Rhonda Abrams is
the author of the best-selling Successful
Business Plan: Secrets
& Strategies (www.
Making the small
biz hall of fame
AH, FALL! TIME for that annual ritual: baseball’s
World Series. Like many Americans, I’m a big
baseball fan. I often find insights into life and
business from lessons learned from the diamond.
You don’t have to be perfect to be a
champ. In my years of working with entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed people beat themselves up
because they believe they have to do everything
perfectly to succeed. Just look around and you
know that’s not true. We all know people who’ve
made money or built businesses without being
anywhere near perfect. That’s one of my favorite
lessons from baseball. In baseball, a .300 batting
average (hitting the ball only three out of every 10
times at bat) makes you a star, and if you could
(and no one has in decades) hit .400, you’d be in
the Hall of Fame. Think about that when you’re
beating yourself up for not making an important
sale or messing up a project.
Success takes time. More than a dozen
HOW YOU REACT to the next curveball life
throws you can be the difference between
surviving and thriving in your business
or personal life.
In How to Hit a Curveball:
Confront and Overcome the
Unexpected in Business (Penguin
Group, 2010), strategic change
expert, and Costco member, Scott
R. Singer shares his story, as well
as those of noted business personalities and celebrities, to draw
lessons from America’s pastime.
1. Step up to the plate. A
job loss or divorce may make you
want to conceal what’s happening.
Don’t. Accept what’s happened, move on and
ask yourself, “What should I do?”
2. Be the batter, not the ball.
Circumstances may lead to pessimism. Fight negativity, or nightmares could become real. No problem has ever been solved by worrying.
3. Keep your eye on the ball. Pressures
teams that won pennants or division titles had
lousy—really lousy—records in the middle of
the season. As your business develops, you
may have to make changes to your team,
strategy and management, but it’s possible to
overcome even long odds to reach success.
G et appy
It’s not over until it’s over. All longtime
baseball fans have a story of missing their team’s
remarkable come-from-behind victory because
they left the stadium before the game ended. In
1990, the Dodgers were losing 11 to 2, then
scored 10 runs ( 10!) to beat the Phillies. Of course,
you have to know when to throw in the towel on
a business that’s hemorrhaging money, but often
victory is waiting in the next inning.
IN OUR LAST installment
of smartphone apps for business, travel was on the menu
(Fresh Views, March 2010).
This time we keep you connected with apps designed
to inform and intersect.
The big guys don’t always win. Sure, the
New York Yankees, with their gazillion-dollar payroll, win a lot. But sometimes the little guys win.
Yes, it takes strategy, commitment and a lot of
hustle. But mostly it takes confidence. You can
win only if you believe you can win.
American Express OPEN
Forum. The acclaimed website, full of information for
small businesses, is now
available as an iPhone app
and has been optimized for
mobile browsers so you can
get the information you need
while on the go. (www.open
Finally, remember to have fun, win or lose.
Yes, life and business can be hard. And, yes,
your team can and will lose. But you’ve got to
try to enjoy the journey. Take time to smell the
hot dogs. C
Blackberry, Palm). Find
past and present colleagues,
or make new ones. Build
a business network and
keep it at your fingertips
for advice, assistance or
a foot-in-the-door. ( www.
More in archives
On Costco.com, enter
“Connection.”At Online Edition,
search “Rhonda Abrams.”
may lead to a frenzied response as you try to con-
trol every element of your life. Surrender. Let go of
things beyond your control and focus only on
those you can control.
4. Listen to your coach. These
are tough times. It’s easy to feel alone
and isolated. Reach out for help from
friends, family and/or professionals.
5. Step outside the batter’s
box. When you’re in trouble, it’s
tempting to use the tools that worked
in the past. Instead, take a moment and
look at things from a fresh perspective.
6. Wait for your pitch. Today’s
fast pace can trick you into equally speedy
actions, reactions and decisions. Patience is
more important than ever.
Bump (iPhone, Android).
You are at a business meeting or networking event
and meet a potential customer or business partner.
Rather than waste time typing away to swap contact
info, simply bump your
phones together to transfer
only the information you
want to share. Works cross-platform. (
Is there a business-related
smartphone app you can’t
live without? If so, send your
suggestion to connection@
costco.com with “Fresh Views
apps” in the subject line. C
Costco.com will be introducing apps in 2011. Go to
the Reader Survey (see page
For more curveball information, visit www.
8) to give us information on
the apps you’d like.
7. Become a home-run hitter. When
you realize every crisis is also an opportunity,
you’ll be able to knock those curveballs out
of the park.
OCTOBER 2010 ;e Costco Connection 11