“Don’t worry – Not every deal is winnable!”

This is the message that came up this morning when I was playing a game.

My first reaction was – oh. Well then, I shouldn’t get upset if I don’t win – it was probably one that I couldn’t win anyway!

After I thought about it some more, I thought – well, unless I try, I won’t win (or lose). I have to play every game as if I could win otherwise there’s no point in playing. And if I do lose I have to see how I could do better next time and learn from it.

Playing the “business game!”

This got me thinking about business? How do you ‘play’ the business game? Do you play as if you “might win, but if I don’t it was probably wasn’t winnable in the first place!” If that is how you are playing your business game, then you probably won’t get far because you don’t learn from losing! Most successful entrepreneurs talk about the lessons they learned from losing and how using those lessons spurred them on to win next time.

Winning mindset

As an entrepreneur, one of the biggest assets we have is our mindset and what we choose to do with it! Losing stinks, especially when we tried so hard to win! Let’s turn those losses around, learn from them and take those lessons into our next venture. The more we play, the more we learn. And that comes with the likelihood that we will win some and lose some. But if we give up trying, just because me “might” lose, then we also give up on the chance of winning!

For some, losing is a challenge! I am known for being stubborn (I like to reframe that as “persistent”) and I remember being told by a teacher that “I would never do well in her English class” (I had been shifted to her class about three weeks into the new school year during a reshuffle of classes). I was 12 years old, had been moved from the friends I’d made in my original class and I can remember thinking “I’ll show her”! I loved English, I read every book I could get my hands on and I came in the top three of her class that year. To me that was winning – I refused to “lose” and I worked hard to get there. I didn’t give up because she told me I was a loser – I used that as impetus for winning. I also didn’t just sit back and “hope that I would do well!” I did the work. I read books that I didn’t like because they were on the reading list. I grappled with Shakespeare and didn’t really understand what he was saying so I listened to the discussions and learnt about his style, his way of thinking and how to understand the Old-English phrases he used. And in the end, I proved to myself that I was a winner and that I could do well in a class that was made up of people who were deemed to be smarter because they were in the class from the beginning of the year, they’d been chosen and I hadn’t!

So, the question is – how can we move from being a ‘loser” to being in the “winner’s” circle? And the answer is “Don’t take on the messages”. Be the winner and when you see “Don’t worry – Not every deal is winnable!” remind yourself that learning from the loss and using it to spur you on to wining the round makes you the winner every time– of business and of life.

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