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The #1 Key to Going Pro in Business

June 14th, 2017

By Luke Melms

This week the MLB draft is taking place. Many young men are being given the chance to go pro in baseball. Years of hard work are being well rewarded. Once contracts get signed, the journey through the minors awaits seeking to make the ultimate dream of playing in the big leagues come true.

Business doesn’t have a formal draft or clear path to making it to the big leagues per se. How can success be more assured in business you might ask? No different than baseball it takes consistent effort and patience for the investment of time to pay off.

The most valuable skill in business is the ability to build relationships. This skill will stand the test of time and any advancement of technology. It also develops a complementary skill with communication skills. Using LinkedIn, reaching out to alumni of the school you attended and connecting with local business professionals through a Chamber of Commerce or other business associations are just a few ways to get the ball rolling. While in the more immediate future it may not result in anything, long term building trust and rapport can open doors for endorsements or private business opportunities while playing or new career opportunities once playing eventually concludes.

Microwaving may be an option in the kitchen but doesn’t work in business. Relationships work like small ball. Playing station to station is how all relationships naturally progress. Personally, I have landed my last two jobs in large part because of relationships built over multiple years. This doesn’t mean I didn’t have to interview but had a lot going for me heading into those meetings.

This last week we received the email below from Chris Lubanski, the 5th overall pick in the 2003 draft by the Royals. He amassed over 100 HRs while being named to multiple All-Star teams on his ascent all the way to AAA. However, injuries put a damper on reaching his ultimate goal. He wrote…

I’m a former professional baseball player. I was drafted in the 1st round in 2003 and after a string of injuries decided to go back to school. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania last year and have been working in finance since then. I currently work for Wells Fargo as an analyst in Philadelphia. I know the challenges facing young players from transitioning from the field to the office. I would love to hear more about the site and what you see Baseball and Business becoming down the road.

Photo Credit: SBNation

To those of us who like Chris are on the other side of playing, we get the chance to be pros every day in a different way. Regardless if your playing days are behind you or are still in front of you, I challenge you to focus on further developing one business relationship that already exists while creating a new one from scratch.

Chris’ email to me is a great example of how easy it is to network. The private LinkedIn group has an introduction thread going which can be a great way to find your one person while introducing yourself to the rest of the 450+ guys in the group. I’ve included a button below which will take you directly to the post to read through the other comments and to post your own.

The reason the community exists is to make it easier to connect with like-minded people while growing your network and career. What you know is certainly important but who you know will always determine what new opportunities can potentially arise.

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