Career Pursuits and Baseball

Baseball and Career Pursuits = Games of Failure that Lead to Success!

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

As humans, we often fear failure. We do not want to make mistakes, and we certainly do not want to fail. As we get older, we learn that failure is a necessary part of growth.  For career changes and business pursuits for professionals that are over 50 years old, failure can seem to come all too often.  Failure can lead to questions such as, “will I ever succeed?” Or, “what should I do now?” However, failure is a necessary part of growth and success. We learn, grow, and ultimately become better because of our failure.  This is something that can be observed in the game of baseball.

Career Pursuits and Failure #podcast #success #mindset

Baseball is a game of Failure

Baseball is a game of failure. Even the greatest hitters of all time have had seasons where they were only successful 40% of the time. This means that they failed 60% of the time. Think about that for a minute.  Many of us idolize names like Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Lou Gehrig.  In fact, the best career batting average is Ty Cobb at .3662 (Failed 64% of his at bats).  Babe Ruth, known as a one of the greatest baseball players had a career batting average of .3421 (Failed 66% of the time).  However, the greatest players did not let that stop them. Great baseball players keep swinging, keep practicing, and keep trying. This is something that we can learn from when it comes to career changes and professional pursuits.  This is especially true when these changes occur in our later years.

Career Changes and Business Pursuits

Career changes can be daunting, especially when you are faced with rejection after rejection. Heading in a new direction, whether looking for a traditional job or considering your own business can lead to questions like:

What do I want to do?

Should I consider being a solopreneur?

Should I start my own business?

How will I pay the bills?

What next?

It is important to remember that just like in baseball, sometimes career pursuits and chasing business opportunities can be a game of failure. Failing 70-80% of the time can be difficult to accept. But if you are successful 30% of the time, you are doing great. If you are successful 35% of the time, even better. The key is to keep trying, keep applying, and keep putting yourself out there.

Asking for Help

As Dennis Gierula mentioned on a recent episode of Harbourtime Podcast, one of the hardest things to overcome is asking for help and letting people know that you are in a tough spot. No one wants to appear vulnerable or weak. This is understandable, but it is important to remember that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.  It is also a sign of maturity. 

Returning to the baseball analogy, players have coaches who help them improve their skills and reach their full potential.  Successful business executives have coaches, too! In career pursuits, it is important to have a support system that can offer guidance, advice, and support. This could be a career counselor, a mentor, a friend, or even a family member. Do not be afraid to reach out to those around you for help.

This can be particularly difficult for those of us who are over 50 years old.  We are more set in our ways, and should have all the answers, right?  Wrong!  We do not have all the answers and we all can use a hand every now and then.  Do not be afraid to reach out to your network for assistance.

It is not a reflection of your Performance

Lastly, it is important to remember that career changes are not always a reflection of your performance. As the speaker Dennis Gierula astutely points out in the video, losing a job is often a business decision. A career change or new business pursuit is often a choice that is made to improve quality of life.  Whether the decision was made by you or forced upon you, avoid taking it personally and keep pushing forward. Remember, just like in baseball, failure is a necessary part of growth and success.


In conclusion, the game of baseball teaches us valuable lessons about failure, perseverance, and the importance of asking for help. When it comes to job searching and career pursuits, it is important to keep these lessons in mind and to keep pushing forward. Remember, success may not come easy, but with hard work and determination, it is always possible.

Career Pursuits and Failure #podcast #success #mindset

Collin Harbour

Collin W. Harbour is the Principal Founder of C Harbour Services LLC, a business transformation and strategy company that develops strategic plans by aligning sales and plans with company goals, people and process.

Collin is a client growth and business strategy leader with experience identifying new business opportunities, as well as managing and growing client revenues. Through C Harbour Services LLC, Collin focuses on creating customized solutions that deliver valuable services, allowing clients to focus on their core business. He is a Co-Host of Strike a Chord Live Podcast with his lifelong friend, Marcus Ellis. SACL Podcast is a Motivational and Inspirational podcast, with a mix of Nostalgia and Fun! Harbourtime Strategy Talks is a blog and podcast providing strategic content for companies of all sizes.