1,000+ customers, delivering millions of program views, was highly profitable and debt-free. Today, he is the CEO of Acumen, a mastermind community platform built for CEOs and Owners of strong and growing companies. He and his wife, Ali, have three children and attend Cure of Ars church in Leawood, KS. Dan enjoys running, all things soccer — coaching, playing and watching —and burning all types of meat on the backyard barbecue grill.

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