Do you remember those intense, family board-game nights?
When I was growing up, every Friday night in our home was family game night. I remember the night often ended with me in tears because I hated losing, and my dad never felt sorry enough for me to let me win. Looking back, I realize how many valuable lesson these game nights taught me. One very important lesson was that I wasn’t always going to win. There were going to be times when I came in second, or last, and I had to learn how to deal with that. I also look back and realize that I was learning valuable life lessons that would serve me well in both life and business.
The most popular, but exhausting game was Monopoly. This game would go on for hours, but I loved holding the tiny, fake cash in my hand. I felt rich! I loved owning so much property, so many houses and hotels. I, of course, didn’t like going straight to JAIL!
Although the origins of this game were politically based, it brought many hours of togetherness in the home along with big dreams and possibilities. I didn’t know it at the time, but I learned so many lessons that I would later apply in life and business. For example, when you build your wealth, it’s important to invest your money wisely and have a diverse portfolio. Not investing your money means you’re missing out on returns that you would get from investing. However, it’s important to know how to save money as well so that you have cash on hand in case of an emergency, or the desire to make a much needed, large purchase.
Do you remember negotiating with another player to trade property or borrow money? This is often where my need to win and have everything was a little out of control, but I’m pretty good at negotiating today. Instilling these skills in our children at a young age will help them in school and in their careers. It will teach them how to talk to people and get what they need, while showing the other person how it benefits them. Negotiation skills will help in business when closing a deal, or in a career when asking for a deserved raise.
Finally, the game of monopoly sets you up for patience. Not only because the game goes on and on for 5 hours, but because it teaches you that paying off debts, building wealth, and buying property are all things that take time and won’t happen overnight. In both business and life you must define your goals, create an action plan, stay the course and achieve those goals.
I really miss those game nights as a kid, and I miss the game nights I used to do with my daughter. Life has forced us to slow down, to not be so busy, and to spend more time with our loved ones. If you have young ones at home, take advantage of the time and create some family board-game nights with your kids. If you don’t have any young kids at home, do it anyway with your partner, family or friends. If you learn a few things, great! If not, at least you’ll be having fun with your loved ones. If you learn a few things and you have fun with your loved ones, BONUS!