THE INNER GAME OF AN ENTREPRENEUR

Understanding the game

Every game is composed of 2 parts, an outer game, and an inner game. The other game is played against an external opponent to overcome external obstacles and to reach an external goal. Mastering this game is the subject of many talks, books, and articles offering instructions on how to handle a company, how to start a startup from idea to raising funds to scale it up exponentially to make it a unicorn. But for some reason, most of us find all these guiding instructions easier to remember than to execute. 

My experience and understanding say that neither mastery nor satisfaction can be found in the playing of any game without noticing the neglected skills of the inner game. This is the game that takes place in the mind of an entrepreneur, and it has to be played against such obstacles as lapses in concentration, poor management of time, nervousness, self-doubt, and self-condemnation. In short, it is played to overcome all habits of mind, which inhibit performance excellence.

How to get better at it?

While working on mastering my skills and knowledge, I was also very observing how I was treating myself. I got more interested in knowing how I was treating myself most of the time, and we are talking to ourselves and telling us what we can do and what we can’t do. Once, I stetted up a goal and realized that I failed to accomplish it. I started to notice that one part of me is scolding and the other is been scolded. But what was important was which one is doing what. “I am talking to myself”: you will often hear people saying this but do you know who is I and myself here. That’s what I am talking about. The “I” and “myself” are two different entities that are why they are talking to each other, or there would be no conversation at all. For clarity, let’s identify them as a “teller” or as a “doer”.

If you reflect upon your own best moments or peak experiences, you will likely recall feeling as “effortless” as you will probably also remember them as moments of great pleasure. During such experiences, the mind does not act like a separate entity telling you what you should do or criticizing how you do it. It is quiet, you are “together”; and the action flows as free as water. Along with digitalization, the world is moving towards the importance of a deeper skillset. Hence the job industry is changing as well. Be it an employee or an employer, focus on strengths only. Your strength should be that strong that they overshadow your area of improvement.

Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do. That’s how you make yourself valuable. 

-Gaurav Sharma

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