Cal Ripken Jr.: “You can’t do anything if you sit on the bench”
Baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. wowed the crowd Wednesday morning at the opening general session of the FPA Annual Conference—BE Baltimore with baseball anecdotes, inspiration and words of advice. CNBC’s Sharon Epperson interviewed Ripken Jr. on stage, fielding questions from attendees. Here are some highlights:
On lessons from baseball that planners can bring to their craft:
“It’s about the amount of work you put in; your work ethic means a lot,” Ripken Jr. said, drawing an analogy to the fact that baseball players put in thousands of hours of batting practice for just four at-bats in a game. “Think about how much preparation has gone into those four chances,” he said.
On his secret to longevity and perseverance (Ripken Jr. holds the MLB record for the most consecutive games played: 2,632):
“It has a lot to do with the strength in your mind,” he said. “You must convince yourself you can do it. Once you do it once, you have the confidence to repeat it.”
Epperson asked if he ever just didn’t feel like going to work some days. He responded that he always thought that the days he felt the worst were going to be his best days.
“You can’t do anything if you sit on the bench.”
He admitted that it can be hard going to work every day, but he loved being in the game.
“If you love what you do, the key to showing up is in that love.”
On building the right business culture:
“Choose the right people for your team; nothing replaces smart, talented people.”
And when you realize you haven’t made the right or the best hire, act quickly.
“Never delay the inevitable,” he said, adding that over the years as a business owner, it’s taken him a little too long to make changes when an employees wasn’t working out for the best.
“My advice for new business owners is really look at the business and the value [of an employee], and if you feel the person is not doing what it takes, make the decision quicker—your business will benefit from that.”