?The rules are ... there are no rules.?
? Aristotle Onassis
An entrepreneur has to make a conscious decision to play or be played. It is the idea of consciously choosing to win or lose that nurtures the spirit of entrepreneurialism and heartens an unrelenting appetite for success.
Winning is simply a matter of wanting to! Uncover the underlying constructs that work to create meaning in the world:
? reinvent the way you perceive fear;
? approach winning as a matter of perspective;
? know that you are in the business of selling to humans.
This book is a step-by-step guide to building a brand, generating value around that brand and exchanging that value for money. The power to invent ideas is the essence of the The Game, Entrepreneur
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Read an Excerpt
The Game Entrepreneur
By George Konstand
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 George Konstandopoulos
All rights reserved.
The game is neither for nor against us. We are the players. In the game, we either play or are played. The choice is fundamentally ours. The game is an imagined reality built around an appraisal system that we have come to call business.
This system does not belong to any one of us. It is the medium through which value travels, converting one source of currency into another. The data we feed into the system is evaluated, appraised, and then returned to us as profit or loss, an outcome that we then choose to make our business.
We, the players, infuse outcomes with emotion. We become emotional about processes, falling in love with the system. We are in lust with its money. We seek excitement from the deals it proposes. It becomes the focus of our wildest dreams and worst fears, the allure of wealth and the hate for losing.
It seems absurd how far invested we've become in systems of logic. It's as though we invite the abandonment. From the onset, it is clear that the system is unable to reason with human emotionality, delivering success and failure unrelentingly to players who reason with numbers to derive the meaning of their existence. Yet still we play, caring more about the condition of the game than the way in which we are played by it.
The system was not built to empathise. It was built simply to rationalise the value of human creativity against profit and loss with no love lost. Success and failure are emotional attributes that we, the players, assign to large or small amounts of income because the business of income reflects our ego. So, the winning and losing characteristics that we attribute to these numbers reflect how we imagine the world.
The system merely offers an appraisal for whatever data it is fed objectively as profit or loss.
The reality of business is that numerical outcomes are dealt back to emotional players, waiting on the other end of the business door, hoping that they will receive an outcome they can declare successful, a rightful reward, or alas a terrible failure. Human subjectivity almost always mars business outcomes.
If the players in the game were robots, they would mechanically declare business outcomes as profit or loss and work tirelessly with an unrelenting appetite for profit. But then the world of business would lose its lustre. How would we feel success if nobody failed?
A critical fact often overlooked by the majority of players, winners and losers combined, is that, without winners and losers, there would be no game. No party. No Gatsby. No Wolf of Wall Street. No rush. No race. No hustle. No deal!CHAPTER 2
WINNING AND LOSING, IT'S OUR CHOICE!
We, the players, forget how much control we have over the game. The distinction between what is real and what is imagined has blurred. We have come to perceive the game as reality, needing it more than it needs us. We have come to think of the game as normal and natural. Granted, we were born into it, we know no other way, and at some point, we became preoccupied with living up to the rules of the game rather than actually trying to create them. We've gotten caught up in the binaries: wealth and poverty, success and failure, and winning and losing, the ultimate binary. We forget that we are playing a game.
A game insinuates that we report to either a winning or losing side. We own how well we play. How easily we are played, well, that's just the nature of the game, right? While it seems absurd to think that the rules of a game pre-empt our every natural move, one question remains: Is the allure of winning, however big or small, more important to us than the actual win? How many players are actually winning? 1 per cent? And how many players are measuring their small wins in an overall losing hand?
We gamble with our lives. We are addicted to the bright lights of success, which makes us relentless, chasing big dreams and crushing anything and everything in our path. The feeling is natural and wild. But are we ever actually winning?
The problem is this: To not question the things we perceive to be natural or normal is like trying to build a house on sand and hoping it won't sink. If there is no question of where ideas or rules originate from, then we abide by all of them, naturally and somewhat robotically, which has become normal.
This is where the game gets interesting. Our ability to question and critically analyse the origins of truth that we so blindly abide by awards certain players the right to win over a losing majority. It seems that the only variable between winning and losing players is their mentality, their perspective, that is, a player who is conscious of the nature of the game as opposed to playing the game naturally. Perspective is the difference between playing the game and being played. How's that for a binary?
The game doesn't play anyone. It simply prescribes the rules for play and creates a platform for players to play. We are either reacting or responding to the cards being dealt. So we blame the house that always wins but never accept responsibility for the hand that always loses. At this point, we have to make the conscious decision, to play or be played.
No matter the outcome, the winner chose to win, and the loser subconsciously chose to lose. Whether decisions are made consciously or subconsciously, they belong to their governing bodies. We are responsible for everything good and bad that happens to us. We are accountable for winning or losing.
Appraisal systems grant no trophies to winners and losers. That's something players do to assert their ego. Appraisal systems exist only to evaluate the opportunities that we create. profit and loss is the endpoint of a purely functional business equation. Understanding this business logic requires an objective perspective. Winning and losing is measured relative to our experience of profit, a completely subjective perspective. perspective is power in the game. It defines our position.
Choosing to win requires that we reserve emotionality for human engagement, which offers the opportunity to create influence. Influence is currency, as business is the art of selling to humans. There can be no profit without the human decision to invest. Influence and emotionality are only relevant at the pre-appraisal stage of business, where they can affect the profit or loss evaluation.
Objective perspective requires we regulate emotionality. Winning simply requires exercising the ratio of emotion and logic in accordance with the function of an appraisal system in an "Emotion In: Logic Out" ratio.
Nature of the Game
Aristotle Onassis, a serial Entrepreneur and shipping Tycoon, once said, "The rules are ... there are no rules." And essentially, there really are no rules. A game is imagined to exist with rules, so if we find ourselves playing by rules, then we should question whose game we are playing in.
To play and win is to see beyond the rules we are prescribed to follow. For as long as we abide by rules, we are accepting them as truth. Truth is considered natural and God-given. The only thing natural and God-given inside and outside of the game is nature and all things natural: the universe, animals, living organisms, and the human being who has found itself roaming the planet aimlessly looking for a game to play. Could reality be so basic? Imagine such a basic reality mocking our human complexity. And yet, this is the only thing we know.
The game is a natural fight for survival. after all, that is the nature of our basic seeking habits. Players must understand their innate need to survive. This is the game that nature intends. The question is: How natural is our behaviour after we have satisfied our need to survive?
In the game, a player imagines their success as the measure of value accrued in his or her possessions, but this idea is followed by the most dramatic of all ironies, that is, material possessions have no value. They are only ever depreciating. They exist outside of the fundamental nature of survival; therefore, they are subject to the trending wants and needs of their human owners.
Wealth is the business of subjectivity that we find ourselves playing in after we have established a means to survive. Wealth is the currency of our ego and expressed through the ownership and endorsement of brands in an attempt to define our human form.
Understanding what players want is a matter of understanding how they see themselves. This is also how we come to realise what is relevant to them. Relevance is how we engage humans, influence emotionality and generate value in an "Emotion In : Logic Out" ratio.CHAPTER 3
ENTREPRENEUR, THE PLAYER AMONGST PLAYERS
Entrepreneur, we are in the business of simplicity. If things are not simple, black and white, they are simply obstacles. This notion insinuates that we have a lot of simplifying to do. We have to make the conscious decision to reject how we were taught to think, simplify, and personify a player who possesses a winning entrepreneurial perspective.
In the game, an entrepreneur is the player amongst players. an entrepreneur is defined as someone with a problem-solving perspective, thinking strategically from a natural origin to determine the core of a problem and then providing a relevant solution in the form of a product or service. Entrepreneurialism is the understanding that we can sell solutions. Let us solve problems!
The Formula: Obstacle - Catalyst = Solution
1. Identify the obstacle.
2. Determine the catalyst or cause(s) of that obstacle.
3. Develop a strategy that rids us of the catalyst and, in turn, the obstacle.
Problem solving, like business, is functional. They are both built on appraisal systems. Why then is problem solving and business often met with so much dysfunction? This is due to the disproportionate areas of knowledge about the business function in relation to the human function, resulting in a lack of clarity when developing an approach to both.
When developing a solution to a problem, we must have a clear understanding of the obstacles standing in our way. Similarly, when developing a solution to a human problem, we cannot possibly visualise the obstacles, if we lack human insight. There are no grounds for developing a winning strategy. As a result, we dilute our approach to business strategy and our intended market and, in turn, dilute our profit outcome. Our lack of insight is often subjectively experienced as failure. If we simply approached the business model with stronger insights, then we'd get better outcomes.
For example, when going to the supermarket, if we know what we're after, we can ask the shop assistant to guide us to a specific aisle and shelf. We can clearly navigate ourselves to a specific location and find the product we're after. The experience is short, sweet and has satisfied our needs. The process is performed with clarity and confidence.
On the other hand, if we do not know what we're looking for, we roam every aisle, look at every product, and convince ourselves that we need things other than the one thing we actually want. The lack of clarity and intention is unproductive. It wastes time and money and leaves us feeling unsatisfied.
Business is the imagined reality in which players exist in the pursuit of creating wealth. But when wealth is the focus of business strategy, then we are only ever taking to outcomes with further outcomes and never actually influencing wealth. (refer to diagram 2.1.) Creating wealth is never about numbers. It's about influence. Logically, profit and loss can only ever be affected through the "Emotion In" side of the ratio.
Entrepreneurial perspective is a matter of creating influence with an "Emotion In: Logic Out" ratio in mind.CHAPTER 4
There is no such thing as dysfunctional business. There are only dysfunctional players in business. Dysfunctional players will seek complexity. Winning players understand that they are in the business of simplicity. Simplicity is the knowledge that we are conditioned to seek complexity. Complexity is: fear of the unknown.
We embrace distractions, overcomplicate situations, and dwell on problems, but not because there is no solution. It's because we have the instinctive foresight to predict that the solution will send us into uncharted territories of the scary unknown. Our fear of the unknown is terrifying. This fear is justified biologically as we are constructed to either fight or take flight from the unknown.
Overcoming our fear of the unknown dissolves the complexity that we surround ourselves with. We must reprogram our minds to understand the unknown as a playing field of opportunity. Here's how: Consider all the things we know and have experienced thus far. Has the known provided us with the opportunity to become the type of people we want to be? Has the known way of life been interesting, freeing, or financially comforting?
Anybody who aspires to achieve something greater than what he or she already has realises that the known is not enough. We must consider the binary that is the known and unknown and question if the known can possibly sustain our intellectual, mental, and emotional state of mind. Can the world as we have known it to be possibly cater to our appetite for creating new and interesting opportunities? For the majority of us entrepreneurs, I think not.
This concludes, in the mentality of problem solving, that the unknown holds every possibility to create our dreams and ideas and is the key to everything that is new and amazing in this world. Fear, or that gut-wrenching feeling of being scared, functions with dual purpose, either to keep us in our known comfort zones or fuel an aspirational vigour that seeks out opportunities in the unknown. All of a sudden, the unknown is a positive realm of opportunity and adventure, and fear is an indicator for opportunity.
In saying that, fearlessness does not exist. It is a virtue held by the demigods we read about in mythology. Reprogramming our minds to see fear as an indicator of opportunity is a virtue, understood by a very real and successful entrepreneur.
First, we must accept the fundamental nature of fear. Fear is a gift. Like all systems within the human body, fear has its place. It functions as a detector of the unknown. We must consider how we have been taught to react to the presence of fear. When we live idle within fear, its mechanic controls us. It detects the unknown and alerts us to retreat. Like an animal in an electric cage, every time we touch the cage, we receive a shock and dramatically pull back into the safety of our nook.
Reacting to fear (detector of the unknown) keeps us in the known. Living in the known by default of fear results from a lack of insight into our own humanity and the nature of our emotionality, we choose to stay within the comforts of the known because it is safe. We sacrifice opportunity for safety. Living in the known requires the condition of tolerance that restricts our freedom, like in the example of the animal in the cage. We should question: Are we ever really safe living in that electric cage, or are we conditioned to tolerate it in the name of comfort at the expense of our freedom?
Excerpted from The Game Entrepreneur by George Konstand. Copyright © 2014 George Konstandopoulos. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Letter from the Author, xi,
Chapter 1 The Game, 1,
Chapter 2 Winning and Losing, It's Our Choice!, 5,
Chapter 3 Entrepreneur, the Player amongst Players, 11,
Chapter 4 Dysfunctional Players, 15,
Chapter 5 The Biology of Entrepreneurialism, 19,
Chapter 6 The Ego at Play, 23,
Chapter 7 Finding Freedom in a Brand, 25,
Chapter 8 Game On!, 29,
Chapter 9 Judgement Day, 37,
Chapter 10 What Do We Know?, 43,
Chapter 11 Game Plan, 47,
Chapter 12 Build a Brand. Play It Your Way!, 49,
Chapter 13 The Player, 55,
Chapter 14 The Business of Play, 67,
Chapter 15 How Influence Is Measured, 73,
Chapter 16 Failure Explained!, 75,
Chapter 17 K'no'wledge Is Everything!, 81,
Chapter 18 A Brand-New World, 89,
Chapter 19 Game Face, 91,
Chapter 20 Players Only Know Good Stories, 101,
Chapter 21 The Offer, 105,
Chapter 22 Great Game, 109,
Chapter 23 The Great Strategy, 113,
Chapter 24 Philosophy behind the Win, 119,
Chapter 25 The Player amongst Players, 125,
Further Readings, 129,