Read my new book, An Enlightened Entrepreneur:
57 Meditations on Kicking @$$ in Business and Life"4.8/5 stars" on Amazon

The 10 Reasons Mark Zuckerberg Has A Tougher Job Than Lebron James

I love basketball.

I shoot hoops a few times a week; play in a fantasy basketball league and watch local NBA game on any night of the 8 month season.

As I watched the NBA playoffs this season, I realized that as tough as it is to be a pro in the NBA, it’s tougher to be a pro in business.

Mark Zuckerberg (at G8 Summit 2011) has it tougher than Lebron James (pictured dunking the ball below)

Top 10 Reasons Why Business Is Harder Than A Pro Sport Like Basketball

1) It’s Way Harder To Keep Score (In Business)

In basketball (and most sports), there’s a score that everyone can look at it…you know exactly where you stand versus your opponent.

In business, the score is much tougher. It may be a revenue goal (which most businesses don’t keep in real-time).

And in terms of how you compare to your opponent (i.e. competitor), you have to figure out how to determine your competitor’s score (which is very difficult in many businesses).

Tip: Chunk down your goals to smaller increments so that you know where you stand without waiting too long (like I illustrate in The 10 Maniacal Steps I Take For Setting Goals.

2) Business Has Many Clocks To Look At; Sports Has Just One

In basketball, there’s always a clock ticking. You know that there’s 10:05 left in the half or 1:07 left in the game.

In business, time is much more difficult to measure.

There are multiple clocks going at once for different objectives.

Tip: Tie dates to all objectives and discuss them as regularly as you can. For example, you may want to run a daily huddle that breaks down where you’re at with your various goals

3) You Don’t Get As Many Coaches In Business As You Do In Basketball

NBA players get the benefit of a full coaching staff: a head coach with a couple of assistant coaches (not to mention trainers!).

In business, you’re lucky if you have one good manager looking out for you.

Tip: Do whatever you can to make sure you have a manager you trust (I often recommend to friends that they quit their jobs if they don’t).

4) There’s No Official Referee In Business

NBA players are held accountable by referees who are paid to watch their every move.

If a player commits a violation, the whistle is usually blown.

Business is much trickier. Most moves are made away from a judge’s eyes and violations of all sorts can happen left and right with out a “whistle being blown.”

Tip: Every business should have a set of values that guide them and thus feel comfortable “blowing the whistle” any time one of those values is compromised. See How To Determine Your Business Values: Exercises, Examples & Top Lists.

5) You Don’t Get A Mandatory Break In Business

Business does not have the built in break that other sports like basketball has. For example, most basketball players in the NBA usually get a few months off (Spring/Summer) to recharge.

In business, when’s the last time anyone on your biz team took a 2-month sabbatical!?

As I’ve written about, the concept of recharging/renewal is arguably the most underrated asset in energy and productivity

Tip: Work more breaks into your life. Check out How To Recharge Yourself To Make It Through Life Happy.

Here are five additional honorary mention reasons that business is harder than basketball:

6) Business-Folks Compete With More Than Their Opponent

In business, not only do you compete with rival companies, you often have to compete with other teams within your own organization.

7) Business Doesn’t Have As Many Fans

In business, you don’t typically have fans cheering you on or giving you instant feedback on your performance.

8) You Don’t Get As Much Exercise In Business

That’s self-explanatory.

9) Players (In Business) Aren’t As Easy To Trade

In business, if a player on your team isn’t working out, you usually don’t get to trade them to another team.

In sports, you can just trade away the players who aren’t a good fit…and get someone in return.!

10) When You Lose In Business, Your Draft Position Gets Worse (Not Better)

In basketball (and other sports), if your team sucks one year then you get to usually get one of the best players from next year’s draft.

In business, it’s the opposite: if your team sucks, you actually have a harder time recruiting your next team member.