PPP 011: What Being a Call of Duty Addict Has Taught Me About Building An Online Business
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In this blogpost and podcast, I want to talk about a sickening realization I came to, and a huge lesson I learned last night while I was playing Call of Duty. If you don’t know, Call of Duty is the war video game franchise that breaks records every year when it releases its latest title.
It’s awesome to play, super addicting, and the more you play, the funner it is. That’s the reason I have such a problem with it. Since I do manage to work most of each day on my websites, I am what you would call a functioning addict… but, I really wish I could abstain during the week and get more work done but I find myself playing COD for at least 3-4 hours every night.
Last night in particular, a message popped up after a match that made me realize something big, and I’ll get to that in a minute. But first, there are some other “lessons” that can be applied to building on online business:
Camping vs. Run-and-gun: When playing COD, there are two basic styles of playing: camping and running-and-gunning. Camping means that you pick a spot and kind of hide and wait for people to run by so you can shoot them, and run-and-gun means you run around and try to find as many people to shoot as possible. What really matters in COD is the number of kills each round, so there are obvious pros and cons to both methods. When camping, you’ll have fewer deaths, but the winner of the round is almost always a run-and-gun guy simply because they have more chances to get kills.
How does this relate to building an online business?
The whole idea of run-and-gun is essentially the same as someone who just goes out and makes things happen. While camping is less stressful and the kills are easier, what you’re really doing is just sitting around waiting for an opportunity to come to you. This is a big problem that a lot of people have when trying to build an online business. The most “effort” they put in is in looking around for a “way to make money fast”. In other words, looking for something “easy”. There are “easy” methods out there that might get you some results, but the people that are really killing it are the ones that are simply just digging in and making it happen.
Spying on the best players: Each round in COD goes for 10 minutes unless someone hits 30 kills, whichever comes first. Usually in any given match, there’s some COD freak that will hit 30 kills in 5 or 6 minutes, and the next best player only has 15 or 16 kills. Well, I wanted to be the guy that was hitting 30 kills before the match ended. This is pretty geeky, but it’s a great lesson to learn. I figured out that after a match I could re-watch the entire match from any player’s perspective. So, I would watch matches through the eyes of the psycho who got to 30 kills in 5 minutes to see how he did it.
I think you can tell where this is going…
You’ve probably heard that you should find the top people in your market, or the best websites in your niche, and figure out why they are the best, and then emulate what they’re doing. Tony Robbins calls this ‘modeling’ and it’s a proven way to get the results that you want.
Utilizing Killstreaks: Killstreaks are when you have a certain number of kills in a row without dying, and a friendly chopper will come and drop you a box with some advanced weapon that will help you get even more kills, such as a sentry gun or an attack chopper. But… there are some killstreaks that just don’t work that well, while others will increase your kill count every time.
From an online business perspective, the first “killstreak” that comes to mind is building a list. Sure, you might have a site that’s getting traffic and generating sales, but you could get more sales over time by building a list so that you can market to those customers over and over again. Another “killstreak” that you can utilize is upsells. If you are selling an ebook or your own product, and you don’t use an upsell, you’re simply missing out on more revenue.
Effective Aim: This sounds basic, and it is the most basic and fundamental skill in COD, but it’s crucial to your success. When you’re running and you come face-to-face with another player, you only have one chance to raise your weapon, aim, and shoot. This is the exact same thing as making sure that your core message and product matches what your customers are actually looking for. Any experienced marketer or business person will tell you to find a market first and then create a site or product for it, not the other way around.
Knowing the Maps: Memorizing the maps is another strategy of elite COD players. When one shot will kill you, the ability to anticipate where an enemy is most likely to be hiding will give you an advantage over someone who is simply reacting to what’s happening on their screen. As you’ll quickly find out, and it’s not really different than anything else that humans do, COD players are very predictable. Every map has certain “hotspots” where you can always find players to kill, as well as hiding spots where you’ll find a camper every time.
This concept has several parallels to online business. One is the idea of mastering your traffic methods instead of just dabbling in every method out there. Another example is the ability to identify hot markets and opportunities before everyone else does.
Silencing Annoying Players: Since the internet makes people anonymous, a lot of players on COD say incredibly vulgar, disgusting, annoying, and otherwise ridiculous things while playing. Sometimes it’s hilarious, but after a while it gets very old.
In an online business, you’ll definitely deal with less-than-savory people from time to time. The first few times I got a “hate” email or people telling me I suck, or some other unfounded complaint, it really got to me. When it comes to dealing with customers you obviously have to stand behind your materials, but when you get someone who is just looking for someone or something to blame their problems on, don’t spend any time dealing with them. Just block them from your list, or refund them, or whatever the case is, but don’t waste an ounce of energy worrying about it.
The Biggest Lesson of All: Okay, this is what happened that gave me the idea for this entire post. So in COD, there are just random badges or rewards that you earn for different milestones you hit. Last night, I finished first place in a match, and a message popped up that I had earned a reward for “being the top player in 1,000 Hardcore free-for-all matches”.
Do you know what that means? I place first in maybe 1 out of every 4 matches, and I wasn’t consistently placing first for the first 6 months of playing… so 1,000 1st place finishes alone equals around 150 hours of video game playing. The disgusting part is I probably spent at least 6-7 times that much playing, and maybe even 10 times that much.
So what’s the lesson there? The lesson is that even just a few hours day in and day out add up to a huge amount quickly… I’ve always said that if all someone did was pick one topic and write 3 articles a day on it, everyday, they would have a big big site that gets a lot of traffic and makes a lot of money within a year, probably even just a few months.
But… no one does that because people sabotage themselves into trying different methods and techniques, thinking that it couldn’t possibly be that simple.