Mark Blasini


Decide how you're not going to play


Most people are looking to copy other people - how other people became successful. But a crucial aspect of success involves understanding how you're not going to play the game, in what ways you're not going to win.

This is crucial for two reasons. First, everyone's situation is different. What made someone else successful won't necessarily make you successful. That other person may have natural talents or specific inclinations that distinguishes that person from you.

Copying what someone else has done doesn't mean your copying the other person's uniqueness. Remember: being strategic means applying strengths to weaknesses. It's not about formula, but adaptation.

Second, the more you try to succeed using a strategy that doesn't fit with your uniqueness - your personality, your talents, your situation - the more that strategy actually works against you.

The more you try to be super-adventurous when deep down you're very conservative by nature, to study meditation when you are very hyperactive, to be extroverted when you're really an introvert - the more you try to win by being someone else, the harder it will become to win.

The secret is taking the time to understand what you are and what you are not. Find out whether you are a risk-taker or risk-avoidant, introvert or extrovert, optimistic or pessimistic, hyperactive or hypoactive, high-level or more hands-on.

And use what you know to decide what strategies work for you and what strategies do not.