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What Entrepreneurship I had Learnt From Playing Chess

Lessons I had learned after playing thousands of chess games have turned into principles which I use in life.

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I learnt to play chess when I was in grade 4 and 5 in school. At the very first sight of the chess board, I thought I was going to develop a serious interest in it. The powerful pull it exerted, resonated me deeply on personal level. While playing chess, it required problem solving as well as critical thinking. Since my childhood, I loved this game because the game simply needs creativity, strategy and enormous utilization of brain, as compared to other physically-demanding games like volleyball and football.  

Many of my friends had their strength in being physically fit, while mine, in contrast, was in brain. I used to play chess whole day, whole week, whole month without any laziness. I didn’t learn chess just for recreational purpose; I learnt chess because I had adored it from the inner instinct of my heart. I always wanted to play and defeat those highly- skilled chess masters, just to know how much sharp I had grown intellectually. I had become addicted to it.

Later, while wallowing in the luxury of the game, I realized that it was the lesson of entrepreneurship that the game had taught me. Indirectly, it had taught me to become confident and win the races in business and life. I believe, chess has taught me very important principle of entrepreneurship which over time has become an inalienable part of my life.

1)Planning :-Must have long term plan

I learnt while playing chess if you don’t have a long-term plan and try to win the game without breaking a sweat, it is the biggest folly you are ever doing and it comes with a high chance of losing. Shortcut methods and backdoors bear high risk of losing. Starting from short- term moves will certainly help you to move onto long-term goal. This principle is applied to everyone’s life. To reach to the Everest of success, we must have a long-term plan guided by short- term steps in our brain. Nobody becomes a billionaire overnight.  It takes short-term steps that make it possible to reach to the Everest of success. Entrepreneurship also runs with same plan.

2)Sacrifice :-you need to sacrifice something to get something

I remember, I used to sacrifice crucial piece in order to checkmate my opponent. I became a perfect master to sacrifice small pieces like Rook or Bishop, to have a checkmate against my opponent. Entrepreneurship also runs along the same principle: we have to sacrifice small things in order to achieve big; it can be in the terms of venture bearing, giving up the luxuries and working hard for the best possible outcome. You can clearly see the examples in our society: those who are able to sacrifice in short- term, are found to achieve the success in the long run.

3)Value key piece :-best employees have high worth

While playing chess, some pieces have higher value whereas some have lower value. The value of the pawn is like insignificant as compared to the queen’s. The pawn can’t have the same power as the queen. Similarly, a pawn can’t be matched with the rook. It concludes that in order to win the game, it is very essential to know the worth of the pieces, and effectively leverage them as much effectively as you can . If you loose the queen and expect other pieces can help to win the game, then you may lose the game easily. If you are not able to protect the queen or the rook, then nothing can stop you from losing. This principle applies in the field of entrepreneurship as well. When I began into entrepreneurship, I had to struggle very much to find the right, highly skilled and highly creative team, and I used to hire less-skilled people.Those descisions made me lose the race of business. After that I came to know, similar to playing chess, that the work of the best, highly-skilled employees can’t be matched or replicated by the ordinary, less-skilled folks. They help us to win the business by utilizing their skills, talent and creativity. Hiring people who are skilled by paying more money can’t be a bad choice. And it is very essential to value those employees, like keeping them satisfied. 

4)Timing :-grab the opportunity in right time

Once the opportunity is missed, it rarely returns. Doing things doesn’t matter much, doing things in the right time matters the most. If you missed the time to checkmate the queen of the opponent, then your opponent might win the game. Similarly, in business, making decisions in right time and investing at right place can make your business successful. Would Facebook have been so big if Zuckerberg had launched it in 2019 instead of 2004? Certainly not!  You cannot launch a website like Facebook.com in 2019 and expect it to become #1 social networking site. It is the perfect example of good timing: he launched it when people had just started using Internet to connect with each other.  That strategy and right utilization of time brought him success. Right utilization of time in the business is like making quick good decisions before someone grabs your idea.

5)Mistakes are inevitable :-don’t let yourself down, you may win the game

Making mistakes in chess is often a problem. If you repair that mistake in time, then you might have some chance to win the game. But if you made a mental decision that you are going to lose the game majority of time, then you would lose the game even if you had a possibility of winning. Similarly, in business, same thing applies: you have to realize your mistake quickly, and fix it as soon as possible. If you learn from that mistake, and keep believing, then you can eventually win the game of business too.

6)Have fun :-always enjoy what you are doing

You will not become a good chess player if you are playing it under some duress. I played it because it was full of fun, it was full of thrills. I had a smile on my face when my opponent fell to my trap, and it made me satisfied. In the same way, entrepreneurship is not as hard as doing calculus in higher classes. You need to enjoy the whole game, even though you may have some possibilities of losing it. Entrepreneurship is like jollification in the game of business. Even if you lose the race, the journey you have undertaken make you feel happy.

Although I won’t play chess this time, I came to realize that I had learnt the real lesson of entrepreneurship from playing chess. Controlling the game is in our own hand. We can make our business successful by setting long- term goals followed by short, small steps. The game of chess has turned me into a good entrepreneur. 

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