Cricket is a fascinating sport. Long ago, it was branded as the gentleman’s game. However, in the recent past, as its exposure grew, it no longer enjoys the faith in the sportsmanship of players, except a few. Media, glamor, advertisement, new formats and injection of technology have given it a new angle and have rubbed off its ‘angel-ic’ side.
However, all is not lost. There is a deep-lingering message that the game of Cricket delivers, and entrepreneurs can carry home a rich lesson to ruminate on and implement in the future of their entrepreneurial journey.
Cricket is (perhaps) the longest game in the world where players have to stay on field. I used perhaps because some games might become longer due to weather conditions or some other issues. So, it fits in our consideration. There are three types of roles that players involve in while on ground: Bowler, batter, and fielder. Out of these, we will equate an entrepreneur with a batsman.
A batsman is strikingly similar to an entrepreneur. Like a batsman, an entrepreneurs making its entry on the ground has to go through the piercing eyes of opposition.
The spectators in the stadium are its consumers. They pay for the batting display that a batsman might have in its kitty, though they enjoy bowling and fielding skills also.
The bowler is like a bundle of forces that could spell doom for the batsman. It has a variety of deliveries that could send the batsman back to the pavilion. For an entrepreneur, it could be termed as competition, wrong execution of shots (strategies), loss of focus, lack of expertise in handling the deliveries (situations), weaknesses against a particular type of delivery (shortcomings), etc.
The fielders are like combined forces determined enough to bring the batsman down. For an entrepreneur, it could be catchers of errors (decisions); a run-out when the batsman tries to run and earn rewards (moving too fast in the market); it could be the wicketkeeper who stays close enough to give the bowlers tips how to bring down the batsman (stealth mode, estranged team members or employees).
The umpires are the verdict givers: Financial statements showing loss; Google Analytics showing poor performance of the website; board of directors showing thumbs-down.
With the equation set for all the roles involved in a Cricket match with the entrepreneurial scenario, imagine the umpire saying: ‘Play!’ (From now on, we will write ‘batsman’ as ‘entrepreneur’)
The real Cricket match is a ‘Test Match’. It is the test of expertise, stamina, character, strategy, decision making, and innovation.
When the test match starts, an entrepreneur is new. It has to open its innings. It has to get used to the wicket, which can be equated to the platform on which the entrepreneur will be operating its venture. It has to get used to the weather conditions also, which are like the conditions of a particular industry or segment. When the umpire says ‘Play’, the bowler and fielders combine together and make every possible effort to send the entrepreneur back. The entrepreneur has to make sure that it stays on the wicket, play session by session, stick to basics, innovate wherever possible and try to build partnerships.
What lessons are available in a Cricket test match?
- Test matches involve building the innings. There is no short way to success. An entrepreneur needs to make sure that it is not expecting over-night results.
- Test matches could be grueling and tiring. An entrepreneur needs to make sure that it is motivated enough to take up the battle, and make sure that it is not bored of its own idea/venture.
- Test matches are won in partnerships. An entrepreneur should be very open to networking, partnerships, collaboration at various levels and connecting with people in the industry.
- There are dry sessions in a test match. At such a time, runs are hard to come by. An entrepreneur should make sure that its focus is not solely on making profits. Sometimes, being in fray and able to stay on track is more important. Economic slowdowns are the perfect examples of such scenarios.
- Test matches might involve the darker side of this sport: Bodyline bowling, negative bowling, fielder stuffing in the area of expertise (not too much negative, though), sledging, exploiting the behavior with rashness, etc. An entrepreneur should be able to remain focused and determined and avoid such negative inducements.
- Test matches have two innings. A very beautiful side of this game, indeed. In the first chance, if an entrepreneur fails, it should not quit trying. In fact, learning from the first failure, an entrepreneur could make a big and significant contribution to the team’s cause.
- Test matches often result in a draw. This is like no profit-no loss. An entrepreneur could come to a point where it thinks that the idea/venture is not worth the time and it is the time to leave. However, the lessons learned during the ‘test’ are valuable and increase the experience.
It is time to leave for us also. Cricket, as we mentioned above, is a fascinating game. It offers many lessons. As an entrepreneur could be in any field, the lessons offered by Cricket could be applied anywhere. The main task is to focus and remain determined. Rest, a man must act irrespective of worrying too much (I mean really too much) about results; or so they say.