⭐️ Only listen to people who are winning at the game you’ve decided to play

As I’ve argued before, you have to pick your game before you can start wining.

This is especially important if you’re looking for advice.

For example, unless you’ve decided to play the tech startup game, Paul Graham’s advice will most likely do more harm than good. Similarly, whatever you might learn by studying Steve Job’s or Elon Musk’s biography will not help you make progress if you’re playing, say, the indie hacker game.

Or right now this guy Alex Hormozi is everywhere. He’s written a book called $100M Offers: How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No. It’s an entertaining read. But here’s the thing. Alex’ experience is limited to a very specific kind of business: niche e-learning businesses. You know, the ones with sketchy-looking landing pages that push visitors to sign up for a webinar, where users are persuaded to buy an overpriced course.

So unless you’ve decided to play the niche e-learning business game, Alex’ advice is completely useless or even harmful. But people don’t realize this and act is if there were such a thing as general entrepreneurship advice.

This is like saying there is such a thing as general sports advice.

Yes, there might be some overlap and there are definitely meta skills that are important for many different games.

But if you want to become, say, a professional soccer player, you should get advice from professional soccer players and not from chess or basketball players. Exactly the same thing is true for different entrepreneurial games.

The message to take away is almost too trivial to write it down: Only learn from people who have done what you want to do. Unless someone is winning at the game you’ve decided to play, you should ignore their advice.

Written on April 5, 2022

PS: In case we just met: Hi! My name is Jakob.

I'm on quest to explore the opportunities and challenges of permissionless entrepreneurship.