How To Up Your Entrepreneurial Game

Dan Sullivan
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I’ve come to the conclusion, after 40 years of coaching entrepreneurs, that the single most important thing that determines entrepreneurial success is your mindset.

If you’re going to be successful, it’s vital to focus on a bigger and better future. But even more important than having a great mindset related to your future is the way you look at your past.

Lighten The Load Of Your Past

I’ve noticed that many entrepreneurs, regardless of their talents or achievements, have very complicated pasts to which they’ve tied a lot of emotions. To shift the way they view their pasts, I ask them to look at everything they’ve done as an entrepreneur up to the present moment—all opportunities, failures, breakthroughs, breakdowns, big jumps, and setbacks—as “Game 1” of their career.

Game 1: Research And Development

The impact of this mindset is that, suddenly, their entire past becomes a learning phase. It was a time spent experimenting with the best ways to move forward—a time of trial and error.

Viewing everything in your past as “Game 1” is a way to simplify your entire history. There’s no reason to look back and hold onto past regrets because everything was a learning experience. It was time spent growing, gaining higher capabilities, and creating better teamwork around you. You can now shed the burden of those past experiences and take with you only the learning you received from them.

By making your past lightweight in this way, looking back at the past only for the lessons, you give yourself permission to focus on looking forward and to think in terms of exponentials.

Game 2, then, is everything going forward.

Game 2: Multiplier Growth

When you no longer have to spend time on your past, or attach any emotions to it, you gain back enormous amounts of energy. This is where breakthroughs happen, because entrepreneurs can focus all their emotions and best abilities on creating a greater future.

By shifting your mindset to view your world as divided into Game 1 and Game 2, everything becomes easier and speeds up, giving you bigger and better results.

Game 2 is always freed up from the past, because it’s entirely about the experiences that lie ahead of you—which, for a growing entrepreneur, is the way it should be.