You are about to look into 10 lessons from gaming that will help you be a better entrepreneur.
or the first time, parents may see the above characters and know that there’s still hope for their children. Many parents are of the view that their biggest mistakes were allowing us to spend so many hours at the arcade, buying that PlayStation or helping us to save up for that RoG/Alien laptop. It is true that arguing productivity while gaming is impossible but you may love what it taught me.
With my lifetime of gaming in all genres and on all platforms I realised that I gained a lot of life lessons that I can associate with life or to my start-up. These are the lessons I learnt from gaming that helped me in my start-up journey. A whole ten lessons from gaming for your Startup journey:
- Completion Come in Stages. I learnt that wherever there is an end goal, the process will always be broken down into stages to help maintain ones focus. Each checkpoint/milestone is there for a reason; to allow you to refuel, to take a break and regroup. Such is the need for anyone on the start-up journey. Such was the journey on games like Shinobi, Final Fight and Street Fighter (I mean the ones before Chun Li had muscles on her muscles). That has helped me to know that when I plan I need to set checkpoints for myself, checkpoints where I can savour the feeling of accomplishment. Identifying that there are stages also helps me to set manageable timeframes for completion.
- Resources Are Finite. Whether the year is 2000 and you were playing Age of Empires or it is 2015 and you’re playing Skyrim, resources are always finite in games and you need to build with what you have to reach your goal. No matter what you are doing, you will never have infinite resources. Where in games resources would be anything from gold to bullets, in the startup world these can be time money or favours. Thus the lesson becomes ‘Think before you use any of these resources.’ Wastefulness will not get you closer to achieving your results.
- There are no shortcuts. Well this lesson is everywhere but I just want you to understand that it’s in games too. Very few people like hearing that there are no shortcuts. Accelerated success is something we would all like. Playing games like Commandos, Halo and Tekken you would never find yourself all of a sudden in the boss fight, you had to go through every stage. While there were ways to get pats certain parts easier there are never ways to skip entire stages. With most millennials dreaming of tales of overnight it is possible that the patience others may not have is engrained in gamers and in business you will need a lot of that. No amount of money will catapult you to the end. Follow the route and you will get to the end.
- Repetition is a good teacher/ sometimes you’ll fail. Repetition will teach you how to complete certain things. There will always be stages that get you stuck, you try so many times to get past it but it just looks so darn hard. In repeating certain tasks you learn something new every time and you also force yourself to look for a solution. I will also admit that repetition can be frustrating, but when it gets to that it always helps to step away from the computer for a while(from as little as five minutes to as much as a week or month) and when you come back and try that same stage you will be wondering what had you stuck. Sometimes as an entrepreneur the fatigue piles up and your brain will have a hard time processing even the simplest of things. So take a break, reflect and come back.
- You Get One Shot…at a time. While I don’t believe in telling people that they have one shot and if they miss it that’s the end, I believe that entrepreneurs should know that they have one shot at a time and they should take it like it’s the last. This is mostly because you can never know when your next chance will come. At the same time the lesson taken from this is if you miss one chance then all you have to create another one. This I learnt from FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer. So when you miss an opportunity don’t get depressed, it is not the end of the world. Stay on your feet and make it happen.
- It Will Only Get Harder. Startups, like games are really nice. Conceptualizing stages are really easy. When it starts easy it does not mean it will stay easy. While it gets harder, there are things you get harder at. What you complete in month 6 you may not have been able to do in month one. Being a part of it and going through every step with a ‘hands on’ approach will help you become an entrepreneur capable of foreseeing challenges and tackling them easily when they arise. You train your mind for your business and industry and you set yourself up for success.
- Some Stages Are Longer Than Others. While you play a game sometimes you get to a stage that complete in minutes and sometimes you get to some where you spend an hour. In life there is no time relation between one stage and the next. One cannot say they get longer as you go on or that they are the same length, everything is a surprise you find the answer to as you go along your startup route. So while your company registration may have taken a few hours or a few days it does not mean the same will be true for copyright registration or the investor search or for the business to gain a customer base. Knowing this will lesson self – inflicted pressure on your startup journey.
- Some Games Are Not For You. Don’t be afraid to give up and try a different game. I had a couple of friends who are absolute magicians on football simulators like Fifa 16 and utterly hopeless at strategy games or First Person Shooters. It has never meant they are not gamers because they are only good at one type of game. We all need to find where we are strong and focus on that. The same goes for Start-ups and life in general. Although you may fail at one venture it does not mean that you are not cut out for entrepreneurship, you just try a different line of Business or just another start-up. The results will surprise you. The fact that you had the courage to give it a go means you can do it.
- Nothing Beats the Feeling of Seeing the Credits. When I was younger my brothers and I would play the same game and have a ‘Race to the Credits’ to see who would complete it first. Likewise, as an entrepreneur you have been heading and monitoring a project for months or even years it is a both refreshing and proud moment when you can finally say it was completed successfully. A completed project under the belt is enough to boost anyone’s confidence and send them straight out to tackle another.
- Completion Isn’t Everything/ Not Everything Has a Definite End. While it is undeniably important I don’t believe it’s a must. Super Mario that I never completed no matter how many times I saw the princess. It got frustrating at times but that fact kept me interested. Some personalities are only able to stay level-headed through keeping goals that feel challenging. On the other end, just because it is a project, it doesn’t mean that it has a definite end. It may have one, but that end may not be in your lifetime (making it irrelevant). This I take from simulators like flight simulator, football manager, Eurotruck Simulator. Some enterprises are there to last long with checkpoints and personal growth, no credits.
While it is true that there were those lessons embedded in gaming, they cannot be put to use if you never put down the controller. Take the lessons, get up from the computer and put some work in.