So about a month or so ago, as I was flying back from Los Angeles back to Kuala Lumpur on a sickening 20 hour flight (thanks Cathay Pacific airline for being awesome though)… I found a movie called MoneyBall in my inflight entertainment.

Moneyball

I read the summary before the movie and it says it’s a baseball movie… and I immediately got turned off because I didn’t know anything about baseball. But one line on the summary got my attention… It says something along the line of how a manager was able build a successful team with little to no budget.

I knew I had to give it chance… or even if it’s a bad movie, I’ll just doze off for the flight.

But it ended up being a movie that influenced how I will run my businesses.

Here are some of the business lessons I learned from the movie that I will be personally adding into my own businesses, investments and how I run my personal life…

** WARNING: Spoiler Alert **

1. It’s not personal, it’s just business.

Billy Beane doesn’t mingle or care about cutting/trading off his players. He only cared about one thing; winning.

And that’s how business should be.

It’s about winning the game.

2. Statistics matter. And that’s all that matters.

Most businesses or employees tend to think one person is important for the company based on factors like relationship and relevance.

However, at the end of the day – statistic is the one that matters.

Did he completed his tasks? Did he do it well? Did he exceed expectation?

Like Beane said in the movie, “He gets on the base”.

3. Don’t be afraid to try something completely different.

When Beane implemented his new system of running the team, the papers and media wrote him off. His own team wrote him off. His coaches left him.

But he sticked with it. He had to finish what he started.

And at the end, it paid off.

He knew he had to because there’s no way he can go head to head with big teams like Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankee with 1/4 of their budgets.

4. You can still win big with small budget.

When I was hiring my general manager, I always ask them how much it would cost to start a company… Many said at least “$250k and above”…

I’m not a believer of starting your company with a big budget because I think it spoils the entrepreneur.

Beane proved that he could still go all the way into the playoff final — without spending as much, and with a small budget.

5. If the organization is not doing well, stop listening to your team and start introducing new team members.

If you’ve changed many things in your company and it’s still not doing well, that means there’s something else that you need to change…

Even if that something is vital in your company.

6. Finish what you started…

Most people would give up halfway if they don’t see results…

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In the movie, Beane stuck to his guts and went on with his plan despite lashback from media and his team of coaches.

But it paid off and Raiders went into the final.

7. If you’re going to be terrible at everything, focus on being GREAT at one thing…

Beane recruits his player based on one statistic – if that person gets on the base.

And that’s his gameplan and he sticks with it. He focuses on being good at that and it paid off.