There are 4 types of game you can play in business, and you can only play one at any given time.

Here they are:

The exit game

Here’s where you build a business you can sell. You set it up for scale, you create it to run without you. You nerd out on the systems and processes that will enable you to exit the arena and hand over the keys.

This might take months, it might take years, but that’s the goal. Everything is geared towards going big and going home.

The artist game

Here’s where your company exists so you can do your art. You’re a creator who loves the craft, a writer, producer, editor, or something where your artistic flair is integral to the brand. Everything else in your business exists to remove friction so you can create.

You don’t care for the admin, the processes or the day-to-day commercial endeavours that most business owners do.

The lifestyle game

Your business operates as a cash cow that funds your lifestyle. As long as it hits a certain level of revenue, you’ll be happy. You’re prepared to do a certain amount of work as long as this revenue arrives in a relatively straightforward way.

You don’t want to spend more time than needed training a team or banging the drum, you just want an easy way of making money so you can spend time on other things.

The performance game

Your business is your vehicle for achieving your potential as an entrepreneur. You believe in its future and you’re absolutely all in. You live and breathe your business.

You don’t know if you’ll sell it, you don’t care about your lifestyle anywhere near as much as building something incredible, and you’re motivated to continue this mission indefinitely.

Our motivations for running a business differ wildly

Most advice is irrelevant because most people advise based on the game they are playing, without finding out yours. They assume you have the same requirements; they assume you want what they want. They assume you’re optimising for the same things.

If you’re going to get coached, mentored or guided, make sure they know your game. Tell them what you want and get advice with that in mind.

Each game requires a different strategy, so choose one and stick to it. Don’t straddle strategies. Don’t copy someone else’s game.

Decide for yourself and make it happen.