The other day, I was having some alone time with my 8-year-old, and he wanted to play a game of checkers. As we got the game out, which was one of those nice wooden ones, I noticed that we didn’t have all of the wood playing pieces.
My son looked at me sheepishly and confessed that he had lost some of them. But he told me not to worry and said he would fix it so we could play. That’s when he dashed back to his room and emerged with enough Lego pieces for us to have our 12 men on the checkerboard.
As we played, my son was very intent on getting one of his wood pieces to my side so he could be kinged. He was so determined that he was willing to sacrifice any of his other men to get that particular piece kinged. And after a few moves, he was successful.
But then something strange happened. My son got fixated on that one piece and kept moving back and forth trying to get double kinged and then tripled kinged. The whole time, I was moving most of my force to the other side of the board.
Before my son knew it, I had nine of my 12 remaining pieces kinged.
Now, they were a hodgepodge of Lego and woods pieces, but most of my team was kinged. My son, on the other hand, had only one king and three remaining pieces. The last battle was a massacre that included me doing a triple jump.
The final result was that I still had my nine kings, and my son had none.
Admittedly, I have nearly three decades of checker playing experience on my boy. But was that know-how the only reason why the outcome was so one-sided? I don’t think it was.
You see, my eight-year-old did something that many people are guilty of when they go into business. He got tunnel vision by focusing on the one piece that had the king power. In essence, he was working to advance only himself. And in doing so, he forgot he had a team to lead.
When you’re a business owner, you are the leader of the company. And you may think it is wise to spend all your efforts empowering yourself, but that strategy would be an error.
There’s an African proverb that says if you want to go fast, go by yourself. But if you want to go far, go with others. And business is a long-term play. So, in order to go far, you have to focus on empowering those around you.
For people with employees, this means giving them access to training, encouraging them to go to conferences and seminars and spending time with them to help develop their skills. Once you do this, you can delegate projects to them, and they will be empowered enough to complete those projects on their own, which will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your team and make your business more profitable.
If you’re a beginner and solopreneur in real estate investing, there are other areas where focusing on only advancing yourself can you get you into trouble.
The biggest one that comes to mind happens at the negotiating table. You can be pushing too hard on what price you want — I mean really tightening the screws on the seller who’s back is against the wall — and you may get the price you want.
Congratulations. But what you don’t know is what you lost in the process.
You see, by not making the deal a win-win, you lost the ability to recruit that seller to be part of your advertising team. They aren’t going go tell all their friends how great you are and give your number out to others. Had you left some slick on the table for them, they would have sung your praises and probably referred you for other deals. At least, that has been our experience.
So, just make sure that you don’t get so busy trying to become king yourself that you lose the game in the end.
My eight-year-old and I talked about our game and how it was important to bring others up with us. I think he learned that lesson, and I’ve already seen him working to help others. And that’s how you win in the game of life.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.