What Can Young Entrepreneurs Learn from the Game of Basketball?

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / April 2, 2014

Michael Jordan quote

Many people say that basketball is more than just a sport. For the most part, that is true; in fact, it is often known to be a metaphor to just about everything, from love, relationships, to life in general. Not surprisingly, the concepts and philosophies that exist in this world-renowned sport can also be applied in business. For twentysomethings who are planning to start their own respective ventures and become successful on or before their 30th birthday, they could surely learn a thing or two about the game of basketball.

So what can they learn from the game itself? Here are some aspects of basketball which they can apply when they strategize their own business plan:

To win the game, teamwork is needed.

A typical basketball game is composed of two teams composed of five players each. They take different positions—two guards, two wing players, and one center—and each team’s goal is to score points by putting the ball into the opposing team’s basket. Each player on the team is also tasked to guard the opposing team’s players and prevent them from scoring in their basket. In order to achieve this and win the game, they have to execute offensive and defensive sets. To be philosophical about it, everyone must learn the concept of teamwork.

As for young entrepreneurs, especially those who are starting or about to start their businesses as an individual person, they can build their so-called “team” by establishing networks and connections with other people. First and foremost, they can always reach out to their families and friends for support. Then, they can link themselves with other people who share the same passion as they do, including those who are within the same niche or industry, and other business owners within their localities. With them working together, young entrepreneurs can put together a body of work with their connections and support from loved ones that would encourage business growth.

Great teams are well-coached.

What sets great teams apart from the others is the way they are coached. Such are the likes of Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, Pat Riley, Gregg Popovich, John Wooden, and the others who have won a lot of championships for their respective teams. What makes them great is the fact that they are not only capable of teaching their players what their offensive and defensive roles are. They are great motivators and innovators, and they make a significant impact in keeping their players grounded and having them work as a team to reach the goal of not just more wins and less losses, but championships.

Young entrepreneurs can also earn a lot of benefits from being coached by individuals who have had learned the tricks of the trade. While they are starting with baby steps as they move along with their own businesses, they can take advantage of mentoring, wherein they can approach life coaches, business consultants, or just about everyone who has an excellent knowledge of business for valuable pieces of advice. They can give the twentysomethings some tips with regard to taking risks and managing finances, as well as guidance for helping the business move forward. Having great mentors can truly make a difference for them.

Practice makes perfect.

To learn how to play basketball, one has to learn how to dribble and shoot the ball, as well as defend. In order to do so, one must practice. Putting a lot of work and effort to harness such skills can help them become the best they could be. Even the world’s best basketball players, who already possess their God-given talents, still spend time at the gym to perfect the respective aspects of their game.

Like them, young entrepreneurs can help push their businesses forward to success by applying what they’ve learned from their mentors and practice them. However, they shouldn’t expect to see the light at the end of the tunnel quickly; there are hurdles they have to encounter, like small investments that didn’t pan out and business plans that didn’t reap great results. They should remember that they still have a long way to go, and there’s always tomorrow. As many would say, every day is an opportunity to improve. Indeed, practicing makes perfect.

There are a lot more analogies that can be made on both basketball and starting up business for young entrepreneurs. But here’s one thing twentysomethings should always remember: just put the ball into the hoop and find ways how to do so. That is, they should grab every opportunity that comes in their way, albeit in a well-calculated yet easy manner. That way, they can score big in their businesses and be able to succeed.

John Pither is the senior editor and writer for Insureon.com, the preferred insurance company for small-businesses. You can follow John on twitter to hear his latest commentary on small-business tips.

Image Credit: eyeofthemountainlion.tumblr.com

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.