Stepping Up to the Plate: Why You Need an Anthem


Ominous church bells toll throughout the stadium. The crowd launches to its feet and roars its approval as the door to the bullpen swings open and Trevor Hoffman, one of the best closers in Major League Baseball history, jogs onto the field.

The slow build-up of AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” echoes up into the stratosphere, barely audible over the frenzied fans. Lights pulse in synchronicity to the heavy metal beat. Hoffman takes the mound and fires a few practice pitches square into the catcher’s mitt.

It’s the ninth inning and he’s there to shut down the game. Time to go.

I have a new fascination with walk-up songs in baseball. There’s something about a personal anthem that makes the game more meaningful to me. Imagine… you’re in the dugout, ready to step onto the field and perhaps make the greatest hit of your life. The buzz of the crowd is infused in your veins and you lick your lips over and over with nervous anticipation.

You’re up. As soon as your foot touches the grass, your anthem, the one song that embodies all that you are in that very moment, blasts over the loudspeakers.

Perhaps it’s “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses. Or “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. Hell, I’ve even heard the Imperial Death March from Star Wars… which was spectacular in all of its dirge-ness. Hit it out of the park, Lord Vader.

Anthems unite.

Anthems define.

Anthems inspire.

Why should business be any different than baseball?

We, too, need a personal anthem when we are “up to bat,” in those moments when the fate of the game depends on us, when we have no choice but to crack that ball and make it sail as far as possible.

We need a soundtrack that ushers in fearlessness, even if just in our minds, when we walk into a meeting or hit “send” on that game-changing email. We’ve got just as much riding on our success as a baseball player does. Perhaps even more. He gets three tries. We may only get one.

Let’s face it. Business can be hard. It’s a competitive world and people are fickle.

Sometimes, the jangling buckles on my lucky motorcycle boots aren’t enough to sustain me when I need courage in business. Sometimes I need more. Way more. I have unconventional ideas. I rarely embrace status quo and instead try to merge a bit of grace and a bit of badassery into all that I do.

Being different can be scary.

When I need that extra boost of moxie, I play “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” by Cake. Sometimes I crank the volume all the way up. Sometimes I replay it on a loop in my mind.

I want a girl who gets up early

I want a girl who stays up late

I want a girl with uninterrupted prosperity

Who uses a machete to cut through red tape

With fingernails that shine like justice

And a voice that is dark like tinted glass

She is fast and thorough

And sharp as a tack

She is touring the facility

And picking up slack

I want a girl with a short skirt and a lonnnng jacket

I imagine myself striding into the meeting or hopping on that Skype call with shameless certainty, knowing that I belong there. I’m solid. Audacious. Ready to make cool shit happen.

Confidence can take you places, my friend.

What song would be playing in your triumphant moments?

Time to walk up.

10 comments leave a reply
  • August 28, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Tom Petty’s song, “I Won’t Back Down” (You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down) How is that for a kick ass anthem?


    • August 30, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Good one, especially when you have to negotiate something.


  • August 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I need some time to choose the one song that will become my anthem, so much great music out there. But thank you so much for the idea, genius!


    • August 30, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Thanks for the comment, Madeleine! Music can certainly stir the soul. 🙂


  • August 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm
    Laura G. Jones

    Love this, Maisie! I need a little bit of time to choose my current anthem, but the one I used to have as a competitive bridge player in high school was Queen’s Don’t stop me now 🙂 it always made me feel like a winner!


    • August 30, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Ahhhh… Don’t Stop Me Now. GREAT song (and so poetic). “I’m a shooting star leaping through the skies…” Good stuff.

      Thanks for the comment, Laura!


  • August 28, 2014 at 6:09 pm
    Anna Long-Stokes

    Oh I love this! I’ve been so connected to music for years…but I don’t really have an anthem for myself in business. I’m officially on the lookout!


    • August 30, 2014 at 11:33 am

      I’m with you, Anna. Music has always been a part of my life. I’d bet that you will know your anthem the minute you hear it!


  • August 28, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I am all over this. I actually have a playlist that I listen to several times a week. Right now, the song that keeps me inspired is “Am I Wrong?” by Nico & Vinz.

    Am I wrong for thinking out the box from where I stay?
    Am I wrong for saying that I choose another way?

    I ain’t tryna do what everybody else doing
    Just cause everybody doing what they all do
    If one thing I know, I’ll fall but I’ll grow
    I’m walking down this road of mine, this road that I call home


    • August 30, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Great lyrics, Beth (and so powerful for entrepreneurs)! Thanks for sharing.


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