How My Entrepreneurial Journey Mirrors My Professional Baseball Career

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / September 9, 2020
baseballs in a field lessons from baseball

My entrepreneurial journey is just shy of a few years old. Before co-founding an athlete services agency, a creative agency, and a nonprofit, I was a professional baseball player. Baseball was the only thing I knew before leaping to a full-time entrepreneur.

I was drafted out of high school by the Seattle Mariners and spent three amazing years with the organization before being traded to the Minnesota Twins organization. I played with them for two years until the moment every professional ballplayer fears — I was released.

At the time I was devastated. Baseball was my life. What was I going to do next?

I had so many emotions running through me. It was overwhelming, so I decided to take some time to put some thought into what I wanted to do. I had always been interested in business. In the offseason and when I had downtime, I would read business books, listen to business podcasts, and I even learned about the stock market.

I knew that being an entrepreneur was my next move, so I mapped out a plan, relocated to Los Angeles, and co-founded three companies. It’s been an exciting journey thus far and one that has mirrored my professional baseball career in many ways.

It Started with a Mix of Excitement and Curiosity

When I received the call from the Seattle Mariners in June 2014, I was excited. This was something I had dreamed about since I was a little kid. I also had a feeling of uncertainty. What was it going to be like? Where would I be playing?

That combination of pure joy and curiosity was amazing. I was set to start a new chapter in my life, and I couldn’t wait to sign my contract and get started.

I had the same feelings when I decided to start my companies. I was excited but unsure of what I was getting myself into. This was another new chapter and I was eager to start writing it.

There is No Substitute for Hard Work

When I played professional baseball, I had to dedicate all of my time to training and becoming a better player. At the pro level, there were always players on your team — and within your organization — that wanted your spot.

No successful professional athlete makes it to the top by just cruising and not working hard. The same logic applies to starting a business. Now instead of competing with other athletes, I am competing with other businesses. Whatever business puts in the most work to offer the best product or service is going to win.

I went from wanting to win games to wanting to win business deals. The same dedication and work ethic that helped me in baseball is helping me in business.

It Has Consumed Me

When I was younger, baseball consumed me. It’s all I wanted to do because I had that goal of being a professional player one day. As time went on and I realized I had the potential to make that dream a reality, I worked even harder.

From little league throughout high school and pro ball, the game consumed me. It’s what I thought about and worked on 24/7. Now, my businesses consume me. I am always thinking of different things we can implement to make the companies better.

When I am out networking, I am always thinking of new relationships and partnerships that can improve the companies. When you are all-in, good things happen. I think seeing how that dedication helped me in baseball makes it easy to be so consumed with my business ventures. Ultimately, I want the same results — achieving my dreams.

It Doesn’t Feel Like Work

When I would wake up every morning and train or get ready for a game, it never felt like work. I loved what I did, and I was very lucky to be able to do what I loved while earning a living.

I feel that same level of gratitude now. I wake up with that same energy and excitement as I did before. Now, instead of going to the gym or ballpark, I am heading into my office. Even though my new path is more traditional than baseball, it still doesn’t feel like work to me.

This alone has me convinced that I took the right path after professional baseball. I know as long as it doesn’t feel like work that I’m making the right moves.

I Wake Up Daily Ready to Improve

I wanted to become a better baseball player daily. From the extra time in the weight room to extra batting practice, I worked daily to improve. I wanted it that bad — I was willing to do whatever it took to see those improvements.

I’m approaching my businesses the same way. I make it a point to do something every day to improve them. Whether it’s reading books to help develop myself into a better leader or establishing new partnerships and relationships to offer better services to our clients, I’m always focused on improvement.

About The Author

Dominic Blanco

Dominic Blanco is a former professional baseball player turned entrepreneur. Blanco is the President and CEO of Athletic Performance Experience, a professional athlete services collective, President and CEO of digital services and experience design agency APE. Media Group, and Co-Founder of Do It For Kids Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to improve the quality of life of the youth by exposing them to music, arts and sports.