Playing Not To Lose Vs Playing To Win

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You've probably heard the saying, "don't put all your eggs in one basket."

It's well-intentioned advice that sometimes has its place. (Mostly when you don't control any of the baskets.) But in many cases it's the complete opposite of what you should do if you want to become successful.

It's playing not to lose rather than playing to win.

Small difference in mindset, big difference in outcome.

They say the 2-goal lead is the most dangerous in hockey for the same reason.

You feel you've got a safe lead. You stop trying to score goals. Just try to prevent the other team from scoring. But they are hungry, they're still trying to win, and soon enough the energy swings. Bam... bam... they score two quick goals and have all the momentum going into the final minutes of the game.

Playing not to lose feels safer.

And that's the trap.

Was speaking with a subscriber last week and he told me about the four different strategies he was trying. They ended with the following sentences:

Strategy 1: "This isn't my focus though."

Strategy 2: "Again, I don't plan on growing this further."

Strategy 3: "This could be what allows me to extricate myself from contracting on client sites, and allows me to focus on growing my own business."

Strategy 4: "Might as well try eh?  :)"

Language is a powerful thing. What do you think the odds are of #'s 1, 2, or 4 becoming massively successful? If you said "not good" then you're right. That option has already been excluded by how he thinks about them.

They are time, energy, focus sucking vampires.

It's a typical "spread your eggs" approach that inevitably burns or fizzles out.

So, how do you play to win?


Pick one strategy. Put your entire being into it. Either make it work or fail fast and move on to the next thing.

Most people spend years dabbling in just enough projects to ensure they never have enough time to make any of them wildly successful.

Andrew Carnegie said it best:

"The way to become rich is to put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket."

Talk soon,

Kyle Tully