Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1 - The Big Lie
CHAPTER 2 - The Big Truth
Who Am I?
Why Am I Here?
What’s My Purpose?
CHAPTER 3 - The Fantasy Factory
CHAPTER 4 - Dropping Anchors
CHAPTER 5 - The Physics of Fiction
CHAPTER 6 - The Two Ps
CHAPTER 7 - The Many Faces of Power
Knowledge, Wisdom, and Insight
Setting Things into Motion
CHAPTER 8 - The Myth of Cause and Effect
CHAPTER 9 - Redefining the Nature of Business
CHAPTER 10 - The Sun and Clouds Effect
How You Drain, Collapse, and Rewrite Patterns
CHAPTER 11 - Assembling the Drill-Part 1
Appreciation, Tool 1
How to Express Appreciation instead of Spending Money and Paying Bills
CHAPTER 12 - Assembling the Drill—Part 2
The Process, Tool 2
The Mini-Process, Tool 3
Transformational Vocabulary, Tool 4
CHAPTER 13 - Stranger in a Strange Land
Challenging Experiences to Expect in Phase 2
CHAPTER 14 - When the Going Gets Tough
CHAPTER 15 - Recreating Yourself, Your Team, Your Customers, Your Business, ...
CHAPTER 16 - Red Pill or Blue Pill?
APPENDIX - Additional SupportResources
Expressions of Appreciation
Copyright © 2009 by Robert Scheinfeld. All rights reserved.
Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.
Published simultaneously in Canada.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Busting loose from the business game : mind-blowing strategies for recreating yourself, your team, your customers, your business, and everything in between / Robert Scheinfeld.
ISBN 978-0-470-45308-7 (cloth)
1. Creative ability in business. 2. Success in business. 3. Industrial management. I. Title.
In the pages that follow, Robert Scheinfeld will be referring to business as a “game.” I completely agree with that perspective. I’ve always found it to be extremely empowering—and freeing—to look at business that way, versus from the many more serious perspectives that are available.
I love playing The Business Game. I always have. In fact, I can remember the first time I became aware of my passion for it. I became a real estate agent when I was just 19, and the intense competition with other agents in my office drove me to learn and excel in sales and marketing. I also loved the fact that I could get paid in direct proportion to my own efforts and nobody could tell me what to do. Basically, I learned at a very young age in business that I must live or die by my own sword.
Much as I love playing The Business Game, I must acknowledge that it’s a very difficult game to play well. There are so many moving pieces that must be chosen and aligned; so many forces affecting your bottom line that appear beyond your control; so many sales, marketing, management, and financial strategies that must be developed, refined, and optimized. You know the drill, I’m sure.
I know this from intimate personal experience starting and running four multimillion-dollar businesses myself over the past 22 years, and as the founder of OneCoach, through which I help thousands of small business owners increase their revenues and profits and sustain the growth of their businesses.
Do you love playing The Business Game, too? My guess is you do. Let me ask you these two questions, however:
1. Has your experience of playing The Business Game changed recently?
2. Has your desire (or need) to find a different way of playing reached a fever pitch?
Again, my guess is they have, or you wouldn’t have found your way to this book.
Let’s take a close look at the concept of playing games for a minute. The fascinating thing is that the same game can be played in very different ways.
Take the game of American football as an example. You can play touch football, flag football, arena football, or full-contact football. They’re all the same basic game—football—but they’re played very differently in each variation on the theme, and the actual experience for the player is quite different, too.
Take the game of baseball as another example. You can play T-ball, softball, or hardball. Again, they’re the same basic game, but the rules vary and the actual experience for the player varies widely.
Consider the game of tennis. You can play singles or doubles, and the experience changes in significant ways with each option.
Finally, consider the game of basketball. You can play half-court, full-court, one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three, four-on-four, or five-on-five basketball. They’re the same basic game again, but the rules are very different and the actual experience of playing is very different, too.
None of these games or variations on a theme are better than the others, although we may have our personal preferences for what we enjoy playing or watching. They’re just different options, different possibilities we can choose from.
It’s the same with The Business Game. The same basic game can be played according to very different rules. The same basic game can be played in very different ways. And the differences in the actual experience for the player can be huge. In this book, Robert Scheinfeld invites you to consider playing The Business Game in a radically different way.
The picture Robert paints for you in the pages that follow may surprise, delight, and excite you in what you instantly recognize as extremely positive ways. It may also shock you, disturb you, or seem unbelievable or even crazy to you. Regardless of what your reaction may be (initially and over time), this book will open your eyes to many new possibilities. It will stretch and challenge you in powerful ways and open new doors of opportunity for you.
If you choose to take action on what you discover here and apply Robert’s model over time, you can absolutely experience the following five outcomes:
1. The fun you have playing The Business Game will soar.
2. Your stress level will drop through the floor.
3. You’ll see a major transformation in every member of your team, in the vendors who support your efforts, and in their interactions with each other.
4. The “take it to the bank” results you ultimately produce will expand in dramatic and unexpected ways.
5. Your personal life will be affected and expand, too—relationships, energy level, health and wellness, and (perhaps most importantly) your general experience of joy, peace, and ease in your life.
I know Robert well. Prior to making the discoveries and breakthroughs he describes in this book, I considered him to be one of the brightest, most skilled, and most innovative entrepreneurs I’ve ever known. Beyond that, it has been extraordinary to watch how things have expanded and transformed for him since he busted loose from the traditional way of playing The Business Game and started playing what he calls “The New Business Game.”
As you prepare to turn the page and read this book, I invite you to take a deep breath, buckle your seat belt, and get ready for a wild ride that will change you forever!
—John Assaraf New York Times best-selling author of The Answer www.OneCoach.comwww.JohnAssaraf.com
First Series: To destroy, mercilessly, without any compromises whatsoever, in the mentation and feelings of the reader, the beliefs and views, by centuries rooted in him, about everything in the world.
Second Series: To acquaint the reader with the material required for a new creation and to prove the soundness and good quality of it.
Third Series: To assist the arising, in the mentation and in the feelings of the reader, of a veritable, nonfantastic representation not of that illusory world which he now perceives, but of the world existing in reality.1
—G. I. Gurdjieff, speaking of his intent for his “All and Everything” book series
When I was in my early thirties, living in a city whose name shall remain anonymous, I bought a house from a bank that had foreclosed on the owner. That owner had been a famous, high-flying, big-money-earning quarterback for the professional football team in that city. He’d gone bankrupt. When I had moved into the house and gotten to know the neighbors, they told me stories about how the quarterback had been so physically beaten up by the game of football and in so much pain that on some mornings he couldn’t walk down the stairs from his second-floor bedroom and had to stay in bed all day.
The quarterback played football—a game he loved—as a child, in high school, in college, then as a professional. He had lots of fun, won championships, received many honors, and earned a lot of money. But there was a huge price to pay later in his life in the form of physical pain and limitation. Perhaps he anticipated that consequence and it came as no surprise, but the odds are that as he played all those years he didn’t consciously think about the price he might one day pay. He was just focused on playing!
If you’re like me, you love playing The Business Game, whether you own your own business or you’re an employee. It challenges, excites, and exhilarates you at a very deep level. Playing The Business Game may even be one of the things you enjoy most in life. But if you’re like I used to be, and like the quarterback I just described, a big price will always be paid—a price you can see and feel—if you play the way you were taught. I call this “The Visible Price.”
Maybe you’re paying The Visible Price right now and you’re already aware of it. Maybe you’ve been paying it for many years, also aware of it. Maybe you’ll pay The Visible Price later on in a way that will come as a surprise to you. The Visible Price may be an emotional one, in the form of negative emotions like burnout, stress, fear, anger, or frustration. The Visible Price may be a physical one, in the form of exhaustion, pain in your body, illness, or disease. The Visible Price may be paid in the form of limited free time, troubled relationships, or constantly repeating up-and-down or success/failure patterns in your business affairs (which was a biggie for me before I busted loose).
The possibilities for when, where, and how you’ll pay your Visible Price are unlimited, but The Visible Price will be paid and will continue to be paid, in some way, shape, or form, if you continue playing The Business Game in the way you were taught and the way you’ve been playing until now (which I call “The Big Lie” and discuss in Chapter 1).
What I just shared comes as no surprise to you, I’m sure. Numerous experts, authors, speakers, consultants, and coaches have discussed the most common prices being paid for playing The Business Game, the need for balance, reducing stress, and playing The Business Game differently. Many formulas, techniques, and strategies have been offered to remedy the situation, but few, if any, work in an ultimate sense—for reasons you’ll soon see.
I must also share that there’s a price to be paid for playing The Business Game the old way that you can’t see or feel. I call it “The Invisible Price,” and the impact of paying The Invisible Price in your life, as I’ll explain in the pages that follow, is even larger than that of the Visible Price you can see and feel and may already be experiencing, yet it’s rarely discussed.
You originally began playing The Business Game for specific reasons. You started with very specific goals. I divide those goals into two types that I’ll discuss in greater detail in the pages that follow:
1. True Goals: These are the goals, generally beneath your conscious awareness and hidden from view, that if achieved would absolutely provide consistent and deep, deep, deep levels of satisfaction, fulfillment, joy, and pleasure for you. I refer to True Goals as what you really want. True Goals do not change as you and your circumstances change. They’re a constant because they relate to who you really are, not who you think you are.
2. Hypnotic Goals: These are the goals, always conscious, that are very seductive and get a lot of your attention. You work very hard to achieve them, thinking that if you did, your life would change and improve in major ways. Common examples of Hypnotic Goals are increases in sales, profits, or personal income, and new homes or cars. I refer to Hypnotic Goals as what you think you want. Hypnotic Goals often change as you and your circumstances change. True Goals occasionally find their way into your conscious awareness and seem like Hypnotic Goals, but from my experience it’s rare for this to happen.
No matter what your personal story is, I can virtually guarantee that three things are True for you:
1. You haven’t achieved many of your Hypnotic Goals yet, despite investing lots of time, money, and energy in pursuit of them.
2. When you have achieved Hypnotic Goals, some if not all of them didn’t provide the ultimate satisfaction, joy, and pleasure you thought they would—or those feelings didn’t last long if you did experience them.
3. You haven’t achieved many (if any) of your True Goals.
In this Introduction and in Chapter 1 that follows, I’m intentionally going to be aggressive and heavy-handed in the way I paint a picture of the dark side of playing The Business Game. As I paint that picture, I’m aware that it might stimulate feelings of discomfort or resistance within you. I’m aware that you might say something like this to yourself in response: “Sure, The Business Game is tough, but my story doesn’t match your picture. My picture isn’t that bleak or depressing!” If I do trigger thoughts or feelings like that within you (and I may not), I ask your indulgence a while longer because I’ll document and validate all my claims in the pages that follow.
This book is not designed to help you play the old Business Game better, faster, or more efficiently.
It’s not designed to support you in proactively pursuing the Hypnotic Goals of growing your business, income, and wealth, living and working in more luxurious surroundings, boosting your ego or reputation, and so on.
I’m not going to offer you any advice in this book on sales, marketing, management, leadership, finance, or any of the subsets within those Business Game topics.
As the title suggests, this book is designed to support you in busting loose from the old Business Game—completely—and beginning to play an entirely new game that will amaze and delight you.
At this point, you might be wondering, “What does it mean to ‘bust loose’ from The Business Game?” I’ll be discussing the answer to that question in great detail later in the book. For now, however, let me sketch out the following key points—some or all of which may be extremely difficult for you to accept as being possible at this point on our journey together. Busting loose from The Business Game means:
• Living in an inner space that’s joyful, exciting, peaceful, and serene—no matter what’s going on around you, what happens in your business or elsewhere in the world, or what anyone else says or does.
• Playing The Business Game for the sheer pleasure of playing, without any specific, conscious agenda, goals, or attachment to producing specific results—yet creating extraordinary results anyway, financial and otherwise.
• Having a strong, positive impact on your customers and the world at large through the distribution of your products and services—but again, without any effort, specific intent, goal, or agenda to do so.
• Doing only what you love to do, what really floats your boat—all day, every day—as part of playing The Business Game, and leaving everything else up to someone else (or eliminating the need for it entirely).
• Working only when you want to, and having more free time and freedom than you can possibly imagine right now, while still effectively playing your chosen role in your business—no matter how large or small the business may be.
• Playing The Business Game while being completely unaffected by and unconcerned about the economy, the stock market, the tax authority, gas prices, competitors, employee turnover, industry trends, technological innovations, lawsuits, or other factors that now make you feel vulnerable.
• Having support teams (employees, partners, board members, vendors, stockholders, investors, etc.) effortlessly and joyously unite, work together, motivate themselves, and hold themselves accountable for high levels of performance.
• Having amazing things come to you in joyful, fun, surprising, and effortless ways, instead of you having to go get them, work hard, or push, push, push to make things happen.
• And so much more, all of which I’ll be sharing with you in the pages that follow.
An amazing journey led to me busting loose from The Business Game. That journey began with a conversation I had with my grandfather, Aaron Scheinfeld (“Gramps,” as I called him) when I was a kid. Gramps was amazingly talented, a Renaissance man. Among his many extraordinary skills and accomplishments, two stand out most in my mind:
1. He turned a simple idea into one of the world’s largest and most successful international businesses—Manpower, Inc.—now a Fortune 150 company and the world’s largest temporary help service with sales in excess of $18 billion. That global success made possible levels of financial abundance and freedom most people (even extremely successful people) would drool over. I’ll be telling you more about him in the pages that follow.
2. He was the happiest person I’ve ever known. I can still see and feel his joyfulness in my mind, especially when he played the piano or ukulele and sang or told silly stories.
When I was 12 years old, in response to my relentless nagging about the secret of his success, Gramps started chatting with me about a very unusual philosophy, a mind-set and set of strategies related to what he called “power in the invisible world” that he claimed were the true source of all his business success, happiness, and lifestyle. I discussed some of what he shared with me (and what I discovered in the search that followed) in my previous books, The 11th Element (John Wiley & Sons, 2003) and Busting Loose from The Money Game (John Wiley & Sons, 2006).
Gramps died shortly after our chats began, before he could complete mentoring me. What he shared ultimately amounted to a gigantic tease that created within me an obsession to find and map out the invisible power sources he told me about. I spent 34 years following that obsession, what I now call “The Treasure Hunt of the Century.” As I searched for the treasure, finally found it, and busted loose from The Business Game myself, I metaphorically stumbled into quicksand, had flat tires, ran out of gas, saw my radiator overheat, drove down numerous dead ends, careened off cliffs, and got lost, confused, and extremely frustrated by the many twists and turns in the road.
Along the way, I had tremendous success playing the old Business Game, starting and building extremely profitable multimillion-dollar businesses on and off the Internet, for myself and others. One of my greatest achievements playing the old Business Game was building and operating a marketing machine that propelled Blue Ocean Software from $1 million to $44 million in sales in less than four years, resulting in the company being named three times to Inc. magazine’s “Inc. 500” list. That tremendous growth, accompanied by outrageous profitability during the Internet boom and the “tech wreck” bust, led to Blue Ocean being acquired by software giant Intuit for $177 million in cash.
Prior to busting loose from The Business Game, I continually repeated an up-down, boom-bust cycle that caused me to feel a great deal of frustration and anger. When I crashed and burned the first few times, the numbers were smaller and I was single. Losing everything was excruciatingly painful, but I’ve always had a high threshold for pain. As I got older and the cycle continued, the numbers grew larger.
Eventually, the up-down cycle moved into millions of dollars, then multiple millions of dollars, and at that point, I had a wife and two kids. We’d created a home and lifestyle we all loved and thrived on. If I crashed and burned again under those circumstances, I knew the pain would be unbearable for me because I’d have to watch my family lose everything, too. Despite my historical high threshold for pain, I knew I couldn’t survive that experience and I became desperate to find a way to avoid it.
By the way, as a brief aside, you may find it interesting to know that my father (Aaron’s son) traveled a similar path. Despite tremendous early success with Manpower, he experienced many ups and downs in business and in life, including two volatile marriages that ended in divorce, and had so much repressed frustration that he struggled with cluster headaches, which are even worse than migraines. My bedroom shared a wall with his, and I was haunted for years by how it sounded—and felt—to hear him scream in pain when he got one of those headaches.
Several times, when I was in an up cycle, I thought I’d finally uncovered the last missing puzzle pieces that would enable me to tap the invisible sources of power Gramps told me about. At those times, I honestly thought I was seeing a clear and complete big picture about how to bust loose from The Business Game, but then the down cycle would come again and I’d have to go back to the drawing board, as the old saying goes.
As you’ll discover in the pages that follow, and as you may already know from your own journey and studies, I’ve always had a knowing that we each have an expanded aspect of our Consciousness that partners with us to create our day-to-day life and experiences. I’ll be discussing that part of you in great detail in the pages that follow. That expanded aspect is generally called “Higher Self” in the literature I’m familiar with, but there are numerous other labels. I now refer to it as “Expanded Self” or “The Real You,” as you’ll soon see.
When it felt like I might crash and burn again with my wife and family at the millions-of-dollars level, I got angrier than I’d ever been in my life—at my Expanded Self. “Look,” I said to him, my eyes tilted up toward the sky, “I’ve been searching since I was a kid. I’ve worked my ass off to do the work you asked me to do in assembling the puzzle pieces you gave me. I’ve paid my dues. Obviously, there’s something I’m still missing here. So, either you show it to me—now—or get me the hell out of here, because I won’t run this up-down, up-down cycle anymore.”
Now, before I continue, I must share that getting angry at expanded aspects of your Consciousness isn’t a magic formula guaranteed to get results. I know that because I’d gotten angry plenty of times before along my journey and nothing moved as a result. But this time, there was tremendous movement. I began exploring again, absolutely committed to finding the missing pieces to the puzzle. And lo and behold, eight months later, I found them. Despite all those challenges and the many times I felt like giving up, I persevered and ultimately busted loose from The Business Game myself. I’ll be giving you a lot of detail on what that meant and how that looked for me, and others, in later chapters (and in the special downloadable bonus chapters described in Chapter 16). Because I felt it to be my mission in life and because of my passion for playing what I call “The Teaching Game,” I used my personal experiences to create a map and tool kit others could use to bust loose from The Business Game themselves. In the pages of this book, I’ll be sharing them with you.
I want to make two things crystal clear at this point:
1. I used the very same mind-set, map, tool kit, and navigation support you’ll discover in this book to bust loose from The Business Game myself—over time. There was nothing else.
2. There’s nothing special or unique about me. Anyone who uses the mind-set, map, tool kit, and navigation support offered in this book can bust loose from The Business Game.
I have a few more important thoughts to share, and then we’ll officially begin our journey together. First, to support you in busting loose from The Business Game and beginning to play an entirely New Business Game, I have to support you in taking a quantum leap from where you are now and where you have been. I have to fry your circuits and dynamite the lies and illusions you’ve thought to be True most or all of your life, then support you in rebuilding everything in new ways. Therefore, as you read the pages that follow, especially parts of the first eight chapters, you may feel like you’ve entered The Twilight Zone or a science fiction movie.
Instead of discussing topics like sales, marketing, management, leadership, finance, team building, motivation, and productivity, I’m going to be discussing topics like Truth, Consciousness, power, abundance, quantum physics, lies, and illusions. If you want to bust loose from the old Business Game, that’s where you must go. If you want to bust loose from the old Business Game, you must understand the True Source of everything that ultimately happens in your business (and your personal life, for that matter).
The popular saying “thinking outside the box” refers to thinking in creative and innovative ways. I’m fond of calling what you’re about to discover “dynamiting the box.” Why? Because it’s that different from what is typically taught about business success—even the most creative and innovative of teachings. As a result, as you read, depending on your familiarity with such concepts, you may have thoughts like these:
• “This guy is nuts!”
• “What does this have to do with business?”
• “He can’t be serious!”
• “This isn’t what I expected when I bought this book!”
• “No way!”
Or my personal favorite:
You may chuckle, but please take these words seriously because in a few minutes (if you continue reading right now), thoughts like that may come up for you, and if they do, I don’t want them to distract you or delay your progress.
You may feel at times overwhelmed, disoriented, skeptical, angry, or uncomfortable. That’s to be expected. You can’t bust loose from The Business Game without a radical shift in your perceptions about yourself, other people, the world, and the beliefs, ideas, and strategies you relied on previously (The Big Lie)—and radical shifts can be extremely uncomfortable!
However, if you’re like most people I speak with about this work, no matter how much resistance you may feel from one part of yourself, another part will be whispering to you, “That’s True . . . and somehow I’ve always known it.” No matter how far out there what I’ll be sharing may seem at first (or it may not, depending on your background), the journey we’re going to take together and the ultimate destination you’ll reach after taking it are very real—and you can “get there from here.”
If you follow the action steps I give you at the end of the book and you still want or need proof, your own experiences will provide all the proof you want of the Truthfulness and validity of what I share. This is a key point I’ll be discussing in great detail in later chapters.
Beyond this Introduction, the book has six primary sections with critical support material in between:
1. The Big Lie: A summary of what you were taught to be true about The Business Game—lies about rules, regulations, and how playing the game is supposed to work; lies about sales, marketing, management, leadership, and finance; lies about what it takes to succeed, and so on.
2. The Big Truth: To begin bursting the bubble of The Big Lie and open a gateway you can leap through to ultimately bust loose, there are several philosophical concepts you must have in your conscious awareness. I call those concepts “The Big Truth.”
3. Science: Recent breakthroughs in science that document and validate even the wildest of The Big Truth philosophical concepts I share with you.
4. Practical tools: Four simple, easy-to-use tools you’ll apply on a daily basis to bust yourself loose once you leap through the gateway I open for you.
5. Navigation support: Once you leap through the gateway, you’ll find yourself in a world that feels alien to you. I therefore provide maps and other forms of support to help you get comfortable and navigate effectively in that new world.
6. The invitation: This is an invitation for you at the end of the book to apply what you discover here, prove its validity and power to yourself, and open up to a new and radically different way of life and playing The New Business Game.
As you’ll soon see, I don’t discuss the practical tools until Chapter 11. Why did I design the book that way? My goal is to support you in busting loose from The Business Game. The tools are what get you there. However, for the action steps within each of the tools to make sense to you, and for you to be truly empowered to use them with maximum effectiveness, a strong foundation must first be laid. I lay that foundation in Chapters 1 to 10.
You may feel impatient for me to get to the meat of the practical aspects of the book from time to time. If that happens, please remind yourself we’re ultimately headed for extremely practical application in your life and business. I promise you that when we get there, you’ll understand why I structured the book this way, and you’ll be extremely appreciative of the foundation I laid for you in advance.
One more key point before we move on: When reading books, some people start at the beginning and read to the end, sequentially. Others skip ahead, jump around, skim parts, dip down, and read other parts. My intent is to support you in busting loose from The Business Game. To do that, I must give you specific puzzle pieces in a specific order and support you in assembling them in a specific way. If you follow my lead, a magnificent big picture will pop into view and you will bust loose. If you don’t follow my lead, you may be left with a bunch of funny-looking pieces of cardboard sitting on a table—and you might short-circuit your ability to bust loose.
In short, please be patient, read the chapters sequentially at the pace you feel inspired to move, trust me, and follow my lead. I know how to support you in busting loose from The Business Game. I can help you do it, but only if you follow the precise map I’m in a unique position to share with you.
You must also understand from the start that I can’t actually bust you loose through the pages of this book alone. I can only show you the way, open the gateway into a new world, help you jump through that gateway, and show you what to do in the new world you find on the other side.
To actually bust loose, there’s work you must do. I’ll show you exactly what to do, when, and how. I’ll offer you tremendous support for your journey, but it is a journey and it will take time to reach the ultimate destination. It will also require tremendous commitment, patience, persistence, and discipline on your part to arrive there. But, man oh man, is it ever worth it, no matter how long it takes or how hard the work seems!
If you make the commitment and do the work, the rewards you’ll receive are beyond anything you can possibly imagine right now. I can say that without the slightest doubt.
Before we continue, I want to share a few style and logistical details about the way I’m writing this book. First, everything I share in this book applies whether you own your own business or are an employee, although some of the dynamics and stories vary. To keep the writing simple, I will be using the term your business to refer to both situations.
Second, as you’ll see, there is a lot of talk in the book about Truth and lies or illusions masquerading as Truth. To distinguish Truth from lies and illusions, I’ve chosen to capitalize certain words and phrases you may not be used to seeing capitalized. In addition, I will capitalize certain other phrases, like The Human Game or The Business Game or The New Business Game or Consciousness to highlight new names or labels I’ve created to describe aspects of The Truth as I see it. You’ll get used to this, but I just wanted to make it clear from the beginning.
Third, throughout the book, I refer to the game of football. I want you to know in advance that each time I do, I’m referring to the game of American football, not soccer.
As I mentioned, this book goes beyond just “thinking outside the box” to support you in completely “dynamiting the box.” Toward that goal, I’ve just lit the fuse and it’s starting to burn. To begin your extraordinary journey and experience the “explosion” that busts you loose, simply turn the page to begin Chapter 1.
Note to readers who have already experienced the Busting Loose from The Money Game book, a live Phase 2 event, a Phase 2 Home Transformational System, or another Phase 2 work: This book had to be written as a stand-alone creation. Therefore, in various sections, you’ll see material that will be a review for you. It will be a very supportive and expansive review, with many delightful surprises. Then, in other sections, you’ll find many new forms of support and inspiration that I’m certain you’ll appreciate greatly.
The Big Lie
I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.2
—Pietro Aretino, Italian Author, Playwright, Poet, and Satirist
Right now, billions of people throughout the world are playing The Business Game and doing their best to win. Some play as employees, some as owners, and others at various levels in between. Every month, thousands of newbie entrepreneurs start their own small businesses—on and off the Internet—with dreams of success, abundance, and freedom flowing from their efforts. The odds are that you’re one of those people.
As the players begin playing The Business Game, they’re taught the official rules and regulations and do their best to follow them (more about this in a minute). They’re then guided to huge storehouses of advice, inside and outside of colleges and universities, within what I call “The Five Power Centers of Business”—sales, marketing, management, leadership, and finance—designed to help them succeed. Armed with the rules, regulations, and an always-expanding supply of theories, tools, techniques, and strategies, the players set off like warriors on the road to success and victory. The odds are that this describes you, too, either now or years ago when you first started playing The Business Game.
Yet despite the best of intentions, following the best of the best advice and investing tremendous amounts of time, energy, and money, every single player will ultimately fail to win The Business Game. Regardless of whether you’re aware of it consciously, whether you want to admit it, or whether you’ve reached that place in playing The Business Game yet, this applies to you, too—as you’ll soon see.
What do I mean by “fail to win The Business Game”? Here’s a quick summary of the seven most common failure scenarios:
1. As owners, they fail in the traditional business sense, meaning closing their doors and going out of business.
2. As owners, they keep their doors open, but despite huge investments of time, energy, and effort, they experience tremendous struggle and stress and are barely able to squeeze out a decent living from the business, thus experiencing severe limits and restrictions.
3. As owners, they succeed in the traditional business sense, in a small, big, or huge way, meaning creating a profitable business, making a good living, building wealth, and having a comfortable or even opulent lifestyle, but paying a huge Visible Price for their success in the form of unhappiness, stress, anxiety, pain, disillusionment, health issues, relationship issues, lack of free time, and so on.
4. As employees, they’re limited, restricted, and frustrated by job conditions controlled by others and never feel properly rewarded for their efforts or contributions to the company.
5. As employees, they give generously of their time, energy, and effort, perhaps over years or decades, only to be fired or demoted when new management steps in, downsized during tough times, passed over for promotions by people they feel are less qualified, and so on.
6. Both owners and employees may be compelled by internal or external forces to invest huge amounts of time doing things they don’t like to do, tasks that aren’t fun for them, activities that may even be painful, and so on.
7. As owners and employees, they’ll work their butts off and create one degree of success or another, only to find it wiped out or compromised by fluctuations in the economy or stock market, shifts in industry trends, new technological innovations, a bold new assault from a competitor, and so on.
On and on it goes, with variations on the same basic themes of “It’ll be different for me” or “It’ll be different this time” being the familiar battle cry as such patterns repeat themselves endlessly through time. (I have tons of intimate experience with this myself).
Finally, as we’ll be discussing in the chapters that follow, even if a player of The Business Game escapes one or more of the scenarios just listed, he or she will still pay a huge Invisible Price for playing it the old way.
I’m fond of using the metaphor of dog racing to describe the dynamics involved in playing The Business Game the old way. In each race, the dogs try as hard as they can to catch a mechanical rabbit, but they never catch it. It’s always just out of reach. Why don’t the dogs ever catch the rabbit at the track? Because the sport was designed, intentionally, so the dogs would forever be motivated to chase the rabbit but never actually catch it.
To continue the metaphor, the dogs may train hard, have the best diets in the world, get stronger and stronger, become faster and faster, win many races, earn lots of money for their owners (and for the people who place bets), live in fancier kennels, and wear fancier outfits on the track, but the bottom line is the dogs are still on the track and they’re still racing to catch rabbits they’ll never catch.
While it may shock and disturb you, and you may find it hard to accept—at first—the same thing is true for players of The Business Game. As we grow up, we’re taught the rules and regulations for playing The Business Game. We’re told we can win The Business Game. We’re told about the many rabbits we can catch if we win. So, we get on the track and start chasing our rabbits, metaphorically, and once we do that, just like the dogs, we end up stuck on the track, going around and around in endless circles, running, running, running, but never catching our rabbits—no matter how fast, strong, rich, skilled, or powerful we get.
We get stuck in that endless chasing-but-not-catching-the-rabbit loop because The Business Game was designed with that specific outcome in mind—for reasons I’ll be showing you in the pages that follow. That’s a bold claim, I know, but it’s a claim I’m prepared to fully document and validate.
Now I’d like to go into more detail about the rules and regulations you were given for playing The Business Game and the beliefs that naturally flowed out from them into your conscious awareness. I call that entire package “The Big Lie.”
First, let’s chat about games. If you’re like most of the people I speak with, you may not currently look at business as a game. When I speak with people and ask them about it, many say something like this to me: “Business is definitely not a game. It’s a serious endeavor, and the stakes are very high.”
The first step in The Busting Loose Process is to really understand that everything within the business dynamic—sales, marketing, leadership, management, information technology (IT), human resources, expenses, invoices, accounts receivable, accounts payable, profits, competition, the economy, the stock market, and so on—is part of an amazing, elaborate, gigantic, unique, and complex game that was created with specific goals in mind. Some of The Truth of this you already get, but additional layers and insights will be added in the next chapter.
If you take a close look, most games have rules, regulations, and a clear structure. Everyone who chooses to play a game agrees to follow the rules and regulations and observe that game’s structure. This is required to make the game work.
For example, American football is played with a leather ball that’s shaped, sized, and constructed to meet rigid specifications. The playing field is 100 yards long. You play four quarters lasting 15 minutes each. A touchdown is worth six points, kicking the ball through the goalposts after a touchdown is worth one point, a field goal is worth three points, and a safety is worth two points. A first down is 10 yards. You may only have a certain number of players on the field at any given time, and they must each play a specific position. There are rules about what players can and cannot do on the field, and if those rules are broken, the offending team is penalized. The team with the most points at the end of the four quarters (or overtime if the score is tied at the end of regulation time) wins the game.
Baseball is another example. It is played on a field that is a certain shape and size that’s called a diamond. Only nine players per team are allowed on the diamond during play, and, like football, each player has a specific position. The game is played with bats, balls, and gloves that meet precise specifications. There are nine innings during which each team is allowed three outs. Batters get four balls or three strikes. The pitcher stands on an elevated mound that is a specific distance from home plate where the batter stands. The bases are specific distances from each other. When a player touches home plate after touching each of the other bases, he scores a run worth one point. The team with the most runs at the end of nine innings (or extra innings if the teams are tied) wins the game.
Golf is our final example. The golfer plays on a course. There are a certain number of holes, greens, and fairways on the course, along with (typically) roughs, sand traps, and water hazards. The player uses clubs with L-shaped metal ends to hit precisely constructed balls into small holes. There are specific rules as to what players can and cannot do while playing, and if the rules are broken, the player is penalized. The player with the lowest number of strokes at the end of the round wins.
If you take a close and objective look at football, baseball, and golf, you see that the rules, regulations, and structures appear completely arbitrary and don’t make much sense. Consider this:
• Football. Throw a piece of leather filled with air from one person to another or run while holding a piece of leather filled with air as you try to cross a white line and score points. Or try to kick the piece of leather filled with air through two metal posts to score points.
• Baseball. Use a wooden stick to try to hit a round piece of leather-wrapped rubber that’s coming at you at high speed. Then, if you hit it and no other player catches it with a big piece of leather wrapped around his or her hand, you run around trying to touch three square pieces of cloth placed on the ground before touching a final piece of rubber to earn a run.
• Golf. Try to hit a small spherical piece of plastic-wrapped rubber with an L-shaped piece of metal to get the spherical piece into a tiny, shallow hole hundreds of yards away with the fewest possible hits or strokes.
You see what appears to be the same sort of arbitrariness if you look at the rules, regulations, and structures of other popular games—bridge, Monopoly, pool, chess, checkers, blackjack, and so on.
You could easily ask yourself, “How did anyone ever think up such weird games with such odd rules, regulations, and structures?” In fact, if aliens visiting from another planet were to watch our games purely objectively, without any education about them, they might think we were all crazy for playing them! Although the rules, regulations, and structures appear arbitrary on initial examination, hidden from view are the intelligence, plan, and intent used to create them—and the joy that comes from the playing.
Players rarely question the origins of the games they play, or the arbitrary nature of the rules, regulations, and structures. They begin playing games that were invented long ago, and do exactly what they’re told by the powers that be.
The same is true of The Business Game. When examined closely and objectively, the rules, regulations, and structure of The Business Game appear arbitrary and don’t make much sense either, as you’ll soon see. However, in later chapters in this book, you’ll see there’s an intelligence, plan, and intent behind the design of The Business Game, too, and as I said, when you find out what it is, it’ll rock your world. It will also open the door to busting loose from The Business Game.
As we pass a certain age growing up, we become players in a Business Game that was set into motion long ago. Like athletes and other game players, we never question what we’re taught about playing The Business Game. We just accept the rules, regulations, and structure we’re taught and play as if it were all etched in stone and nonnegotiable.
Here are five of the primary rules we’ve been taught are real and etched in stone for playing The Business Game. There are actually dozens of other rules, but the following are the ones we’re most familiar with and the ones that do the most damage, as you’ll soon see:
1. You have a limited supply of money to play with (capital).
2. You have income (money flowing in).
3. You have expenses (money flowing out).
4. Your income must exceed your expenses (resulting in profits) or you lose the game.
5. You must maximize, grow, and sustain profits to win.
These rules seem obvious, don’t they? There’s not much to challenge or disagree with, right?
Wrong, as you’ll soon see!