The Inside and Outside Games

By July 16, 2016 May 20th, 2019 No Comments

The Inside Game

While at dinner with some clients the other night, they presented me with a gift.  Apparently while on a call, I had said something to them that was impactful. They proceeded to transcribe what was said and put it to paper and have it framed.  Receiving this gift has been one of the highlights of my professional career.  It demonstrated to me that I had made a meaningful impact in the life of another human being.

Being that they found what we discussed was useful, I wanted to share it here on the blog.

I have learned that there are two games. These games are played independent of one another and yet go beautifully well together. Mastering one game and not the other is a mistake. Like any other game, skills are required and as such, regular practice is necessary. Let’s take a look at the easier of the two games first.

The Outside Game

The outside game consists of maneuvering props and players into configurations that please you. In the context of selling, think of this game as getting people to do what you want, getting contracts signed and hitting your goals. This game is easier because there are key variables that you can control.

  1. Hustle – The amount of time, energy and effort that you put toward income-producing activities (i.e. prospecting, going on appointments, negotiating contracts, etc.). Do you prospect in the evenings even though you did three hours in the morning? Do you do lead follow up on Saturday mornings because more people are home at that time? These are things you can control.
  2. Making Yourself More Valuable—Imagine business as a scale with one side of the scale representing rewards and the other value. The tendency for a lot of salespeople is to look at the rewards and say, “Yes, I want that.” The focus, however, should be on adding value to others because when you do that, the rewards naturally follow. Activities that make you more valuable include but are not limited to reading or listening to books, attending seminars, getting a mentor, taking classes online (i.e. Udemy) and learning new skills. Again, these are all things you can control.
  3. Time Management/Delegation— the leverage in the outside game is achieved by increasing the amount of time you spend on number one (Hustle) and number two (Making Yourself More Valuable) while decreasing the amount of time doing non-income producing activities. This is accomplished by delegation and staff.

This game is predictable and duplicatable and when followed with consistency, leads to results. The results may not come in the amount we want at first or as fast as we would like, however for those who persist, a bountiful crop is theirs to claim.

The Inside Game

The inside game takes place every single day whether you are working or not. It is played every waking moment of every day. Moment to moment, breath to breath. The objective of the inside game is to have as enjoyable of an experience as you possibly can under the given set of circumstances. Doing so requires a razor sharp level of awareness for noticing how you may be getting in your own way (i.e. scaring yourself or making yourself uptight). It is very interesting to me that my tendency in the past was to spend 12, sometimes 15 hours a day devoting myself to the outside game and very little time playing the inside game. No wonder my internal experience was not that enjoyable despite being very good at the outside game. I was doing so under the false misperception that getting everything on the outside to line up the way I wanted would ensure I would be happy and content… Not so in my experience.

Here is how I practice the inside game today. Here is what is true for me.

  1. Make feeling centered and at peace my top priority.
  2. Center myself daily.
  3. Notice the gift of life as it is being gifted to me and the massive appreciation that comes up naturally when I notice it.
  4. To be open and present to all the beauty that is around me all the time.
  5. Breathe.
  6. Simply Notice.
  7. Give myself direct experience uncontaminated by my gremlin or thoughts about the experience.
  8. Remember that being centered and at peace is primarily, not exclusively an inside job.
  9. Share my heart of hearts with other people.

How do you practice the inside game?

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