Why you should channel your inner gamer when starting up and growing a business

Having the guts to set out on your own and growing a business from the ground up is no mean feat. Fledgling entrepreneurs go into business knowing that many start-ups fail to reach the end of their first year, such are the risks involved in establishing a new company. Seven years ago, Minneapolis-based gaming CEO Dmitri Williams insisted that for start-ups to succeed, entrepreneurs needed to think more like gamers. Let's take a look at what that actually means.

Businesses that are as diverse as gaming communities are more likely to win

In certain quarters, gaming may be viewed as unproductive and a barrier to encouraging individuals to get out there and run their own business, but Williams believes the gamer mindset is one that should be adopted by agile start-ups to stand out from the crowd. Williams believes gamers are one demographic that always embrace diversity. They accept that each character or player has their own strengths and weaknesses and can complement each other as part of a team, faction or community.

Williams said that if “everyone’s a wizard” in a start-up business it is more likely to “lose”. Entrepreneurs should therefore focus their early-stage recruitment on building a diverse team from differing backgrounds, which can yield more rounded outcomes and efficient processes. This approach is aligned with one of our five business maxims for the 2021 year – collaboration is king.

Gamers are adept at problem-solving – even in highly intense situations

In 2017, a group of German researchers discovered that gaming enabled individuals to learn and adapt to situations quicker than others. A team from the Ruhr-Universitat Bochum conducted a study involving 34 volunteers, half of which gamed for at least 15 hours a week. The research found that the regular gamers were more adept at analysing situations fast, gathering new knowledge and moving forward, even in highly pressured scenarios.

When we talk about gaming per se, we don’t just mean video gaming either. Card and table games, most commonly found in casinos, are also said to hone the brain for problem-solving in the world of commerce. For example, roulette is one of the most popular games in a bricks-and-mortar casino and there are traits from this generations-old game that can be adopted when growing your start-up.

Follow the lead of table gamers that learn how to cut through the data “noise”

As casino games go, roulette is a simple one to understand since the rules are straightforward. The roulette wheel is usually numbered from 0 to 36 – plus a green zero – you can place calculated bets on where the ball will land when the wheel stops spinning. Most online and land-based roulette tables will display previous results on the wheel. This is where fledgling entrepreneurs can take a leaf out of a roulette player’s book because the previous results are something of a red herring for players. Think of it as “noise” that you can do without. You cannot predict future results on the wheel and past results don’t influence the outcome of the next spin. You should follow your path of entrepreneurship in the same vein, not letting past mistakes or failures get in the way of launching your next exciting idea.

Gamers of all types – roulette included – are typically individuals that are prepared to take risks. Furthermore, gamers know that they will have to accept failure on occasion. Entrepreneurs should embrace this mindset too. In a business culture where risk-taking is embraced and failure is acknowledge or even anticipated, it creates an inquisitive and innovative working environment, encouraging employees to push the boundaries of what is possible. Successful entrepreneurs empower their staff to challenge the status quo and find new – and better – ways of doing things. Without this, small businesses would not embark on research and development (R&D) that improves productivity and efficiency in the long run.

Work, like gaming, should be fun and motivating

One final key principle of gaming that fledgling entrepreneurs should abide by is to make life fun for themselves and their employees. Gamers play games for the enjoyment and the fun challenge. Employers should be able to look upon their work as an equally fun opportunity to develop and grow as individuals. In turn, this mindset helps to grow the overall business too. Equally, gamers are all too easily turned-off by games that are either too hard or too easy. Entrepreneurs should be mindful of this in their employees too, helping their staff to find their unique “sweet spot” to keep them motivated day in, day out.

PHOTOS: Piqsel