The ultimate key to success as a business owner or leader? Stay alive. 

This may sound silly but think of a video game: if you’re still in it, still racking up points, still have lives in the bank, you can still find a way to win. You can extend the runway to stay in the game longer, which gives you even more possible ways to win. 

But if you die and lose all your lives, that’s it. Game over. Start over. 

Nothing matters as much as staying alive. And the key to staying alive is optionality. 

Cash flow creates options. Strategy creates options. Clarity on your goal creates options. Team unity and autonomy create options. The right people on the bus create options. Doing good work every time creates options.  

Options allow for good positioning to jump on lucky breaks and good opportunities. Lucky breaks create more options.

The funny thing is that optionality breeds more. When you keep many options open, each one becomes a possible path forward. Each path forward unveils new options, and so on with each of those options.  

Optionality keeps you alive, but it also gives you more opportunities to stay alive and be successful. 

The ultra-successful are rarely smarter, better, or luckier. They simply give themselves plenty of options, which allows them to outlast and win. 


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