Winning The Content Game
I was at a great event in Milwaukee this morning, and one of the speakers talked about the difference between a “finite game” and an “infinite game.”
Most of the games we think of are finite games. The goal is to win the game. There are usually some winners and some losers. There are rules you must play by, which, if you break them, you lose the game or are penalized in some way.
There is a lot of emphasis in our culture on finite games. I see it in kids athletics, in reality tv shows, in professional sports, family board games, and even in businesses. And there is some value in learning to play finite games. It can teach you how to be strategic, how to play on a team, how to handle losing, and how to be a good sport.
But, not everything is a finite game. Some of the most important areas of our lives are not so, well, finite! There aren’t always rules laid out ahead of time. There isn’t always a clear winner or loser, or even a clear ending.
That is an infinite game.
With an infinite game, the whole point is to play, and the only way you can lose is if you stop playing.
These kinds of games require a different approach and a different set of skills. As a culture, we don’t give nearly as much emphasis to things like patience, adaptability, perseverance, resilience, curiosity and grit. It’s about showing up 100%, not so you can win, but just so you can stay in the game.
Some places where we play infinite games are in our relationships, personal growth, and even life as a whole.
Content Is An Infinite Game
What I realized is that content is an infinite game. As much as we would really love to follow a set of rules or guidelines, and for there to be a way to clearly win, that just isn’t how it works.
The rules are constantly changing (along with everything else on the internet).
You can have wins along the way, but there isn’t really an end.
The only way to see results from it is to stay in the game. To keep creating content. To keep putting yourself out there.
Yes, we can keep navigating the changing landscape and try new things to improve our results. But the most important thing is to keep playing.
Learn To Enjoy The Infinite Game
I love looking at it this way and using the words “game” and “play” because it’s a lot more fun than thinking about it as “work.” Of course there is always work involved in both finite and infinite games. But the thing about an infinite game is that, since there is no end and no winner, it’s really important to cultivate enjoyment.
If you aren’t enjoying the process, you won’t stay in the game. And why should you? Maybe that’s one of the reasons you aren’t creating content consistently right now. You know it’s important, but it isn’t enjoyable and you don’t see the end game. The part of this that we can change is to make it more enjoyable!
It’s why I approached the “Content Creation Challenge” with a sense of play and fun. Could you use a little injection of inspiration and creativity? Do you need a little motivation to get back in the game? I hope you’ll check out the Content Creation Challenge.
What do you think? Does the idea of finite and infinite games resonate with you? How does it play out in your own life and business? Share your thoughts in the comments below.