While Risk, Settlers of Catan, and Life were very close on the list for board games that take a little while to play, at the end of the day I have to go with Monopoly. Where other games sometimes teach how to have fun or how to enjoy life, Monopoly is designed with the intention of learning to be good at business. As someone who is looking into starting my own business, some of these skills are very important. For example, understanding the value of mortgages and when to invest in the properties you own vs expanding to new properties.
Another important lesson that I’ve learned is that location is everything. In order to succeed you have to be in the right spot. In the game that means being on the spot other people are going to land on. In business that means having the store or website that people are going to go to. In everything in means being present and in the moment to take advantage of the opportunity. If you can’t collect on all of your opportunities because you aren’t ready for them it’s hard to fulfill your potential.
Treat all opportunities as the biggest decision you’re going to make. If you buy a property in Monopoly and it reduces your cash flow to the point that you can’t buy the next one, is buying the first property worth it? If you go to jail towards the end of the game, is it worth paying to get out of jail and risk landing on someone else’s property or is it worth taking the risk of the roll and possibly staying in jail? Understanding the pros and cons of various decisions helps people in all areas of life, but can be especially useful in business negotiations.
Finally, Monopoly showed me that you need to have a plan for how you invest your time and money. If you put all of your money into buying properties that don’t connect, you can’t have further investments on them. If you only invest in 1 or 2 properties you can limit yourself as to your control of the board. Therefore, it’s important to understand the balance of the game, it’s important to read the other players, and it’s really important to read the moment. If you can’t see how you can help other people or how other people can help you, then the game and life becomes much harder.
How can you help others or how can others help you?