Since Pokemon GO was created, we have seen people from all walks of life rushing to catch the little imaginary creatures. It is a guilty pleasure especially since you consider how much of a time-sucker this game can be.
Personally I got really intrigued when a few of my closest friends started playing the game in earnest. These were the last people I expected to play a “children’s game”. But when I noticed the fascination and my difficulty in getting their attention away from their screens – I decided to delve deeper and see what was the fuss about.
My husband clarifies it is a game for “successful” people who can see beyond the catching and collecting aspects of Pokemon Go. Let’s see whether we can find the analogies to business.
1) Catching Pokemons is a combination of having the right skills, equipment and never giving up.
The Pokemon Master (my husband) shared with me that you in order to level up, you need to collect XP (experience points).
When a Pokemon appears, you have several different types of balls to use to catch them. You start off with a red-coloured ball (newbie), then a blue ball (intermediate) then a black ball (advanced).
Of course you want as many pokemons as possible, but you have limited number of balls and your “bag” also has limited space.
At the same time, you DON’T ALWAYS catch a pokemon on the very first try. You can waste 5-10 pokeballs just trying to catch one.
Hence you are recommended to use a higher level pokeball to ensure success in ensnaring that little cute monster.
The black pokeball gives you the highest chance of catching a pokemon while a red pokeball gives you the lowest chance. There is also this berry which you can use to “feed” the pokemon so you have a higher chance of catching it.
A rule of thumb, set aside the Black pokeballs for extremely rare pokemons – you want to make sure you catch them!
You can gain more XP when you are throw a curveball. This reflects to having the right skill set.
Lesson: When running a business, you want to “catch” as many opportunities as you want. When you start small, you grab all the opportunities you can. Similarly when you start playing Pokemon Go, it starts off easy to level up – so you grab all that you can.
But the problem is of course is your own limited time and resources (pokeballs, berries, small bag). A smart business owner would subscribe to the 80/20 Rule. Focus on high leverage opportunities that require very little resources.
And when the big opportunity (rare pokemon) comes, get ready to use your reserves – and don’t GIVE up!
Just like when doing sales, the prospect (pokemon) will reject you at first. You try to catch, but they “escape”.
So remember to provide value (berry) and get your presentation script ready. (your pokeballs)
via GIPHY (frustrating – just like an actual business!)
2) You need to continuously top-up your resource of Pokeballs, Berries, Potions by going to PokeStops
One of the more positive aspects of Pokemon Go is it forces you to move around. Unlike typical computer games where people become couch potatoes, Pokemon Go makes you walk around your neighbourhood in order to find PokeStops.
It is frustrating when that RARE pokemon appears and you are not ready with enough berries or pokeballs to catch them. A Dragonite (a super rare pokemon) appears and you are only ready with 2 black pokeballs.
You won’t feel very confident of catching it – I guarantee you.
Lesson: Just like doing business, you sometimes feel inadequate in the face of big boys. So as an entrepreneur, you have you continuously arm yourself with knowledge and build up your own assets.
Attend seminars or programs where you can build new relationships and “recharge”.
On an interesting note, I also discovered how to seek advice from young Pokemon Go players. At a Pokestop, I asked a young boy what was the purpose of the potions since I have no more space in my bag to keep them.
He said – “Oh you can throw those away. You only need them at Level 20 onwards for your fight sessions.” If I didn’t ask, I wouldn’t know.
Bonus tip: When at networking or business events, have a mindset of willing to learn – even from those younger than you! Be open to new ideas.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
3) You need to physically walk to hatch your Pokemon eggs
This game requires effort. In pursuit of your dream Pokemon, you have some eggs that can hatch to more powerful pokemon. And the only way to hatch them, is by physically walking or running.
Sometimes, the eggs unfortunately hatch to rather useless pokemons.
Lesson: Just like a real business, you need to put in hard work and sweat equity to chase after your dream. And sometimes just when you thought you reached your goals, it turns out to be a big disappointment.
4) Some Pokemons can only be found in another country
A real Pokemon Master will travel to another country in order to complete his collection of pokemons. One guy actually did it.
Lesson: As an entrepreneur, you have to muster the courage to venture overseas in order to reach a new level in your business.
5) Catching Pokemon requires time and effort
The truth is in order to reach the higher levels in Pokemon Go will require discipline and effort.
Just like how the catchy Pokemon theme song goes – “I wanna be the very best, Like no one ever was, To catch them is my real test, To train them is my cause…”
And that’s why you will see the number of Pokemon Go players will eventually drop. Not a lot of people are able to sustain the energy needed for this game. But those die-hard players, they will soldier on and aim to continuously level up.
Lesson: Just like doing business, some people will simply choose to drop out. They could have lost the passion, lack of resources or simply chose to give up. It is highly cited business statistic that 8 in 10 businesses will fail in their first year. And in 5 years’s time, only 1 out of 10 businesses will still be around.
Time, effort and discipline are the key ingredients in order to build up a lasting business.
In the short time I played Pokemon Go, I learnt how to make new friends at PokeStops. At the same time, I re-learnt some evergreen business principles. I haven’t ventured into the PokeGyms yet to battle other Pokemons but I assume there will be lessons to learn there as well.
Play this game for awhile to possibly bond with your children – but remember you still have a business to run.