I’ve been a huge baseball fan since I understood the game. One of my favorite players as a kid was Greg Maddux. Especially looking back on the fact that he overlapped with much of the steroid era, he’s quite possibly not just the greatest pitcher of his generation, but one of the greatest pitchers ever to have played the game. The Athletic did a tribute to the 100 best baseball players during the winter of 2019 and 2020. Maddux ranked number 31.

Maddux has been known not just as a great pitcher but also as a great thinker. Nicknamed “The Professor,” he was a student of the game. The Atlantic article talks about how he would focus on “stealing strikes.” He was always looking to throw a pitch that would get him ahead in the count which has huge implications on what actually happens in the at-bat. By his estimation, if you could steal 4 to 5 strikes a game, it could be the difference between walking off the field a winner or a loser.

It was the level of thought that he put into his craft that made him so unique. In an article with Esquire Magazine, he summed it up as this, “Sometimes magic is just spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect.”

I would like to think that at Union Street Media, we bring a little bit of magic to our craft. There are probably few people out there who have thought as much about real estate digital marketing and the ways by which we can “steal a strike” to put our clients ahead of their competitors.

In 2023, as we head into a contracting market, it will take a lot more passion, curiosity, and ambition, three of our adjectives to make magic happen again as we have, year in and year out, since 1999.

The intersection between baseball and my entrepreneurial career is very much connected. My first business, a lemonade stand at the corner of Lake Avenue and Burying Hill Road, was a direct result of my passion for baseball cards (and my parent’s unwillingness to give me any money to buy them).

One of the values that I feel my parents fostered in raising the six of us was resilience. As an example, in order to not go to school, we had to have a fever or be vomiting to such an extent that we would rather go to school than be that sick. Now, as a father, I try to convey the importance of resilience to my kids. You show up for every practice, and you participate in every game, even if it’s cold, raining or you just don’t feel like it. As long as you try your hardest and leave it on the field, the outcome doesn’t matter. 

As we head into 2023, that level of resilience will be called upon as we navigate through what is a much more complicated market than the past two years. The reality of it was the pandemic was phenomenal for the real estate industry. As I heard Rich Barton say on the “How I Built This” podcast, “Being in the shelter industry during a pandemic” was a pretty good place to be.

We are resilient as a company because we have no other choice. Union Street Media is independent, with no outside investors, which is incredibly unique within the proptech space. I believe this actually positions us really well as we are able to make decisions based on what is best for our clients and our business, not for a return on investment seven-year payback model led by someone else who is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the business.

We didn’t go into 2020 knowing that a global pandemic was on its way and that we would need to be resilient. However, coming to 2023 feels different. We know that this year will be different and challenging. It’s times like this where if you put a little more thought than one would reasonably expect – you have an opportunity to create magic.

Happy New Year!