Michael Jordan is well known as arguably the best basketball player of all time. But something I just found out today, apparently he had an 18 month stint as a baseball player, in the Minor League with the Birmingham Barons.
SneakerFiles tells us that “[i]n his time spent as an outfielder, MJ had a .202 batting average in 127 games, 114 strikeouts in 436 at bats, 3 home runs, 51 RBI’s, 30 stolen bases, and led the Southern League outfielders with only 11 errors.” That’s not a bad set of statistics. But it’s nowhere near the top players. And the top was where he was with basketball.
I can’t read minds, so I can’t say for sure, but maybe that’s why he went back to basketball. Yes, he’s decent at baseball, but he would not have made a name for himself doing that. He was good, but not exceptional. He wasn’t remarkable. He was just above average. And being above average isn’t enough. So he quit, and chose to focus on something he knew he could be the best at. And we all know how that turned out.
This is kind of the point Seth Godin makes with The Dip. If you’re not going to be the best at it, quit. Sometimes it’s better to cut your losses, than try to pursue something you’ll only be “above average” at. To truly succeed, you need to play completely to your strengths, and really be the best.
Is there something that you should be quitting today?