Today, I was reading an article that likened winning and losing, in internet marketing, to the game of American Football. It was the title of the article that grabbed me: The 4th and Inches Theory. My first thoughts were that it may have been a good title, but it was a poor analogy.
The problem with comparing these two things is that one of them (American Football) is a zero-sum game, whereas the other is not. A zero-sum game, of course, is one in which what’s good for one side is bad for the other. Games such as American football are a perfect example. That’s not to say that I don’t like zero-sum games. I am a competitive person, after all. I played football (soccer) and squash myself and I also follow my team (Everton) avidly.
But winning the internet marketing game – I do like the analogy of a game and I have often used it myself – does not mean that you need to disadvantage anyone else. Indeed, if that were not true, it would be a game I would not be interested in playing. My philosophy is that is it possible for everybody to win in the game I am playing; that’s why I constantly try to find good partners and work out win-win solutions.
However, as I was making my breakfast and churning these thoughts over in my mind, I began to conceive of one possible perspective in which internet marketing might be conceived as a zero-sum game. It concerns something we have spoken about before – parallel universes and quantum theory. Internet marketing could be conceived as zero-sum if you had an opponent and perhaps you could conceive of your opponent as being another version of yourself.
You may remember, when we spoke about Schrodinger’s Cat and quantum theory, that one possible interpretation of events is that every time we make a choice, there is another version of ourselves in an alternate reality who makes the opposite choice. Well, you could think of that person (I appreciate there are many of them, in principle, but thinking of them collectively allows us to personify an opponent) as your adversary. That would make it a zero-sum game.
So what? Is there any benefit in doing the above? Personally, I think there is. You see, you win (and your opponent loses) every time you make a correct choice and, provided you make enough correct choices, you reach your goals. Our theory of parallel universes states that one version of yourself makes all of the choices necessary to get to your destination and you want that person to be you, in this reality, not the guy in the alternate reality.
To ensure you are that guy, every time you are confronted with a choice that relates to your goals, you should be thinking in terms of making the decision that the winner within you would make and then go with that. If you do this enough times, you will become that person (the winner) and you will inevitably reach your goal.
Perhaps, like me, you have set yourself a goal to accomplish this year – hopefully, it is a big goal. At present, we are a quarter of the way through the current year. I like to think of it, in game terms, as being at the end of the first quarter of the game. For me, the first quarter has not been particularly spectacular, in terms of the scoreboard, and it is time to review our strategy and adopt the necessary tactics to make a greater impact during the second quarter.
We are early in the game with everything, still, to win if we are prepared to adopt the winner’s mindset and, from that, embark on a different path.