What Playing Video Games Taught Me About Entrepreneurship.

The 5 Things Playing Video Games Taught Me About Entrepreneurship.

I know some may be thinking “What can playing a video game teach me about life and entrepreneurship”?  When I say “What I learned from video games”, I don’t mean games like Grand Theft Auto where you learn to steal cars and kill random hookers.  The games I’m talking about are online role-playing games, particularly Dark Age of Camelot (DAoC) and Elderscrolls Online (ESO).  These are open world games where you interact with thousands of real people, in real time, and develop skills which, if applied, will help you in real life.  Warning, this post will be too nerdy for some.  Reader discretion is strongly advised.

Find a Great Group of People to Support You.

Joining a good guild and connecting with a good group is essential to being successful in an online game.  A few weeks ago I was in a group with three other players as we attempted to complete a dungeon that was supposed to be an average difficulty.  Two hours later we called it quits because there was absolutely no communication besides the occasional swearing since we kept dying.

After waiting a couple hours I joined another group and this time the results were completely different.  We had good communication and finished the dungeon in 30 minutes.  I noticed that they were all part of the same guild so I asked to join.  Now when I play I have a group of people I know I can depend on to help me get through the more challenging levels of the game.

"If you are creating a company or joining a company, one of the most important things you can do is to attract great people. So either join a group that's amazing and that you really respect, or if you are building a company, gather great people."   Elon Musk

Networking is an essential step in becoming a successful entrepreneur. You will have people in your life that will try and downplay your vision and tell you how your plan will never work.  Those people are easy to find because the world is full people either too lazy or too afraid to take that first step and attempt to achieve anything.

However, finding a group of like-minded individuals who are also trying to make their dreams a reality will keep you motivated and push you to succeed.  People who will motivate you, people you can depend on to be there when you need them.  Just like finding a good guild in the game, finding a great support group of can be essential to your success as an entrepreneur.

Find a Great Coach or Mentor.

We often need people to get us through tough times.  While playing online I have come across players, many levels above me who are willing to show me the best places to gain experience.  Not only would they show me where to best gain experience, but they would show me the fastest ways to gather materials and often give me great equipment. One player told me that when I had outgrown the equipment he gave me to not sell it, but pass it along to another lower level player so that they can level up.  In other words, he was telling me to help others succeed as he helped me.

Many successful entrepreneurs will tell you about the mentor they had to guide and encourage them. If you are fortunate enough to find a person who has already achieved a measure of success, and is willing to help you achieve success, accept their guidance. It could save you years of frustration and pain. Once you become successful, you can become a mentor to someone else. Helping others is often a great way to achieve your own dreams.  Be the support that someone else needs in their life.  Motivate, educate, influence and inspire others.

Find People With Different Skill Sets.

One night while playing I came across a group of players who all had ridiculously awesome armor and weapons. I asked one of them where they got it from (thinking there was a quest I could do to get it for myself). He said he had a guy make it for him. Before I could ask who this guy was, he quickly ran off.

I wanted custom weapons made specifically for me, but I didn’t have the skills necessary to make them. I asked my guild-mates if we had anyone willing to make custom weapons and they knew of two people who could. One was a master blacksmith, the other a master enchanter.  I provided the material and they made the weapons I wanted (for a small fee).

"Be a great delegator.  Don't try to do everything yourself.  Rather, try to find people who are better than you all the time.  Whatever you are spending all day doing, try to find someone who is better than you at doing it."

Richard Branson

In life, especially entrepreneurship, you can’t try to do everything yourself.  I am a blogger and a freelance graphic designer. I created my own logo, prep my own graphics, and designed my own website.  However, I knew my writing wasn’t the best so I reached out to a friend who is a professor at a local college.  She offered to proofread my articles and help me to become a better writer.  In exchange, I would assist her with whatever graphic design work she needed for her job.  It was a win-win for both of us.

It’s been said that success isn’t always about what you know, but who you know.  This can mean knowing people in high places, but I take the approach of knowing people with the skills you don’t have but need.  I know several small business entrepreneurs who I can turn to if I need their services. I have a friend who is an accountant, another who is a videographer, several photographers, and as I mentioned before a professor. All friends with different skill sets who I can turn to if the need ever comes up.

Never Stop Learning.

There are some areas in the game where you need to finish a quest by yourself.  Most are pretty straight forward, but once in a while, you get those that make you want to slam your keyboard.  The quest with the crazy puzzles or the over-powered boss that you just can’t seem to figure out. Well, when that happens, it’s time to do a little research. I go to Google, YouTube, or an online wiki, and look for the answers I need instead of sitting there struggling all night.

When I decided I wanted to start blogging I knew I had to do some research. I had many questions which needed to be answered.

How do I find a profitable niche?

What program do I use to create my website?

How much will it all cost?

How should I design it?

How long should my post be?

How can I generate traffic to my blog?

I had so many questions that needed answers.  Fortunately, I had resources at our disposal, and so do you if you are willing to do the research.  Just like finding people who you can depend on to help us or those who have expertise in areas you don’t, you may need to learn a few new skills to become successful. You can’t be too afraid, or too lazy, to acquire new skills.

I read a lot because reading helps me to become a better writer. I read articles online, magazines, books, whatever I can gain knowledge in the niche I decided to be a part of.  While driving, I often listen to podcasts or Audiobooks instead of listening to music.  I am obsessed with gaining knowledge and becoming a better version of myself every day.

Be Consistent. 

Being successful in an online game takes commitment.  You can’t just log on once a month and expect to get anywhere.  Most players spend several hours a week, if not a day, leveling multiple characters.  You will quickly be left behind if you don’t play on a regular basis.

When I joined the guild I am in one of their rules was, “If you are offline for more than two weeks you take the risk of being kicked out”.   They knew the success of the group means having people who show up.  If you have a bunch of people unable to commit and show up, what’s the point?  You can’t help others or yourself if you are never around. They want people who are serious about helping the group progress and if you can’t be that person, they will find someone who will.

“Vision, without execution, is a hallucination”.

Thomas Edison

Consistency is key when attempting to build any business, particularly online.  I know that blogging means I need to create quality content on a regular basis while trying to build an audience via social media.  This means I need to create on a regular basis. I need to post on social media daily, I need to read what others are writing about and network with other people in my niche.  Success won’t occur if I don’t stay consistent.

Are you putting as much time as you can into what you are trying to build? One of my favorite quotes is by Thomas Edison where he said: “Vision, without execution, is a hallucination”. Do you spend more time watching reality TV or hanging out with friends than you do working on your business?  Do you make excuses about not having enough time while making time for the things that will do nothing to make your vision a reality?  If so, then you need to change your mindset when it comes to what really matters.  Is it just a hobby or a passion? We all have the same 24 hours every day. What are you going to do with yours?

Terrell Cotton is a motivational blogger and a full-time single father of two boys who are his heart and soul.  His blog, Terrellcotton.com, is dedicated to helping men become better versions of themselves by building upon authentic manhood, fatherhood, and faith.





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1 Comment

  • Scott

    April 18, 2017

    This is a post I can really relate to! Thanks for sharing. My favorite was connecting with people that have different skill sets. This one translates really well between games and entrepreneurship. Cheers!

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