Today is Opening Day for Major League Baseball and tomorrow is the official Opening Day for the Seattle Mariners, my baseball team since childhood. I could bemoan for hours how Seattle faces another long season of baseball ahead but I thought I would find more joy in spending a few moments starting a conversation about our own “Opening Days.”
For baseball, Opening Day falls right around the 1st of April every year and is preceded by Spring Training and followed by a 162 game season. We have all sorts of Opening Days in our lives.
For example, Christmas Day might be your Opening Day. It’s that big event that you start preparing for in September. Preparations include writing out the names of everyone you’ll be purchasing gifts for and maybe some beginning ideas of what these gifts could be. In October you’ll try to finalize the gift list and keep your eye out for sales you can take advantage of. In November you will begin laying out the plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, where you are going or whom you might be hosting. If you are hosting you’ll spend time scouring cookbooks and magazines for the perfect combination of food items for this epic celebration. December will be chaos as you finish up all of your shopping and finish wrapping presents and finalizing all of your plans for the big day. Christmas Day finally arrives. Presents are dramatically opened, emotions are exasperated, and a meal made for kings and queens is delighted in. Now all that’s left is wrapping paper cleanup, college football, and a big nap.
For those of you in business Opening Day might look like a product launch. You have been working long and hard for months designing, testing, and prepping for this big day. The launch day is filled with excitement and high-fives but the day after is when more work begins. Now you need to keep the momentum going, fill the sales orders, and work on improvements and innovations for the product that just launched.
Where are you at right now? Are you in Spring Training? Are you in the prep phase for some big change and launch ahead? Or are you about to have Opening Day? The big launch event for a new product or maybe the birth of a new baby you’ll be adding to the family. Maybe it’s after Opening Day for you and your tired from Spring Training and all of the work it took to make Opening Day a success. You know you need to be driving momentum and working on improvements and innovations but you just have nothing left in the tank.
Where are you at? What do you need to do right now to prepare for the next season you’ll be heading into? Take a look down the third base line, take in the sign, and now swing away.