What can 15 years in pro baseball teach you about business? Plenty. Just ask Shane Victorino who stopped by Convene CityView in Philadelphia on August 1. Against a backdrop of sunset-washed skyscrapers, Victorino recalled his playing days with a nostalgic crowd assembled by sports media and events company Thuzio. While the audience loved hearing inside stories about the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies World Series championship team, they also got some serious inspiration on navigating career moves like a champ. 

Here are some lessons that Victorino shared:

Don’t be afraid. Victorino is about to launch his second act. Since retiring from baseball one year ago, he’s been building a new venture behind the scenes. While he played coy on details, he said it involves hemp from his home state of Hawaii—a space he admittedly knows little about. It would be easy to let his industry inexperience and lack of a college education hold him back, but that’s not how success stories are born. 

Photos by Luis Limon, courtesy of Thuzio.

“I’m jumping into a space with hemp that I really know nothing about, but I feel like it could help my whole state if it’s a viable natural resource for the island,” said Victorino. “If you’re not an expert in the field, surround yourself with people who are. It’s about having the sensibility to reach out and say ‘Hey, I’m doing something that’s out of my realm. I want to know more about it, and you have expertise.’ Don’t be afraid to learn.” 

Thrive on negativity. Victorino’s mental alchemy game is next-level. Rather than allowing negativity to wreak havoc, he uses it as fuel. “I thrive on negative thoughts,” he said. “When someone tells me I can’t do something, I say thank you. You just motivated me to say that I can.”

Play every game like it’s your last. To Victorino, this isn’t some cheesy poster slogan—it’s a mantra. The same night as Victorino’s legendary 2008 grand slam in the postseason, he also lost his grandmother. Such moments of loss should serve as reminders of how precious your personal and professional lives really are. “It’s more than just a sport; it’s about life,” said Victorino. “We need motivation every day to be positive and continue to work hard.” 

Be ready for every big moment. Showing up strong in high-pressure situations takes heart, and anyone who ever watched Victorino play knows that comes naturally to him. And it translates to the business world too, where staying positive, motivated and full of energy makes all the difference. “I was born with this. Since I was a kid, I live for those grand-slam moments.” 

The ultimate words of advice from the budding entrepreneur? Keep it simple. Have fun. And always play all-out. 

“I’m going to build what I can, and I’m going to go 100 percent,” he said. “And if I fail, I fail. But I’m going to take a chance.”