I have been accused of being stubborn, sometimes very stubborn. In many ways, it is deserved. For sure if I were on the outside looking at me, I would be willing to bet that my attitudes towards certain aspects of life or the world would probably never change, but they have, at least in one direction, which amazes me.
For the past three weeks, I have been playing this game on my iPad called Trade Nations. In the game, you build a village. You start by building houses, and then people move into the houses. You can put the people to work in one of several jobs, such as farming or mining. As these people work, they produce resources. You can sell these resources or use them to build other things, such as shops. As the game continues, you build more houses, get more people, have more workers, produce more resources, and build more things. The fun thing for me is to plan out my village so I get people doing the right balance of things so I earn the most money or get the most things and continue to advance my village. The game reminds me of life itself and how we must balance time and resources.
Well, I am writing about this today to illustrate another example of something I enjoy doing for fun. The challenge of balancing all of the aspects of the game to produce a desired result is a lot of fun for me, like chess. In real life, the game would be a business, where you take the skills and resources you have to try to create a successful business. Unfortunately for me, I think of a lot of possible businesses but most of them either end up marginally successful or never started.
I was on the phone the other day with my friend and somehow we got talking about business. He has started several businesses and is currently running a successful consulting business and doing quite well. He told me he has observed a principle that seems to always hold true: risk and reward – the more risk, the more potential reward. He told me a story of two painters, Ted and Bill, going to the same university at the same time. They were both very talented and graduated with degrees. Ted took a secure and good job at a computer company as a graphic artist. This was not Ted’s ideal job but the safe bet. He has done well for himself and has provided a nice income and stability for his family. As Ted finds time, he still paints but more for himself than anyone else. Ted would still like to be able to make a living as a painter but probably doesn’t see how.
Bill, took a big risk. He moved his family to a small town where he could rent a studio for very little money. Bill’s family was very poor for many years and went without many comforts as Bill developed his style and skills. Now, Bill is a very successful and famous painter making a great living and doing what he loves to do.