What is it that allows a game changer to see things differently than everyone else? What gives them the ability to look at a situation and redefine the entire playing field while others feel trapped in the current game? It’s beyond being good at what they do. While entrepreneurs at the game changer level have mastered the skills of their industry and are extraordinarily well paid for those skills in the marketplace, their experience has helped them get so clear about who their ultimate client is that they can almost see through their client’s eyes.

They get to work with who they want and create value for those clients in a partnership where there’s tremendous value and enjoyment generated on both sides. The creativity that comes from this arrangement is never-ending. Game changers have reached a level where they can see what they’re doing as an ongoing game that’s actually fun.

Simplifying complexity.

The greatest enemy to this level of clarity and enjoyment is complexity and the lack of focus that comes with it. Complexity naturally comes with increasing entrepreneurial success, and so the people who have managed to get to the game-changing level are those few who have learned how to simplify very effectively. What scares a lot of entrepreneurs about growing 10x and changing their own game is that they see the chaos and complexity of their current situation and imagine it 10x bigger. Let me present you with a different scenario: Imagine a circle that represents everything you do.

Now, let’s divide this up. In the following diagram, A represents all the things you do that you find irritating. B is the portion of things you do that are just okay—not exciting, but not bad. And, the smallest circle, C, represents the things you do that are truly fascinating and motivating to you. Entrepreneurs who have reached the game changer level have become masters at shedding A and B activities so they can focus most of their time and energy on C. As new A and B activities come up (and they always will), they have the awareness and the strategies in place to keep themselves from being overwhelmed by them and to protect their time and attention for what’s fascinating and motivating.




Working only in your Unique Ability®.

Usually, what we find in C are activities that fall into what we call Unique Ability. These are the things you do where you have both a superior skill and a passion—that is, you’re really good at these things, and you love to do them. They’re what other people rely on you for and are at the heart of what creates your best results. The fascination you experience compels you to keep going deeper and discovering new things about them. The ideal scenario of the game-changing entrepreneur that I described earlier is achieved when you get to use your Unique Ability to create massively transformative direction, confidence, and new capability for the people you most want to work with in the marketplace. This includes both clientele and your team that you partner with to create these results.

Focusing on your Unique Ability allows you to discover value creation opportunities that others don’t see and that you wouldn’t see if you were mired in and distracted by “stuff” (B) and irritants (A), which can often turn into messes that suck even more time and energy. It also allows you to maximize your energy and enjoyment, and it attracts superior capabilities and opportunities for collaboration. Talented, passionate, and creative people love to work with other talented, passionate, and creative people when they share aligned goals. This is true of both clients and team members. The teamwork you can build as a result is a great multiplier of your impact, results, freedom, and growth. If you could be a master of delegation of everything that wasn’t your Unique Ability, what could you do?

Creating Unique Ability® Teamwork.

The winning strategy is to surround yourself with others whose areas of Unique Ability complement your own. There are people out there (believe it or not) who are just as fascinated and motivated by what you find irritating or boring as you are by your own Unique Ability activities. Game changers find and surround themselves with these people and let them be creative in their respective areas. And here’s the thing: Irrespective of game-changing aspirations, this is just a better way to be an entrepreneur.

The result of creating teamwork around your Unique Ability with other people who are just as fascinated and motivated in complementary areas is that you can multiply the impact of your Unique Ability many times. You free yourself up to think and to see things that others can’t see because they’ve never looked as deeply into what you’re focused on. You begin to see new ways of combining things, new uses for resources and technologies that solve problems in new ways. This is the essence of Jean-Baptiste Say’s definition of entrepreneurship, which is to take resources from a lower level to a higher level of productivity.

At the same time, team members who are working in their area of Unique Ability require less management because they’re internally motivated and naturally creative. The role of the entrepreneur in a team like this is mainly to provide a clear vision that focuses all that talent and passion on a shared set of goals. What do you want to accomplish and for whom? With clarity and the right Unique Ability in the right place, you can build what is essentially a “Self-Managing Company.”

As a result, you’re freed up to focus on developing and expanding your unique genius and finding the audience in the marketplace who will reward you well for doing this. If the word genius makes you uncomfortable, think of it as the most creative application of your talents and passions, driven by the energy of your purpose shared with your team and your clientele.

The starting point is changing your own game to one that will keep you fascinated and motivated for the rest of your life. Changing the game for others flows naturally out of this.

Always playing a bigger game.

All the game changers I’ve ever worked with share this basic, passionate, and persistent engagement with their Unique Ability. Early on, they realized pursuing their interest in specific things into uncharted territory became the core of their entrepreneurial success. But it didn’t stop there, because it’s never been about a particular destination. It’s about the game itself and always making it bigger.

About the Author

Dan Sullivan

Dan Sullivan is the founder and president of The Strategic Coach Inc. and creator of the Strategic Coach® program, which works with entrepreneurs to reach new heights of success and happiness. He has authored over 30 publications over his 42 years as a highly-regarded speaker, consultant, strategic planner, and coach to entrepreneurial individuals and groups.