Business Is A Game
As a business coach on occasion I find it helpful to remind my clients to lighten up. I’ll say something like “It’s a game; this won’t matter on your death bed.” As business owners it can be tempting to lose ourselves in the issue of the day, week or month. We forget that it is not a life or death situation. Okay, we could be on the verge of losing our business or maybe a really big account but these are the moments that perspective may be our most powerful edge. Remembering that business is a game could give you the mental and emotional acuity needed to get you through the rough patches we all experience.
Let me say more about business being a game. Just like a game there are rules, lots of them, your rules, industry rules, cultural rules, government rules and more. In regards to keeping your perspective, your rules are the ones that matter the most. Here are some rules that I recommend;
1. Play the game of business to win “as if” your life is at stake and then toss your head, smile and laugh when it doesn’t work out.
2. Have fun whenever possible, smile a lot.
3. Keep your physical, spiritual, emotional and mental reserves full for the game by exercising, praying, reading positive books, nurturing your relationships and getting rest. Of all the rules, this is the most important. Would a world class athlete show up exhausted, spent and mentally unprepared?
4. Learn basic business principles in the areas of finance, marketing, organizational development and operations. Then master the basics.
In business we are essentially playing two games at once, the internal game (the real game) and the external game (the worldly game). The external game is your daily business practices and your business model. The internal game (invisible) is about being positive, having integrity, being focused; present and aware, expressing your vision and being mentally clear about what you want. As you can see, the rules I recommend are for both games.
The first three rules are for the internal game. Rule number 4 addresses the external game. If we play the external game and forget about the internal game we will be reactive, experience stress, get stuck, neglect our bodies and our loved ones and lose complete sight of the fact that it is a game after all. If we only play the internal game and forget about playing the external game we will neglect to master the basics of business and be very happy but unsuccessful in business. Unfortunately, I have noticed very few people have the latter problem.
So how do you start applying the principles above? I recommend that you sit down and write your rules for the game of business. You will want rules for the internal and the external game. Then create your ideal day, week, month and year on paper or in your calendar. You want to be able to see how a master would operate. This is your gap. Now what? Get a coach, mentor, teacher, guru, whatever is right for you. These concepts are simple not easy.