Running a Small Business is Just Like Playing a Game

Running a small business is not an easy task. Too often the primary constraint for the business startup is your opinion that you do not have enough innate talent to become an entrepreneur. This opinion appears about everything else that you want to do. Perhaps this is one of the most significant limitations to starting a business and achieving your personal or professional goals.

I want to give one comparison between running a business and playing a game. Simply, there are more similarities between playing a game and running a small business. I want to describe here why I think so.

Business and Talent

I believe that talent is not something in a category of “native” characteristics of an individual. Talent can have specific symptoms or innate predispositions. But, at the same time talent is something that you can continuously build while you are learning, trying, experiencing, etc.

So, we cannot say that all persons who are talented are talented because they are born with that talent. For example, a football player can have talent through some predisposition as a kind of passion for playing football. However, to achieve what was achieved from each successful football player during his career is every day practicing, learning from different coaches (teachers, consultants…), and actively playing in more matches better and better (experience). The same thing is related to running a small business as an entrepreneur.

But, the fear because of lack of talent is one of the most significant limitations for entrepreneurs on their path to business startup. This also continues in the process of running a small business. As an entrepreneur, you will be required to start and run a business, to develop that business, create and implement strategies,  plan, take different actions, make a profit, etc. But, these activities are something that can be performed by everyone.

Because of this limitation, too many good business ideas don’t become real businesses.

Playing the Game and Running a Small Business

How We Play Games?

As a child, I remember that when I get some money from home, I find myself running to go into the game stores where I buy chips to play video games. The process was something like this:

  • First, I stay near someone who already plays one of the games and look at what he was doing. In such a way, I’ve been studied the rules of the game because I want to learn how to play the same game.
  • When I finally start with playing, I was trying to apply the rules that I learned in the previous step. Many mistakes followed the start and indeed losing a lot of chips at the first stage of playing the specific game.
  • After my first playing, again I follow someone more experienced in playing the game. In such a way, I was learned additional rules, tips, tricks…
  • After additional learning, it is time again to play and applying new rules, tips and tricks learned in the previous step. Indeed, the first level is already history, I’ve passed it.
  • Then I was starting with a combination of monitoring the experienced players and discussion about different achievements of my friends to get more information about the new rules, tricks, and tips in the same game that I needed to learn.
  • After all of that, I was repeated all these exercises, trials and tests until I didn’t reach the end of the game when I was losing interest in it.

How Playing Games is Similar to Running a Small Business?

Here is the analogy with a business:

  • Monitor the market and learn the rules of the game in the market. Who are the major players? What are they doing? How are they playing the market game?
  • You as an entrepreneur start a business by applying what is learned about the rules of the market game.
  • Then, you continue with analyzing the previous business activities and still learn the rules that can be implemented.
  • You participate in seminars, speak with more experienced persons, continue with further learning and applying everything that you will come up.

So running a small business is nothing more than the process of playing a game. It requires perseverance, creativity, and patience.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan