You Can’t Make the Shots You Don’t Take!

entrepreneur success tips 2014Do you ever feel like you are sitting on the sidelines of business or life, waiting for that perfect shot or perfect time to make a move? Are you waiting on the perfect timeframe to launch a new business or product line? Are you waiting until you are better trained, more educated or have a smarter staff to integrate social media, launch a new website or kickoff a new campaign?

I have a story for you that I hope will inspire you to get off the bench. It's time you embrace life. It's time to give your life and business all you have. You won't know what you can achieve until you give it your all.

What Can We Learn From a Youth Basketball Team?

As I watched my 9 yr old son and his basketball team make their way to the final championship bracket this past season I was inspired beyond words.

This was the first year my son played on a formal basketball team. Of course he has played plenty of driveway basketball with his big brother and neighborhood friends. He's also played on numerous other organized sport teams including baseball, soccer and football.

He takes after his mom (me) so is a bit vertically challenged when it comes to height. He is unlike his big brother who already towers over me. To be honest, we weren't sure he would be that good at basketball given the height challenges. Even though he is agile and has solid endurance we worried he would be too small to really feel confident on the basketball court.

What Vertical Challenges?

Let me summarize this for you by stating, we were very wrong! He quickly became the “pressure guy” and immediately became the coaches go-to player to put pressure on the top opponents. By the end of the season his opposing team players rolled their eyes when he walked onto the court as they knew his defensive skills were unbelievable.

Once my son became the “pressure” guy he knew exactly how many fouls he could get each quarter and still stay in the game. At the first game he was almost in tears because he received fouls. The coach had to explain to him that it was his job and then worked with him the rest of the season for the perfect timing and balance to turn up the “pressure” knowing he would likely get the maximum amount of fouls and still stay in the game.

At the beginning of the season his team played a good defensive game but was shy when it came to taking shots. They lacked confidence. Their coaches consistently encouraged them game after game and practice after practice. They attempted and made enough shots to take them to the final championship game but we knew all along they could be scoring more if they would simply go for it when they had the opportunity.

Time to Go For It!

you can't make the shots you don't take in life and business entrepreneurHowever, it wasn't until the final championship game that they started attempting more shots. The results shocked us all. They won 36 to 18 and took the final champion team title! My son even scored his first ever 3 pointer shot!

As I watched the final game, I had tears in my eyes. Seeing their eyes light up and smiles on their face as they made the shots they never thought they could, touched all of our hearts. Even the coaches said they were amazed how great they played.

Had they not attempted to make those shots, they likely wouldn't have won the game, nor the final championship title.

It's More than a Win!

They achieved much more than a title win. They learned what was inside of them. They learned the power of belief in themselves as individuals and as a team. They learned that you can't win if you don't try. You simply can't make the shots you don't go for.

small business entrepreneur startup orlando tips 10 Things We Can Learn From My Son's Basketball Team 

1. Believe in yourself.

2. Believe in those around you. Believe in your team, mentors, management, clients, family and friends. You'll be surprised how much they can help you when the pressure gets hot!

3. Show up. Show up ready to rock both practice and game time. Give it your all.

4. Know your game plan. Be prepared, practice, study, know your role and have your game plan ready.

5. Know fouls are going to happen. Own them, learn from them and use them to your advantage.

6. Listen to your coaches, mentors and those who believe in you.

7. You don't have to be the biggest guy or gal on the court. Be you and bring your own unique skills and value to the game, every time!

8. Don't be afraid of failure. You will win some and lose some. Pick up the pieces, stand up and keep playing.

9. Don't wait until the last game to give it your all when you have it in you from the beginning.

10. Go for it. You will never make the shots you don't take!


Your Turn

What do you think? Are you sitting on the sidelines, holding back because you are afraid of fouling out? What if you went for it? What shots could you be making if you simply tried? What are you going to do this coming year to seriously kick some butt in your business and in life? How are you going to help others do the same?


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About the Author:

CEO / Founder Marketing Nutz, full service social media, digital marketing, experiential brand, conversion optimization agency. Ranked by Forbes as Top 10 Social Media Women and 10 Social Media Power Influencer. Keynote speaker, author, strategist, consultant, coach, & trainer. Helps businesses of all sizes integrate social media into the DNA of their business, connect with target audiences to nurture authentic customer relationships. 15+ years experience working with Fortune 500, Franchised corporations with 4000+ local franchises to entrepreneurs and startups.


  1. Ryan Biddulph December 28, 2013 at 1:24 pm


    Love the analogies here and congrats to your son on his first trey! I have not played basketball in a few years – too busy traveling all over the world and blogging – but I did play the sport for some 30 years of my life, through junior college.

    Amazing lessons we can learn through sports, especially b-ball. You have to shoot to score, plain and simple…in b-ball, business and life.


    • PamMktgNut February 23, 2014 at 7:17 am

      That is awesome @ryanbiddulph:disqus. I absolutely love our boys playing basketball. I think it is by far one of my favorite sports to watch them grow!

  2. Manpreet December 29, 2013 at 12:45 am

    That was really an inspiring one. I liked the way you explained through the example of your son’s basketball team.
    I could really imagine the things I have been postponing just because I assumed I am not ready. I am going to do them now!
    Thanks 🙂

    • PamMktgNut February 23, 2014 at 7:15 am

      Yes, go take those shots @disqus_6wSZC6Lz4F:disqus!! You’ll be surprised how many you will score if you just go for it!

  3. James @ Wishpond December 30, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Pam, great personal experience tied to a great point about online marketing! I think your point is tied quite nicely into an article I came across (and later wrote about) which basically stated ‘if you’re not in over your head, you’re not trying hard enough’ – something I’ve made my New Year’s resolution. Online marketing is about constantly testing yourself and pushing the boundaries. Whether that’s learning to code, getting in front of a video camera for a webinar, or having the courage to reach out to Influencers. Either way, you don’t make the shots you don’t take! Even if taking that shot is scary, and the hoop is a long way off! Thanks for writing, Pam.

    • PamMktgNut February 23, 2014 at 7:14 am

      I agree @jamesscherer:disqus. One of my favorite quotes is if you are not living on the edge, you are not going fast enough! Keep up the great work with Wishpond!

  4. Karen Yankovich December 30, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    This is great! Somehow we un-learn some of this as time goes on. My favorite is #3 – show up!

    • PamMktgNut February 23, 2014 at 7:13 am

      Absolutely @karen_yankovich:disqus ! Showing up is mandatory. Funny how many people don’t in both biz & life! 😉

  5. […] Do you ever feel like you are sitting on the sidelines of business or life, waiting for that perfect shot or perfect time to make a move? Are you waiting on the perfect timeframe to launch a new business or product line?  […]

  6. PamMktgNut February 23, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Thanks @Marsha. Glad you like 🙂

  7. […] Tell a story: For an example of incorporating your real world into an article, check out Pam Moore’s article “You Can’t Make the Shots you Don’t Take.” […]

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