The first thing people think of when you talk about being a player is playing around with the opposite sex, but being a player really means having the option to play the field. Once you know how to position yourself and create options for yourself, then you know how to build better relationships, how to get more of what you want and how to make more money.
Being a player is completely different from being the best. Being the best at something always comes after being a player and is much more focused. Being the best is really tough and while being a player takes effort, it is much easier.
Think of being the best as being in the top 1%-5% in one thing whereas being a player is positioning yourself in the top 10%-5% across a few areas.
Aiming for player recognizes that while you can influence the decisions of others, it is impossible to completely control them. Being a player means being in the top 10% in the areas you decide. Because it is broader, it is also possible to decide to be a player in several key areas of your life where it is hard to be the best in more than one or a few if very closely related.
For an example, let’s say that you are focusing on how to make more money. There are a couple of ways you can approach this. You can get really good at a single skill and earn from that, or you can focus on the general skills, and become a player in several areas.
There is a sweet spot where strong general skills (along with good specific skills) mean that your reward for effort is optimized.
Areas where strong general skills will push you into being a player (top 10%)
- Basic good manners
- Good preparation
- Dress and grooming
- Good organization skills
These might seem basic, but taking the example of how to make more money, no matter what you do, the above are all areas which are important to the people who are likely to help you actually to make more money ie either customers or bosses.
Sometimes, being a player is literally as simple as
- putting consistent effort into how you look,
- doing some regular study on the areas you like,
- letting people know you are studying,
- smiling and
- always being punctual.
No joke, this will make you stand out from the crowd!!! It is seriously that simple, and when it comes to the next time the customer comes in or it’s time for a raise, you will be top of mind.
How to Make More Money With Medium Effort
In anything, your rewards are proportional to how much effort you put in. But it is not directly proportional. There is a sweet spot around above average effort because as soon as you are above average, you start to get noticed. There is also a sweet spot in the social skills area because everyone recognizes this and can evaluate if you are above average or below average.
Taking our how to make more money example again. Lets say you are selling widgets to someone. When they come to see you they have only limited capacity to tell if you are an expert (above average) in widgets, but they know instantly if you are above average in being polite, well dressed, etc. They associate their feelings of you being above average with all your skills and suddenly, you are making the sale!
Why aim to be a player (Top 10%)?
- Who doesn’t want more choice? No matter if you are focused on how to get more money, how to get a partner, how to move up the ladder, etc. You want lots of choices.
- The numbers stack up fantastically on your side once you crack the top 10%. The numbers game is tilted slightly in your favor if you are in the top 50% and significantly in your favor if you are in the top 20%.
- Better experiences. Once you crack the player level, your experiences start to become better and better. People start to look up to you and respect you. They also open up to you more and you also gain experience faster because you are exposed to more ideas and experiences.
- It is much easier than being the best.
Which are the best areas to be a player in? – The social areas including:
- Earning money, career eg Team mindedness and professionalism
- Sales including selling yourself eg Sales skills
- Team sports & competitions eg Team spirit
- Leadership opportunities eg Leading others
- Support opportunities eg Strongly supporting a team or individual
- Relationships and love eg Flirting
- Friends and associates eg Socializing
How is it possible to be a player when there is so much competition?
Actually, this is a myth. In fact, there is not as much competition as you think, because social circles are pretty limited. Typically, social circles are around a maximum of 200 people at any one time and this means that you can start immediately being a player in almost any area that involves people.
At any time, you are only really in competition with 200 people tops and usually the actual number is way smaller. To put this another way, if you are focusing on how to make money and talking to someone in your widget shop, they have almost certainly only visited 1-2 other shops, and there are perhaps only 2-5 other sales people, so you are up against only 30 people max. More likely 1-3.
You are in competition with a maximum of 200 people TOPS at one time in almost anything you do.
Usually, you will actually only be in competition with a few people even though you think you are in competition with the whole world. The fact is that they haven’t got time to meet the whole world and wouldn’t want to. The same applies in socializing as at work, among your friends and in team sports. In reality, you can aim to be in the top 10% and a player in any area you decide.
Another myth is that you need to be a lot better than the competition and/or be better across the board. Actually, this is wrong. In 99% of cases, you need only need to be a tiny bit better and because better is subjective, you only need to be better on balance not across the board. Even if 2 of you are focused on how to make more money, every day, you only need to stay 1% ahead to win every time.
I no longer work in the corporate world, but I have had several discussions about hiring people with managers which could be summarized “I am really looking for someone who is punctual/honest/looks the part so I am going to look externally”. Often the basics are more important than they seem. Perception is also important and perception is built with consistency so be consistent.
I hope I have convinced you that you want to be a player, so here’s how …
Intend to Be a Player
The first step in anything is intention (planning comes shortly). I recommend that as of right now, you set your intention to be a player (top 10%) in several key areas of your life. Just say to yourself
I am focused on how to make money and I want to be top 10% in/at …
Choose whatever areas you decide are best for you. I recommend you start with 2-3 area, you can always add later.
- Top 10% at work
- Top 10% at meeting people
- Top 10% at flirting
- Top 10% in [a team sport]
- Top 10% of earners
- Top 10% in punctuality (handy across the board)
- Top 10% in dress
- Top 10% in/of/with …
Get excited – Know the benefits that being a player in your chosen area will bring
Now it is time to understand why you want to be in the top 10%. Build a Future completed sentence like the following and see if it feels right:
I am so glad now that I always look the part because people approach me every day.
I am so proud now that I have been chosen as captain (vice-captain also in top 10%) because my skills and efforts are respected and I can help my team better.
I am so pleased that I am a good flirter because I can strike up a great conversation with anyone and see if I like them.
Lock in your intention, say the sentence out loud and see if it feels good inside. If it doesn’t feel good then play around with your intention and sentence until it does. Once you have it, write it down.
Make the Decision and Take Action
There are many basic areas which you can start to improve or even immediately change that will move you towards being in the top 10% and a player. There are lots of ways you can approach this, but the following is a simple structured way to get you going.
Take a piece of paper and answer the following questions for each of the areas you selected above:
- What are the key attributes and skills of being a player in this area?
- What attributes and skills do people view as minimum standard?
- What attributes and skills do people view as critical?
- Which common basic attributes and skillswill help (eg courtesy, punctuality, appearance, energy, smiling, preparation, honesty, etc)
Work towards your goal
Now you have the list of things to work on. You should be able to group them into a few ranges of difficulty
1) Attributes and skills that you can change immediately
Usually there are things which you can change immediately and you only need to bed in the habit. These are good ones to put in the effort and form habits around quickly. Many of the basics above fall into this category. Habits can be broken or formed relatively quickly. if you are having trouble then the issue is with your decision. you may need to re evaluate your decision with this question:
Did I only wish for XYZ or have I decided ?
2) Attributes and skills that are relatively easy but you need to build knowledge
The next level are things which you may need to study or get some advice on. Seek a mentor and ask for their advice. do some reading and study. You can pick these ones by asking yourself:
Where are the gaps in my knowledge that I need to fill?
3) Attributes and skills that need direct focus
The next level is the hardest level, but it may be easier than you think. You will need to do some work in this area, but remember getting to the top 10% is different and easier than being the best. This level is for the attributes and more skills that you need to practice and improve. My tip is focus on the easier areas first, because most people focus on this area naturally, and forget the basics. It is usually easier to focus on directly building skills because although it takes effort and focus, it is obvious.
Remember – Hitting the sweet spot is how to make more money (or whatever else you desire) with less effort.
It is well worth becoming a player (top 10%) because it opens up opportunities for you that will rocket you to success. Often the basics and social skills are overlooked in their value and can be easily and consistently achieved once you have locked in your objective. Focusing on the basics is a key to success and the way how to make more money with less effort.
Remember: UR Awesome, and you Deserve an Awesome life.