The Infinite Game

This lesson won’t apply to everyone. It’s a very idealistic approach to business that doesn’t fit all circumstances.

I say that because there are times you might see an opportunity to make a lot of money in a short period of time and you want to take advantage of that opportunity to set yourself up for the future.

There is nothing wrong with that (assuming you aren’t taking advantage of people). One of my good friends started a recycling company after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

5 years later he sold the company for millions and now he can do whatever he wants. He didn’t play the Infinite Game and I don’t fault him for it one bit. I’m an Infinite Game type of player though so it’s important that I adopt that mindset into the things that I do.

If you don’t know what the Infinite Game is then let me explain.

The Infinite Game

Finite Games are played with the goal of getting to the end of the game and winning.

Football is an example of this. Every game has a beginning, middle, and end, and the final winner is recognizable from everyone else.

Infinite Games are played for the purpose of continuing to play rather than to win.

Read that sentence again because it’s important.

People tend to think that business is a finite game, but it isn’t. There are only winners and losers when those players attempt to play Finite Games.

But business is Infinite. Business was around before we were born and it will be around long after we die.

You can’t win at business just like you can’t win at marriage.

Marriages fail because the couple sees a winner and a loser. But if marriage is seen as an Infinite Game then the small fights seem irrelevant in the big scheme of things.

(Don’t get me wrong though, a shitty relationship is a shitty relationship.)

I don’t know if I’ll run Odd Noodle for the next 50 years, but I make decisions on how I treat people like I will. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking that playing the Infinite Game means you ignore money.

That’s not it at all.

Remember, the goal of the Infinite Game is to continue to play and that requires money. But because there is no winner and there are no losers, the goal isn’t to make the most money this month because someone beat you last month.

Building Happy Neighbors is how I’ll get to continue playing. If I do that well enough, the money will follow.

And because of that the money will grow as I continue to build Happy Neighbors. I get to play the Infinite Game by focusing on serving my audience.

Not seeing how much money I can make from them.

Next Lesson: The Secret >>>>>