5 Things I Learned From Curt Schilling’s Big Mistake

Curt Schilling was a former major league baseball pitcher who had one of the highest playoff winning percentages. As great of a baseball player he was, he made some horrible decisions of the field that lead to his demise today. Once he retired from baseball, he decided to take his giant paychecks from baseball and create a gaming company.


38 Studios, the gaming company created by Curt Schilling just recently filed for bankruptcy. He invested more than $50 million on his video game company without paying himself any salary. The video game company completed faltered and he essentially lost all the money he had earned and saved throughout his baseball career.


As unfortunate as his circumstance is, I learned a few things from Curt Schilling’s mistakes. Here are 5 things I learned from his mistake:


Lesson #1: Never Put All Your Eggs In One Basket


Okay this one’s kind of obvious, how could someone invest all the money they have into something without any backup plan? Curt Schilling essentially risked a care-free retirement by committing all his cash to this video game company without any guarantee of return. If you plan on investing a huge sum of cash into a project, be sure to create a plan that you can fall back on.


Curt Schilling put all his chips on his video game company and came out completely empty handed. Thankfully, he was able to admit his mistake and is moving forward from the mishap. No matter what you do in life, you never want to put all your eggs in one basket. If you do, you better hope that basket is rock solid.


Lesson #2: Grow In Stages, Not All At Once


Curt Schilling decided to invest $50 million almost entirely at once into the video game company. Instead of surveying the market by launching smaller games, he decided to go big from the get-go without any knowledge of the market. That was a large mistake because he had to invest all his capital in that one game and really had no alternative route.


This teaches us to grow slowly and in stages instead of going all in from the very beginning. Thinking big is always a great mindset to have but at the end of the day, we must stay realistic. Grow your business when it’s ready to grow and you will find much better results.


Lesson #3: Passion Alone Isn’t Enough


Curt Schilling has said on many interviews that he absolutely loved video games. While his teammates would be on the road doing other “questionable” activities, he would sit in his room and play video games. According to him, his love for video games was more than just a hobby. Based on this strong passion for video games, the moment he retired, he decided to start his own gaming company.


Curt had no prior experience in the gaming industry and had never really create a business before. Unexperienced and clueless, he started the company solely on his passion for video games. He created a game he knew he would love without ever thinking about the general public. Passion is a great thing to have when starting a business, but you must have a balance of other qualities as well.


Lesson #4: Your Name Can Only Take You So Far


Curt Schilling is a baseball legend and it’s hard to believe that people would not be in love with his venture. However, your name is important, but it can only take you so far. You can be the most popular person in the world, but people are going to buy your product, not you.


You cannot solely rely on your name to take you to the top. A well branded name can definitely increase your sales or get you more opportunities, but your business has to be solid enough to acquire customers. Create a name for your business instead of attempting to piggyback your own name.


Lesson #5: Starting A New Business Is Risky


If you hadn’t known already, let Curt Schilling’s experiences as an entrepreneur remind you about the risks of starting a business. No matter what kind of business you start, the risks are always high when starting out. Nothing is a sure shot.


Curt Schilling’s experiences teach us really how bad the risks of a business can be. Even after investing over $50 million, you would think the business would be able to make some sort of money. It was so bad for him that he had to simply file for bankruptcy. His losses were at a point where they could not be recovered.


What do you think about Curt Schilling’s stories and the lessons I shared? Please share your comments below.


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