Scrap Plastic Trading Lessons from the NBA playoffs

The NBA playoffs are underway, with 16 teams competing for the championship. The NBA playoffs are testament to teamwork, determination, athleticism and artistry in one of America’s most popular sports. If you’re a basketball fan, you know that the NBA playoffs are the biggest stage for basketball, and even casual fans of the NBA tend to pay closer attention come playoff time.

You might think that basketball has nothing to do with scrap plastic trading, but here are a few insights and lessons that the NBA playoffs can teach us in the scrap plastic recycling trade:

  • Success in the NBA (and in scrap plastic trading) is all about teamwork and knowing your role: BlackBridge Investments is succeeding in a competitive industry because we have a cohesive team that likes to work together, where everyone fulfills a specific role to get our team where we want to go. In the NBA, the Miami Heat have 3 All-Stars on their team (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh), but in 2011 they failed to win the NBA title. The Heat took a lot of, well, “heat” for failing to win the championship because they had a lot of individual talent, but ultimately basketball is a team game and you need more than 3 great players, you also need dedicated role players who can come off the bench, grab rebounds, and do the unglamorous work that doesn’t show up on a stat sheet but still helps win games. In the same way, scrap plastic trading is all about managing details and staying up-to-speed on what your trading partners need. Closing deals and making sales is exciting, but you can’t get to that exciting stage without a lot of unexciting, detail-oriented work along the way. Not everyone is a great deal closer, but chances are there are people on your team who are making big contributions to the success of a deal just by helping out behind the scenes.
  • Know your identity: Another big part of success in the scrap plastic trading business involves knowing what you have to offer and feeling confident in your identity as a trader. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver – instead, you need to be able to confidently promise what you can definitely deliver. NBA teams can rise or fall based on a similar type of group confidence and team identity. For example, the San Antonio Spurs have a solid nucleus of experienced players who have been together for a long time – they know who they are and they know what style of basketball they play, and they know which players fulfill which roles on the team.
  • Trust your partners: Every NBA playoff team needs one go-to guy who can be counted on to take the last shot at the end of the game, who wants to have the ball in his hands when it matters most. In the same way, in the scrap plastic trading industry, you need to be able to rely on your trading partners to come through for you in the clutch, when you need them most. Do you want the ball for a last second shot?
  • Win when it counts: LeBron James of the Miami Heat has been highly criticized for failing to win an NBA title. Despite many regular-season accolades and MVP awards, LeBron has repeatedly faded in the ultimate spotlight of the NBA playoffs. In the same way, is your plastic scrap trading operation ready to shine when it matters most? The scrap plastic recycling industry is all about time sensitive deals, big volumes, and complex logistics. The biggest opportunities in scrap plastic trading go to those who are ready to innovate, find the advantage and get deals done where others cannot.