Solitaire Helps With Running A Business
Do you get overwhelmed when you think about all the things you have to do?
This is a feeling I get fairly frequently.
Yes, there are methods, systems and tricks I can use to reduce the feeling of overwhelm, such as using the pomodoro technique to work through tasks, writing lists and prioritising each item in order of importance.
Having used these methods in an attempt to be more efficient in running a business, I have to say they do work up to a point.
One thing I am yet to figure out is how to quieten my mind in a way that allows me to concentrate on the task at hand. I can be using the pomodoro technique or going through my list of priorities and my mind starts to wander. I start to think of things I have not done or improvements that can be made on completed tasks.
When I get to this stage, the only thing I have found is to stop what I am doing and do something completely different. This could be cleaning, rearranging a cupboard or playing a card game.
My card game of choice is solitaire, which I play online.
Solitaire In Relation To Running A Business
I get great satisfaction from seeing the cards move to their respective piles on screen and seeing the confetti falling and ‘you win!!!’ flashing across the screen once a game has been successfully completed.
The more solitaire I play, the more I see similarities between the card game and running a business. I first noticed this similarity when everything I tried to get my business producing some form of regular monthly income failed.
I can hear you asking, ‘how on earth can a card game be compared to starting, let alone running a business?’
That is an understandable question to ask and here are the similarities I see between the card game and running a business.
Whenever I play the game, I am constantly looking for opportunities that allows me to place one card on top of another. Also, because the version I play is timed, I am always challenging myself to work faster, more accurately and to beat my previous time.
In relation to business: Spotting and monetising an opportunity quickly.
I started playing with three cards, flipped at the same time, as it was more of a challenge since you can only use the card on top, while seeing what cards will be on top later on. My statistics on this game was awful, so I changed my method and started flipping one card at a time.
In relation to business: If what you are doing isn’t currently working, look for a different way to achieve the same goal.
Even though it took me longer to win, I started winning more consistently.
My average time for finishing a game was a little under four minutes. This quickly went down to three and a half minutes where it remained for quite some time.
After a while, I felt I could get my time down further and started to adjust my playing strategy.
Rather than trying to play each card as it was turned, I decided to go through all cards and only use ones that allowed me to make more than one move at a time.
In relation to business: Look to gain consistency and improve on how you do things.
This simple change in method reduced my time even further and I started winning games in under three minutes.
I honed this new method further by only starting games where I could use a set number of visible cards before using cards from the deck.
Again, this adjustment of my method, resulted in my time improving and the number of games I won increased.
In relation to business: Don’t be afraid to change your approach
Even though my winning stats improved over time, from 33% win:67% loss to 40% win:60% loss, I still lose plenty of games.
The difference between when I first started and now, is that I am able to abandon a game much sooner than before and move to the next one.
The mental shift that allows me to do this while playing solitaire also enables me to pull the plug on a business task or idea that isn’t working.
In relation to business: Don’t be afraid to pull the plug on an idea that isn’t working
Hence, the reason I see similarities between playing solitaire and building a business.
Also, I visualise each win in solitaire as having a new income stream within my business. So winning games is like having a regular monthly income from different sources.
Solitaire is just a game.
Like all games, there are things we can learn from them that would help us in our lives. I just happen to see similarities between this card game and my business.
Things solitaire has taught me:
- If you do not succeed at first keep trying till you succeed.
- Be clear on your end goal. In solitaire, it is to use up all the cards and in business it is to make a profit from having a regular monthly income.
- If you are not progressing, tweak the method you are using.
- Keep an eye on your stats; wins vs. losses.
- If you can see something is not going to work, first assess if there is a different approach you can take to get it to work. If not, move on to the next thing. In other words, fail fast.
Now you know my card game of choice is Solitaire.
What is yours?