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Baseball, Brokerage and How to Bring it Home

August 15th, 2018
By Bryce Terveen

This year marks the 13th anniversary of my being released from professional baseball.

I grinded hard in the minor leagues for seven years with the Braves and Mariners. I had a meager career batting an average of .240 and it didn’t help that I had some terrible seasons in 2003 and 2004 either.

I failed a lot during those years, struggling with self-confidence because I cared too much about my outcomes. Baseball can be a cruel game when you’re dealing more with failure than actual success.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an article, “What You Can Learn From MLB’s Mental-Skills Coaches,” highlighting how baseball teams have hired sports psychologists or mental-skills coaches to help players keep their minds free of distractions and positive-thinking while on the field. The article claims that these same mental skills can be applied in a business setting to stay happy and connected to your career.

I could not agree more.

After hanging up my bat, I turned to the world of commercial real estate where I’ve advised hundreds of clients on office lease transactions at CBRE for the past 13 years.

The WSJ article triggered something in me and I wanted to share the lessons l learned during my time in baseball that have helped propel my success in CRE.

Here’s what I’ve learned since leaving the field:

1. Focus on positive at bats

The best hitters get a hit 3 out of every 10 at-bats and fail the other 7 at-bats. That can be depressing. You can do everything exactly right, yet the outfielder might make a diving catch and rob you of a hit. You cannot control the outfielder, but you can control yourself and your feelings. If you change your focus on the process rather than the outcome, it can be liberating. Now, as a corporate real estate advisor, I might lose out on a deal because someone thinks it’s not business savvy or they may decide to go in a different direction. I cannot control that, but what I can control is how I bounce back for the next deal and continue to learn from those outcomes. Focus on the process and success will follow. There will always be more at-bats.

2. Care but not too much  

I used to put so much pressure on myself to perform well that it got in the way of performing. They call that “paralysis by analysis.” The right mental-skill approach can allow your brain to free up and let your body naturally execute the skill. This balances an internal self-pressure with a relaxed attitude. A career in sales can be dealt with the same way. Care just enough so that you are motivated to get the most of your performance, but don’t overthink it. Be prepared and perfect your craft, but also let your natural personality come through. Trust that your preparation is enough, and then just let it go. Find joy in the process.

3. Work hard, yet work smart

Avoid practicing bad habits at work so they don’t become ingrained into your game and eventually rob you of your goals. Remember to work efficiently so you get the most out of your effort.

To connect with Bryce on LinkedIn, click here.

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