Zero Sum Games vs Positive Sum Games – There’s Only One That’s WORTHY

Most people are caught up playing zero-sum games. These are games where in order for someone to win, others have to lose. This isn't the sort of game that's worth playing. This is an Industrial Age mindset.

Show Notes

Here are links and resources mentioned in today's video. Enjoy!

  • Nothing here just yet.


See back then, to win meant someone else lost. In order to land an important job meant other candidates were passed over. Buying a big house meant other offers were declined. Luxury goods were a signal to the other monkeys that this person is really good at forging for beetles and coconuts -- good for them!

But these are all zero-sum games. They're status games. They're games where the prize is rare and coveted and fought over by a group of primates. But the internet and loose credit has made these games worthless to win.

Now, anyone with a decent credit score and provable income can win them. And that makes them too easy. So unless they're engaged in for fun and sport, zero-sum games are the worst games to play.

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See, the world is not a static place. It's not a machine with fixed, finite cogs and levers and limits. It's an ever-changing, organic, bountiful garden.

Every day new customers are coming into the market you serve. Every day, more and more people are coming online. Every day, entrepreneurs are creating more and more value for others. Every day, you gain more skill and experience.

Some markets die off while new ones sprout up. Some customers leave while new ones come in. Atrophy, decay, rebirth and growth. That's what evolution's all about -- and we can see it all around us.

Said another way, the world is not a pie divided into nice, neat slices...where, in order to "get yours" you've gotta take it away from someone else. That's not how things work.

Instead, the world is more like a pastry factory that's constantly optimizing itself to churn out more: More solutions, better technologies, improved ways of working.

Want a slice of the pie? There's always an entire batch coming fresh out of the oven! But the trick to getting a slice is that you have to play a positive-sum game first. Positive-sum games are games where in order for you to win, others have to win first.

In other words, in order for you to get what you want, others also have to win and get what they want, too. A close-knit family, a supportive community, and a loyal, engaged audience are all great examples of positive-sum games.

Control over your time and your income, being able to do fulfilling work, and building an audience of people to serve...those are the status symbols of today. Luxury goods? A prestigious appointment at prominent university? A top job at a fortune 500 company? That stuff's all dinosaur thinking.

So play positive sum games, not zero-sum games. A job well done means everyone wins. The world is a rapidly changing place. And it belongs not to those who hope things will "return to normal," but to those who can open their minds, accept what's happening, and move rapidly into the future.

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Geoff Blake, Ten Ton Online

Hey there, I’m Geoff! Business, marketing, and the web can seem like a tangled, confusing mess, right? Well if you wanna get clear, straight info on all this stuff (no gimmicks or hypey nonsense)...then you're definitely in the right spot! Start here (free!)