Play positive sum games

Play positive sum games

January 16, 2021

Tonight I watched as a good friend of mine launched his course to help people create more. Within just a few minutes of the launch, I saw my timeline fill up with comments, support, and most of all, receipts. It’s a beautiful thing to watch and I couldn’t be more excited for my friend. 


The world is filled with plenty of opportunities. It amazes me how people root against other people’s success. And yet that is how so many approach life.


To them, life is a zero-sum game.


Look, I understand zero-sum games. As a trial lawyer, that was the world I lived in for a long time. 


I’m here to say that positive-sum games are a much better way to play. A rising tide lifts all boats.


This idea explains a lot of my decision earlier this year to mostly leave behind the law and focus on building Performative Speaking. It’s one of the most common questions I get. Why did I leave my legal practice to take on this founder’s life?


First, let’s be clear about the fact that I did not leave my legal practice. I still have a few cases I manage that are extremely important to me. Massive civil rights violations that need to be answered by the entities responsible. I will never leave those clients nor stop fighting for them.


So I can still play the zero-sum game. 

Photo by Florian Schmetz on Unsplash


But I’m much more interested in this positive-sum game as a founder of Performative Speaking. That’s why I’ve shifted my focus. That’s why I’ve gone all-in with On Deck Performative Speaking.


Opportunity is plentiful and the success of friends and peers just starts a flywheel of success. Some people will be motivated by friendly competition. Some people will benefit just from the association. Others will find greater success by picking the brain of these successful peers and friends. 


So all in all, it’s a win-win. That’s the way it really should be and the beautiful thing about Twitter and this creator economy. 


A few weeks ago I tweeted out something like “in 6 months you should be both amazed and not surprised by where you are.” That’s how I feel these days when I look back to July and where I was on Twitter. I didn’t think much of the platform. I didn’t realize it’s potential. 


Now I preach the good news from the mountaintops. I’m amazed but not surprised where I am. I learned from some smart and great people. I just had to listen and execute. I finally did and it’s a beautiful place. 

Photo by Félix Lam on Unsplash


This is why it’s so amazing to see the support of my friend tonight. He announced it very quietly but it was quickly picked up by so many people on Twitter. 


Positive sum games make life so much better.


Tonight was another example.


Here’s to many more.

Reach out to me Robbie@beondeck.com

I'm the Founder of Performative Speaking which was acquired by On Deck in December and I now serve as the Program Director for On Deck Performative Speaking.

Follow me on Twitter @robbiecrab

Cover Photo by Ahmed Zayan on Unsplash


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Performative Speaking uses storytelling ideas that incorporate other forms of art, culture, media, and pop culture to create the mood, feeling, or vibe in the audience to convince them of a position.

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