At the end of July I introduced you to HearthStone. I was on a quest to reach Legend status which is the reserved for the best players in the game. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to hit my goal in July. I came very close, however my game had many flaws. In August I decided to get expert help and had a couple of coaching sessions from professional players. These sessions were helpful in highlighting mistakes that were costing me games.
With that advice and a lot of hard work I finally made it this month.
My final rank was #1530 at the end of the season. Out of the millions of players who play this game I am happy with that outcome. While playing the game was fun, the journey to legend helped highlight several relevant lessons that are applicable in life as well as business. Listed below are the top 10 lessons I took away from the process:
1. Learning to Focus: Recurring email notifications, instant messages and Facebook are very distracting. Each of them pulls us away from important tasks at hand. Learning to focus on a singular task and working to towards completing it are critical to your success. This lesson also applies to our inner desire as entrepreneurs to put our fingers in multiple pies. We need to pick a goal and work our way to ensuring we do whatever we can to complete it.
2. Knowledge of the Meta: Markets are constantly changing. Today messaging may be one of the hottest trends and tomorrow it could be virtual reality. If we are not able to keep up with market changes we are most certain to fall behind. During the last week of the month HearthStone released 132 new cards. This caused people to test new strategies and some existing tactics stopped working. If you were not able to adjust to the change it drastically impacted your ability to climb the ladder.
3. Taking part in the Community: Finding your community and actively taking part in it is critical to your success. If we decide to go it alone we are increasing the chances of making mistakes that could be avoided. My final push to legend this month happened because of the great content and advice provided my the professional HearthStone community. When I look back at my entrepreneurship community it has also been critical aspect of my growth. Seek out your tribe and become an active contributing member. This tip alone could make your career.
4. Playing Slowly & Thinking Through Options: All of us have deeply ingrained habits that determine our actions. It could be the way we respond to a competitive threat or an opportunity. I briefly touched about this in cockroach theory. A default reaction is very different from a calculated response. One of the mistakes I used to make while playing the game was going for the obvious play. This is one dimensional thinking and puts you at a severe disadvantage to forward thinking players. Playing your turns slowly and evaluating all options is necessary to play optimally.
5. Rolling with the Punches: It was the final game before I hit legend. My opponent was on the ropes and I was two turns away from victory. It felt good and then….the internet dropped. I lost the game and had to fight through another 3 long games to get back to where I was. The moment that happened I literally blew a fuse. A friend who was watching me play the match told me to take a break. That was great advice at that moment in time. In life we get dealt punches that seem to come out of no where. Our ability to take them and move forward is critical to our success.
6. Adjusting your Mindset: During the third week of the month I felt tired. I was making progress, yet it felt like a grind. I spoke to a friend who was also working towards legend. He told me that was the worst mindset I could have. If you aren’t having fun then I shouldn’t be playing. Looking back at that advice it seems so apt now. How many times in life do we get stuck in rut and complain about hard things are. This is the moment we need to evaluate our current position and our strategy. Have fun, enjoy the work you do and if something feels like a grind; it may be time to take a step back and evaluate where you are.
7. Coaching & Mentorship: As entrepreneurs we dream about the perfect mentor. The person who has already traveled the path we are on. We do our best to seek out these people. Hoping their wisdom will enable us to avoid mistakes and get to our destination faster. Anyone who doesn’t fit our image of who this person needs to be, gets left by the wayside. In our search for this elusive person, we often forget to pay attention to the people around us. The ones who are wanting to help us the most. Often it is the people who we least expect, to have the greatest impact on our lives.
8. Refining your Strategy: When something is clearly not working there will be signs. Customers may not be coming back, our product could be inferior or we may need to look into our marketing strategy. It is very easy to blame external forces for our bad luck. However if we keep doing the same thing and hoping for a different result, that is foolish thinking. Constantly evaluate your current strategy. Determine the pieces that are working and those that need tweaking. This is only possible when we are focused and are thinking through our options.
9. Painful Practice: In July I was frustrated. I was playing well but not getting the results I wanted. Looking back at my stats I was not playing enough to get to where I wanted to be. Everyone wants to find success. However it is the people who put in the time and energy to hone their skills that get to where they want to. If you want to be the very best you have to put in the hours needed. Every game I played, I learned something new. I still enjoyed the game as a whole, yet there were days when I wanted to give up. Having a clear goal and the support of my friends and mentors helped me pull through this period.
10. Tracking your Stats: How well is your business doing? What statistics are you using to benchmark it’s growth? Are those the best indicators of your progress? These are difficult questions all of us must answer. When I started playing the game it was just for fun. The day I installed a program to track my game play things changed. Mistakes I was making became apparent. I could review close games and see where I could have chosen a different line of play. If we adopt a similar strategy to our lives and business, I am sure we will see a marked improvement as well.
I hope to build upon this list in the coming weeks. In the meanwhile I wish everyone all the best and hope you have a great week ahead!