How Playing Chess Helps You Become a Better Entrepreneur

Lynn Martelli
Lynn Martelli

Entrepreneurs often look for different activities that allow them to switch and gain additional skills. But chess stands apart in this list. After all, there is no other such hobby for developing soft skills, which are in such demand in business nowadays. Similarly to betting via a sportsbook, chess is about intuition, awareness, and acquiring new skills. It’s also about memory because you have to remember a certain number of options, and about calculation. Over time, training these qualities allows you to remember large amounts of information, and in different spheres, easily visualize and even mentally combine data without losing the systemic integrity and their logical relationship.

What is the similarity between chess and business? The fact is that many of the basic skills of chess are identical to those required by an entrepreneur to solve everyday problems and situations.

Think First, Then Do the Right Thing

This is the first skill taught in chess. Even if you really want to make a move, it’s better to pause, put your hands behind your back and realize what the consequences will be. Not always what’s on the surface turns out to be right.

It’s only quality decisions that bring us money. And even if you are a top manager, it’s unlikely that in today’s world you are paid solely for the speed and number of decisions you make in a day.

Anything that is reactive and rash rarely leads to desired results.

It’s better to learn to think slowly, exploring all options, discarding the unnecessary, and only then act at the speed you need to realize your idea.

Develop a Strategy and Use Tactics

In every chess game, there are almost always a few key moments (you’ll feel them) when you need to stop and ask yourself some important questions.

  • What do I want to do?
  • By what means can I achieve it?
  • What do I want my position to look like after a certain period of time?
  • What can my opponent achieve in response?
  • Are there any tactical “quick” solutions that will help me achieve my goal instantly, here and now?

On the chessboard, every decision has a consequence. But it’s the same in life. Over time, mindfulness skills become automatic and applicable in all life situations.

You Are Responsible for Everything that Happens to You

In general, this game is about leadership and about raising leaders. You, for example, decide what the next step will be. You can’t ask for advice and put the responsibility for your own decisions on someone else. It’s like business: count on yourself and be responsible for key decisions. This is one of the most important qualities for a good leader.

Never Be Discouraged

You can be a genius at the game and still find yourself in a difficult situation from time to time. And then you have to look for opportunities for an out-of-the-box creative solution that allows you to turn the situation in your favor. Stalemate situations rarely happen, more often we just don’t look for opportunities to get out of such situations. And if there is a request, there is sure to be a solution.

Prepare for the Game

Even amateur chess players have their secrets of preparation for the game, but they all boil down to about the same thing. It’s important to study your playing partner in as much detail as possible on the basis of the information already available:

  • What positions are or are not convenient for him?
  • How does he make decisions?
  • In what stages of the game does he feel most comfortable and vice versa?

The psychological aspect is extremely important in chess, just as it’s important in business. In both cases, those who understand themselves and their partners better win on the course.

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