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Growing your list is a game.  Hustling for clients is a game.  Not an especially fun game oftentimes.  A game nonetheless.  So how can we transform this?  And instead of chasing after customers, have them show up on our doorstep? 

It’s a different kind of game.  James P Carse distinguishes two kinds of games.  Finite games and infinite games.  I know it’s enough to do your head in. 

Simply put, a finite game is one with a beginning and an end; it’s bounded.  Like a game of bridge, or chess, football, a general election or a world war.  They’re all finite games.   And you play a finite game to WIN.  Which means there are winners and losers.

An infinite game is something different altogether.  It has no beginning or end.  Not bounded by time or space.  So you might be scratching your head and wondering what kind of a game is that?  If you’re a parent, you’re playing the infinite game of parenting; a teacher, the infinite game of teaching or educating; a therapist, the infinite game of healing.

The game goes on as players come into the game and others leave.  With an infinite game there are no winners or losers; just players.  You play an infinite game to become a better player — and to help others become better players.

How does this impact us?  We’re all business owners, playing the infinite game of value exchange, the infinite game of learning and growing.  And we’re also playing finite games too.  The game of growing your business, of growing your audience, of growing your list can all be seen as games worth playing.  Ones where you get to be a better player AND win.

There are strategies for playing the game of growing your list.  If you’ve been struggling with this, then it’s possible you’ve been using a strategy that isn’t working.  In our next session we’ll be considering a couple of strategies for playing this game.  Ones that work, provided you’re willing to play full out.

See you then.  In the meantime, share this post with those you know who want to grow their lists without a lot of hassle and frustration.