In business, everyone can win.
Someone else making money doesn’t mean you can’t make money — you can even sell your products to the same customer that others have sold to. Using money as a scoreboard in business, everyone can succeed.
I recently read a business book where the author urged readers to look for ways to complement their competitors (for purposes of collaboration) rather than compete against them. That way, everyone makes more money and the customer gets more value.
Business is designed to create many win-win(-win) situations.
Sports are the opposite.
One person / team wins; everyone else loses. At the end of a sports season, one team wins the trophy; everyone else goes back to the drawing board.
Another thing about sports: not everyone can even get in the game.
Team sports (basketball, football, baseball, hockey, soccer) have hard roster limits; even solo sports like golf and tennis have mechanisms in place to limit participants. If a basketball team with 12 roster spots is evaluating 15 great players, at least 3 of those players are going home empty-handed.
Sports are win-lose. Every winner requires at least one loser. Every attempt you make at winning in sports also means you’re angling to make someone else lose. If you make the roster, that’s one less available spot for someone else to claim.
You know why I like this dynamic? It’s harder to win when everyone can’t win.
It proves more to win in a zero-sum game than it does in an unlimited-success game. That’s not to say that either is easy. The limits of sports give the winner’s club an exclusivity that doesn’t exist anywhere else.
Business can have that too, though the lines would have to be created rather than existing naturally.
It can be a certain number of clients served, or a specific amount of revenue generated — challenge is, the group must continually expand to fit in new qualifiers.
I don’t have a conclusion to this. Just something I think about when considering the parallels and differences between business and sports.
By the way, I wrote a 250-page book About just that: it’s called Work On Your Game, and it will help you use the competitive, results-focused mindset of the professional athlete and apply it to your work life — which means you’ll have the best of both worlds.
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Be sure to check the following MasterClasses on this topic —
#1339: How To Compete And Win Mentally Over Physically
#1338: How To Develop & Maintain A Can-Do Attitude
#1078: How To Win When Nobody Wants You To Win
#576: No Apology, No Complaint
#575: You Win The Game During Practice
#521: The You Who’s Winning Today Won’t Be Enough To Win Tomorrow
#520: How To Stay On The Offensive In Life
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