You Can’t Be Excellent in Your Spare Time
Dr. AnnMaria De Mars
Help. Thanks. Wow.
Author Anne Lamott says that all prayers boil down to one of those three words. I know my life certainly does. So, first, thanks. Thanks to everyone who has backed us on Kickstarter, bought our games, been a game tester in those early days and all-nighters of a thousand bugs.
Now here we are. Wow.
I want to start off this newsletter giving back to you something valuable – the most useful lesson I learned this year. It’s this – you can’t be excellent in your spare time. I should know. I tried it. Along with running 7 Generation Games, I was working as a statistical consultant, chair of a non-profit board and teaching graduate school. We did well. We met our deadlines, hired some great people, put two good games on the market. We accomplished a lot.
When it came down to time to ask investors for money, I had to take a hard look at myself and at the company and ask if I was not all in, how could I ask other people to take a risk? Yes, I worked without pay many months and I put some a lot of my own funds in the company. However, I still had these other sources of income to hedge my bets, and those ‘hedge funds’ were taking time away from the company. In less than three months, I turned down NINE contracts. By the last one, I was really taking a deep breath as I typed the email, “I’m sorry I won’t be able to accept …”
Then, on Monday we found out that we had been recommended to receive another $100,000 for a Small Business Innovation Research grant. Wow.
Whether it is a career, an education, a company or a sport when you only devote part of your efforts, you miss out on so much. You may be getting everything “necessary” completed, but no one ever achieved greatness by only doing what is necessary. In the past few weeks, I have said approximately 40,876 times,
“I am SO glad I took the risk to focus 100%”
If something matters to you, take the plunge, step off the precipice. Yes, it will be scary and hard to let go when you have a secure job offer or comfortable situation where you are. Do it. Trust me. Within six months, you will find yourself saying, “Wow.” (More on this story in our next newsletter …)
Help. We have a new game coming out, Forgotten Trail, which we are super-excited about. It is for older players, so there will be more adult content. (Not that kind of adult content, get your mind out of the gutter! I meant more adult vocabulary, subjects and story line.)
We have a Kickstarter campaign coming up and we need your brains. What would you do to get more people to know about it? What kind of awards would you offer people to back it? (Maria wanted to add that bags of money are also acceptable forms of help. We’ll leave the door open if you want to throw one in.) We would love to hear your ideas by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling our office at 310-804-9553.