Deciding What Game to Play

Not everything is a game but it’s how I think and approach business and work.

And business is the best game I’ve found to play.

This week I’ve been thinking deeply on how to decide when to keep going or quit related to my various business projects.

And I had an epiphany:

I don’t play games I can’t win.

I only play games I have a realistic and reasonable chance of winning at some point. Even if I lose a lot. Just the prospect of knowing I could win. I could break through. Seeing and tasting that I have the chance is so key for me.

I also don’t play games I don’t understand.

I don’t play games that involve primarily luck or chance.

I want skill and strategy games where I’ll likely be changed and transformed through it.

I also only want play my own games.

And play by my rules.

As you can see, I’ve been spoiled rotten by entrepreneurship that way.

Business is indeed a game with a steep learning curve. But clarifying all of these things about myself has been so key to prioritizing tasks or staying with something, or quitting.

Because when the game becomes someone else’s game, played by their rules, with little chance of winning, I am absolutely miserable. And make everyone around me miserable too.

(Even if the game creators and keepers are super nice and it’s a well paid game, like after my company’s acquisition!)

So I must play my own game to be happy and fulfilled and ultimately successful.

Additionally and most compelling to me are the Game Tokens required to play the game:

  • Time
  • Focus and attention
  • Energy and effort
  • Money

All games have an opportunity cost.

To help clarify the games I should be playing, here are some criteria for creating my own game and win:

  • Can I make a deep impact and transformation in peoples lives?
  • Can I make money doing it?
  • What’s the investment/cost to play? See Game Tokens above.
  • Can I clearly see how I can contribute? Can I uniquely use and leverage my experiences and expertise, strengths and interests? And can it be seen and effectively measured?
  • How intrigued and fascinated am I by it?
  • Can I continuously learn and grow? Will it stretch me?
  • Do I have a healthy dose of hope and optimism about it?
  • Does it have numerous benefits? Meaning can I use learning and the work for other things outside this project?
  • Do I like and care about who I’m playing with and for?
  • Am I excited? How much?
  • In the whole scheme of things, how much do I really care about this?

What is your ideal game? What’s your criteria?


This post is part of my 30 Days of Clicking Publish

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.