Wk28 (42.2k subs): Gamers Can Win In Life (here’s how)

I'm finally coming out the nerd closet (don't judge)

Wk28 (42.2k subs): Gamers Can Also Win In Life (here’s how)

The Comeback - Week 28 (42,200 Subs):

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I’ve never shared this publicly but I used to be an obsessive gamer.

Days and nights locked in my room grinding for victory in simulated worlds.

Call me a Nerd - you’d be right! 

I was. A massive nerd.

Football Manager, Age of Empires, FIFA and Civilization were my guilty pleasures.

After being ruthlessly conditioned that gaming only had a negative impact on my progression I hid this from everyone until now.


I was ashamed. I felt if people found out I’d be labelled a loser.

And most importantly I was ashamed of myself.

But last weekend I had a moment of realization.

Maybe gaming wasn’t that bad after all.

Actually, come to think of it, it’s massively helped me build businesses in more ways than one.

Giving me competitive advantages you can’t learn in classrooms.

Look, I’ll be the first to admit that gaming alone will not make you a millionaire, build a family and give you true purpose in life.

And before you come banging on my door telling me about the kids who are full-time gamers living in mansions… I’m talking about the 99.9% of people!

BUT and there is a BIG BUT…

The skillsets you pick up along the way from gaming (if channelled correctly) can give you a huge competitive advantage.

I know because they did it for me.

And even if you never got into gaming I can bet my bottom dollar that someone in your close proximity did (probably still is!).

This is my attempt to bridge the gap between the virtual world and the real world.

Sharing the 4 skills I learned from gaming in the hope that you can channel your inner nerd into business or help others do the same!

4 Skillsets I Learned From Gaming (and applied in business)

Gamers get a bad rep.

Lazy losers who sit around all day in their pants with the curtains drawn smoking that whacky backy and ordering pizzas.

At least that’s how society conditioned me to think.

And I was one of them… AWKWARD.

But what about Ben Francis?

A 33-year-old from the UK that built a unicorn company, Gymshark, which is taking over the fitness industry.

Francis recently admitted to happily playing World Of Warcraft for 12 hours a day in his teens.

People say he’s an anomaly but I beg to differ.

Drawing back to my personal experiences here are 4 skills I learned from gaming and how they helped me in the world of business:

Maybe you can relate?

1- Strategy

Example: Age of Empires II

If you don’t know Age of Empires it’s a strategy game based in medieval times where you build up your resources and try to defeat the enemy.

On a side note shout-out to Dan for making these images, they’re epic!

Brings back memories….

But just like in business, resources are limited, so in Age of Empires you have to get strategic.

One thing I used to do was build allies with other players, trade resources, maps and combine armies so that together we had a much stronger chance to defeat the enemy.

In business, even though it took me way too long to realize, this was essentially emulated by building partnerships with other entrepreneurs.

Referring each other business, trading industry insights, and combining our social media audiences so that together we had more reach to make more impact.

2- Recruitment

Example: Football Manager

Football manager is a game whereby you take control of a football (soccer) team and manage them to win trophies by recruiting the right players, training them, building the right tactics and correctly balancing the team's finances.

I used to spend hours searching through the simulated world looking for the next Lionel Messi for a bargain price. After all the game is just a glorified spreadsheet!

But when it came to recruiting talent in business these hours came in pretty handy.

I had the ability to organize huge databases of potential talent, identify who could be a good long-term fit for my team and incentivize them with responsibilities and of course money.

Football manager certainly taught me a thing or two when negotiating contracts!

And yes, I always used to be fully suited and booted when playing. Goes without saying.

3- Competition

Example: FIFA

I’m sure you’ve heard of this one but essentially it’s another football game. The difference is that you manually control the players and ideally put the ball in the back of the net more times than the opposition!

Skipping lectures at University to battle out who would have to buy the first round of drinks through a game of FIFA probably wasn’t the smartest idea…

Although it did breed a competitive spirit within our household and trust me when I tell you, I absolutely HATED losing (I still do!).

Considering we live in a capitalist world, competition is rife. If you aren’t OK with being rejected time and time again you will not survive.

Competing through gaming taught me to use the pain of losing (especially painful when publicly embarrassed and ridiculed by my friends!) to get back up, come back stronger and fight again.

4- Focus

Example: Battlefield

Just like Call Of Duty, Battlefield is a first-person shooter game where you kill or be killed!

Sitting there in a secret hideout in the mountains using my sniper scope to pinpoint enemy targets and then taking them out one by one required immense focus.

Not just for 10 minutes but for hours on end.

And when Bill Gates and Warren Buffet were both asked the most important thing for success they both wrote that exact word down: FOCUS.

Just like writing this Newsletter - I sit down, block out the world, write, edit and then post. It’s certainly not a 2-minute job. And I certainly cannot multitask (I don’t think anyone can).

Many gamers have this obsessive-like focus - they just need to channel it into different areas.

The Big Caveat:

There is however one huge difference between playing games and playing life.

Winning in life takes 100 times longer and you only get one.

The problem with gaming is you’re conditioning your brain for instant gratification and this sets the wrong expectations

If you get into the habit of clicking a button for an instant reward you’re going to struggle when you cold email people for 100 days straight getting next to no responses.

Most likely you’ll give up and go back to playing games.

I know because that’s exactly what happened to me.

So what’s the solution?

Play short-term games with long-term people.

There are millions of people just like you in this world.

Especially entrepreneurs.

As you know business is hard hence why 9/10 of them fail.

But the key is to have some fun along the way.

It’s shockingly simple:

  1. Define your long-term vision

  2. Find other people on a similar path

  3. Set a short-term milestone for your group

  4. Make it a competition and have a prize for the winner

  5. Repeat the process and play again

And if you can’t find anyone just do it with yourself!

Before you know it you’ll just be playing the real game of life and that in itself will be the reward.

Especially if you see your progress and create unforgettable memories with incredible people who accept you for who you truly are.

That’s the key.

The real reason most people resort to gaming is because they are vicariously living out their dreams in a simulated world which is much easier than facing the cold harsh realities of life.

But the skillsets they pick up along the way are still useful.

And if you can recruit a gamer into your company and channel their creative energy in the right ways you could have a killer teammate on your hands.

Lesson of today's Newsletter: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

The first chapters of a story do not define the ending.

And for gamers, their obsessive focus, competitive spirit, and dynamic problem solving ability should be welcomed in a world where we get paid for creative ideas and execution.

That’s all ladies and gents.

I am now firmly out of the nerd closet.

And it feels damn good.

Until next time.

-Nigel Thomas

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