In the bustling world of startups and entrepreneurship, there’s a familiar trope: the relentless entrepreneur, burning the midnight oil, always searching for answers to the latest product development challenge, the next account win, or closing on Investors. This image, often glorified in popular media, portrays success achieved through endless work hours and an all-consuming commitment to business. While dedication is undeniably vital, this singular focus can overshadow an often under-represented truth: the most successful entrepreneurs often maintain a delicate balance between their professional pursuits and personal passions.
Pat Murphy, the visionary behind LeadScorz, is a testament to this philosophy. While he has certainly scaled the peaks of business acumen, his personal avocations outside the office add a unique dimension to his success story. For Murphy, one passion that enables him to reset mentally, and enjoy a respite from the hectic demands of running a new venture, is found behind the home plate of a baseball diamond.
For him, 30+ years of officiating youth baseball hasn’t been just a recreational pastime; it has provided brief but valuable moments of sanctuary where he can focus on the singular task of managing an event with clear rules of engagement, a defined timeline, and while the outcome for the players is never certain, providing him the opportunity to execute a ‘perfectly called game’ in under 2 ½ hours.
To achieve that goal, he must rely solely on his experience, knowledge of the game, and personal skills as an Umpire. This pursuit, seemingly detached from the world of tech startups and business strategies, has offered him insights and balance that have been instrumental in his entrepreneurial journey.
The Science Behind Hobbies and Health
Studies consistently affirm the advantages of pursuing hobbies. According to a study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, leisure activities are linked to lower blood pressure, reduced waist circumference, body mass index, and perceptions of better physical function. Such activities also contribute to better mental health, with the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggesting that engaging in a hobby can lead to a 30% reduction in the risk of depression.
These benefits are desirable and crucial for entrepreneurs, whose lifestyles can often swing towards extremes. A report from the Harvard Business Review pinpointed that entrepreneurs are 50% more likely to report having a mental health condition. In such a scenario, hobbies are more than mere distractions; they are essential for mental and emotional well-being.
Pat Murphy’s Take on Balance
“I’ve always believed in the power of balance,” says Pat Murphy, the brain behind the trailblazing company, LeadScorz. “Umpiring youth baseball isn’t just a hobby for me; and while any contest can present unique situations and emotional adversity for the participants, my job is simply to ensure the game is played ‘by the book’ so that all participants have an equal opportunity for success.
The focus I must bring to the field clears my mind of the uncertainties and worries of building a business – requiring me to clear out any mental clutter from my day – and push my inner reset button. When I step onto that field, I leave behind balance sheets and business strategies. It’s me and my Blue Crew, the need to be 100% present in the game, and the sheer joy that the young players have for the game and bring to the moment.”
Murphy’s eyes have an unmistakable glint when he talks about umpiring. “Baseball is a game of focus, much like business. But while business decisions weigh on future projections and unpredictable market forces, in baseball, it’s about the Players & Coaches on that field, playing a game with defined rules and a consistent structure – and being present in the moment. It’s a refreshing contrast, and I believe being part of it for only a few hours each week contributes to keeping my entrepreneurial journey invigorating.”
In Pat’s words, “If you’re constantly in the grind, you’ll miss the beauty of the journey. Find something you love outside of work, and let it anchor you. For me, the thrill of officiating a baseball game is making calls in situations that are often viewed as subjective by others, but for me, the rules and my decisions are not only clear but incontrovertible. And yes, there is a sense of power and control that can be elusive in business pursuits, and I do find a certain solace. For you, it could be anything. Just ensure it resonates with your spirit.”
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