The Man Who Chases Two Rabbits Catches None

On the June 18, 2010 edition of The American Entrepreneur radio show, Ron Morris talked with Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh.  One topic of conversation was poker and the parallels that Tony drew between it and business (and life).  This is the gist of Tony’s comments…

In poker: if you never lose a hand it probably means you’re not playing enough hands.  If you only play the safe hands, then yes, you won’t lose a lot, but you also won’t win a lot.

In business (and life): you have to be willing to take risks and make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.

The opposite of these two statements are also true:

In poker: if you play every single hand, you’ll actually, in terms of number of hands, win more than anyone else, but in terms of actual money you make at the end of the night, it’s going to be a lot less and in many cases you’ll end up losing money because you’re playing too many hands.

In business (and life): often times the hardest part is saying no to opportunities, that are still good opportunities, but if you try to do too many things you’re going to end up not doing any of them well.

Ron follows Tony’s comments by mentioning an old Chinese/Russian proverb: the man who chases two rabbits catches none.

What all of this really translates to is how well you manage/spend your time and how focused you are on your goals.  It’s something you’ve all battled with at some point.  What eliminates this problem is a clearly defined vision and a clearly defined focus.  There are a ton of opportunities out there but unless it fits into the life that you want, it’s a waste of your time and energy.  Realize that no matter who you are, you have the same amount of time as everyone else.  That is a resource that is non-renewable.  Can’t get it back.  Won’t get it back.  So you better start doing something meaningful with it.

Take a step back and look at your life from a bird’s-eye view.  Start thinking about your life like a business.  Where do you spend all of your time, energy and resources?  Like a business, you want to get the biggest return on your investment.  Be aware that if you try to do everything, you will likely end up doing everything average.  But also realize that if you don’t do anything, nothing will ever improve and you’ll probably not create any new opportunities in your life.

At some point in your life you will hear someone say that someone got “lucky” or they were at the “right place at the right time” but honestly that’s all a bunch of bullshit coming from someone who probably doesn’t do anything but sleep, go to work and watch television.  Instead, if you focus on doing things right and by maximizing your time, energy and resources you put yourself in the position to be “lucky” or to be at the “right place at the right time”.  Then you’ll realize that it has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with YOU and how good YOU are at choosing what rabbits to chase.

As a side note, Ron and Tony’s talk centered around Tony’s book Delivering Happiness – which I highly recommend you click on that link, buy it right now and then read it in the next week because it is a phenomenal story that everyone should hear.

Happy Wednesday!

(Chad)

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