People who Play Not To Lose are stuck in scarcity and are unlikely to do something of significance, … [+]
Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash
Entrepreneurs are playing a losing game.
The game is heralded as the way business is done. It is even celebrated amongst entrepreneurs and perpetuated by business gurus throughout social media. It is born of scarcity and embedded in our culture under the disguise of hard work.
It is a place where the sole focus is the future. Demanding bigger, better and more as the mantra of business. Sure, by following it there may be accolades, achievements and the promise of wealth, but left to die is quality of life, purpose and lasting happiness.
The Obvious Losing Game
There are two forms of scarcity.
People who Play Not To Lose are stuck in scarcity and are unlikely to do something of significance, create a big vision or even focus on having a better future.
Playing Not To Lose is a reductionist way of thinking, based around trying to scrimp and save your way to wealth. It’s not based on innovation or how you can leave an impact on the world—instead it is based on holding on to what you have in hopes that the past will remain the same. Most of the thinking is around money or the lack thereof. Those trying to survive have a desperate need to save another dollar; to miser their way to wealth.
Those stuck in the Playing Not To Lose mindset are not operating on a value creation based economy. They embrace bureaucracy because it impedes others from robbing them of the security their job provides and they spend more time in worry than in action, having more thoughts of despair than of production and being governed by fear rather than by value.
The Entrepreneur’s Trap
There are those that wear the badge of Playing To Win and consider it a great honor.
Incessant hard work, activity, competition, growing and scaling.
But at what cost? To what benefit? What do you lose along the way? Is there room for being present or are you stuck in thinking mostly about the future?
When you are constantly Playing To Win—whether it’s because you love your business, your clients or whatever the good intentions may be—does it allow you to build a life you love? Are you able to enjoy the journey, and create the quality of life most delay until retirement age?
Oh, the grind. The treadmill of life. What is so admirable about the grind? What do you sacrifice in the name of working through it? What is really most important in your life and how do you define success?
We know society defines success in the material world, with accolades and exits, respect and even envy from peers, but typically through doing and getting more. This is a recipe for being busy while staying in the consumptive nature of competition without consideration for vision and simultaneously neglecting quality of life.
Many justify this way of life by saying, “I have to do this to put food on the table” or telling loved ones “I am doing this for you”.
Or is there something you feel you need to prove to the world?
Does your work fulfill you or leave footprints of exhaustion, guilt, and even loneliness?
Those who Play To Win are often risk takers. Most of them end up bankrupt, and a few end up successful and those successful ones end up on magazine covers and so we admire these people as the most bold individuals in the world.
But there is another group of very successful people with quality of life, that define success on their terms. They focus on creating a game worth winning and find time for relaxation, rejuvenation and recreation. They have success more consistently and are part of a much bigger statistic of wealth- not wearing down, having their health crash, taking on too much themselves and instead focus on depth and harmony.
Balance is a myth. It promotes the unwinnable game of perfection.
The Win, Then Play way comes from two distinct concepts: depth and harmony.
Depth is about being present. Having quality over quantity.
Harmony is about being deliberate, intentional with how you chose to live your life. Scheduling time for things beyond your business. Investing in your quality of life, hobbies, and experiences.
Rather than get trapped in Playing To Win, instead consider how to Win, Then Play.
Determine what matters most by creating time and space in your calendar to insure there is an opportunity to live life on your terms and doing the things you value the most. A business can always find ways to use your time, spend your money, and convince you that these are not habits, but instead just temporary issues.
Look at your calendar, does it reflect who you want to be? What you want to do most? Do you have depth and harmony? Have you identified what fulfills you the most? How to eliminate burnout or feeling guilty or torn because you neglect your health, family, or hobbies?
Remember, you are the author of your life.
You cannot control what happens along the way, but you can control where you place your attention, what you spend the majority of the time doing, and what matters most to you. Your success is up to you.
To learn more about the Win Then Play way of thinking check out my Youtube channel, Garrett Gunderson.