top of page

What Scrabble Taught Me About Life & Business

My name is Karan and I love playing Scrabble. There, I said it. They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, although I don't see this as a problem. It's only some other people who think I'm uncool; but their opinion of me is none of my business, is it?

I generally play online, as it allows me to play with far flung friends and family, in addition to random strangers who may, or may not, become regular Scrabble buddies. I love words (you may have noticed) and I love the challenge, whilst keeping my brain and vocabulary well exercised. It's not as cool as being plugged into an Xbox 360 I grant you, but I don't care, as I'm learning new words all the time.

Recently I was involved in two games simultaneously, which were nearing the end, and both results were looking bleak for me. In fact, I was certain I'd lose these games, as I had a single low scoring tile left in both games, and absolutely no opportunity on the board to place them well and win. It crossed my mind fleetingly to forfeit both games, to save time, but my opponents both had their penultimate turns to take, before my seemingly inevitable loss.

Following the dictum Don't quit. Ever. Do. Not. Quit, I decided to play on, hoping my opponents would hit the "Forfeit" button themselves - in error if nothing else - stranger things have happened at sea. And this is where Scrabble taught me a life lesson: as both opponents laid down their penultimate tiles they created an opportunity for me. I now had somewhere to put my single low scoring tiles, which was basically at the end of the words they had just created. Both single low scoring tiles landed on Double Word Score squares, which meant that I won both games, unexpectedly and from nowhere, by one single point, and within minutes of each other. I laughed.

What I took from this bizarrely timed experience is this: in business you can never second guess what your opponents and competitors are going to do; in some ways it's none of your business what they do - you have to play your own game with confidence, until the end. Don't quit. Ever. Do. Not. Quit. Your opponents may make mistakes and create opportunity for you. They may even be successful and create opportunity for you; you never can tell. All that you can do is be patient, persevere, and actually be around to pounce on the possibilities when they eventually present themselves. I'd have lost these games if I had quit, but I always had a chance (that led to eventual triumph) whilst I was still in the game. Losing is not inevitable and you always have to play to win despite the odds.

If anyone fancies a game of Scrabble with me, please let me know as I'll play anyone - but I'm obviously going to play to the death, and would expect you to, too! May the best uncool Scrabble geek win - see you at the board.

Karan x


bottom of page