Alright, some of you are going to say I’m over simplifying and others will simply disagree, but after years of being super serious about my business, here’s what I’ve discovered:
Everything in life – EVERYTHING – is actually a GAME.
You know how you sit down with a few friend to play cards or a board game, and there’s always that one person who takes the whole game WAY too seriously? They’re getting mad and frustrated when things don’t go their way, they’re celebrating like it’s New Years when things go right, and half the time they can’t even follow the conversation because they’re too busy concentrating on the game.
Yeah, that person.
Well guess what? I’ll bet you that when it comes to Internet Marketing, you are that person.
If you’re taking every decision so seriously, then it might as well be life or death. Exactly how should you word this email? What color should your header be? Should you promote this product at 6a.m. on Tues, or at 9a.m. on Wednesday? And so forth.
These are choices that should take seconds.
Yet I was agonizing over each one like it was a declaration to declare war.
I thought I had to nail every decision and make it all perfect. Nothing could be left to chance. If it took me a week to decide something, it’s because that’s how long it should take.
Now I flip a coin. Seriously. If I need to make a decision – but based on all the facts I have I can’t decide – I flip a coin. Sort of like rolling the dice in a game. Because you know what? It’s better to take the wrong action than no action at all.
Sure, fast decisions can turn out to be bad ones. But guess what? So can slow decisions. But no decision at all? That will get you nowhere, fast. Every kid who rides a bicycle can tell you that it’s far easier to change direction once you’re moving. But if you’re sitting still on that bike, you’re not going anywhere.
And the long term difference between good and bad decisions isn’t even in the decision itself, or the results it produces. Instead, the difference is in how you react. If you make a bad decision and then confine yourself to bed for a week, that’s not going to help.
But when you play marketing like a game, a bad decision is simply telling you to move in another direction. You shrug off the bad choice, glad that now you have more information to head in a better direction this time.
Laughing at your bad choices is a good idea, too, because it’s a game. It’s all a game. LIFE is a game.
If you’re down two goals in football, do you over think what to do next? No. You get the ball and start moving it down the field. If you encounter something new and surprising in a video game, do you shut it down? No, you try different things and see what works. At most you pause the game, go online and find out what to do. It takes you 5 minutes at most before you’re back in the game, fully armed with the knowledge you need to win.
Any difficult obstacle you face can be thought of as a game. And just shifting your mindset to game mode can make all the difference.
I had a friend years ago who went to military boot camp. He looked at the whole thing as a game, and afterward he reported that boot camp was one of the easiest things he ever did. Other people in his camp took the training so seriously, they were literally getting sick from fright. Same boot camp, two different mindsets.
I had another friend in the U.S. who was facing an IRS audit. Scary stuff, and let me tell you, he was deeply frightened and ready to do anything – including signing over a big check – to make it go away. Then he changed his outlook. Now instead of quaking in fear, he declared, “It’s a game, me against them. Let’s see how we can win this.” His fear vanished, he took action, and at the end of the audit the IRS paid HIM.
Do you want start an online business? Launch a new product? Approach 25 gurus in the next 25 days? Make it into a game and 4 things will happen:
First, you’ll relax – and people do their best thinking when they’re relaxed.
Second, you’ll have fun – and people do their best work when they’re having fun.
Third, you won’t feel stressed – at least not the negative kind of stress – and you’ll literally live longer and be happier.
Fourth, when it’s all done and regardless of the outcome, you’ll be eager to do something else because you’ll want to have even more fun in your game.
“Yeah, but this is serious business and I’m a serious person!”
Really? Or is that simply how you choose to look at things and who you choose to be?
Life is a series of choices, and one of the biggest choices we make is deciding how to frame what we’re doing.
Me, I choose to make it a game – one I can’t wait to get up and play each morning. A game that just happens to also make me money. Lots of money.
How about you?