I admit I don’t play a lot of video games, but I’ve become obsessed with this puzzle game on my phone. What keeps me coming back? How good it feels to beat my high score.

I’ve learned a lot about business from video games—and I wanted to share my #1 (plus #2–4) lesson with you.

Create early wins for your clients

Video games developers know that when a player feels successful – or gets a win- they get a hit of dopamine, the feel good substance in our brains. As players, want to feel that success again, so we are willing to keep playing.  

But to make sure we get that win…and keep playing, video game developers create their games to lead to “early win.” Early wins make us feel successful and get us excited to play the game more, even as the game gets harder.

We can apply these same concepts in our businesses with our clients. By helping them have wins early on, they feel more successful and excited about continuing the work with you. Simple wins create a sense of accomplishment and build momentum.

Mama CEO, Julia Sarver, did that with her Detox Done program. While she offers in depth ongoing consulting to health coaches, she created a short detox in a box that gave easy, early wins to clients — and set her up to have these clients come back to her for more services later on.

And this doesn’t have to be a stand alone program. What early win can you create in the first week of your 6 month program which will keep people excited and motivated to continue through the hard work ahead?

Teaching simple strategies and easy to implement ideas help your clients have those early wins so they trust you (and will be excited about) pursuing a harder goal with you.

Learn to make the most of your time from Tetris

If you are like me, or most Mama CEOs, you have many different tasks and project that need to get done to keep your business and home running. The key to winning the time game is to know what tasks need to be done—and, this is key, exactly how long you expect each task to take.

Think of the time of each task as the shape of a Tetris block in. Once you know what shape your task is, you can line it up with a space in your schedule that is the same size.

It gets tricky though. You’ll be waiting for a good spot for that project that needs a big chunk of time, but sometimes you need to take a hit and drop that big project where ever you can—and then fit in your other pieces around it to catch up.

Those days when you rock your schedule and just keep crossing off the to do items? That’s like filling and clearing row after row in Tetris. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Start again (but not all the way to the beginning)

When you are playing a video game and you don’t complete the level successfully? You get to hit the restart button and try again. No big deal!

You get to go back and try to get past the dragon or make the burgers faster or fit the blocks in better. You get another chance. AND each time you play a level, you learn what to do to be successful. Maybe you figure out there is a gold coin hidden somewhere, or that the if you go through the door on the left, there is a dragon. So you do it better the next time.

The same thing applies in our business. After hosting your first webinar, you know what worked and what didn’t, and your next webinar will be that much better. You also get to level up after a successful round. If you host a very successful Instagram challenge, you get to use that knowledge to repeat the success on the “next level.” Maybe it’s a little harder or faster (or your audience is bigger), but you know what to do and how to do it.

Once you complete a few levels successfully, you don’t have to go all the way back to the beginning to start over. With time and practice, your baseline becomes higher. Each time you start the game (or your next business idea) you start from a more advanced place. Even if that level is completely new to you, you get to bring your experience from the early levels to help you succeed again! (This upleveling and facing the same challenges over and over again is the path of the entrepreneur.)

Map it out

In a game, you know what your goal is. It may change some as you uplevel, but you know what you are trying to do. You need to map it out for your clients. Show them where you are headed and what they need to do. Show them what tools you provide along the way. Guide them toward that goal, so they keep moving forward with you.

When you’re learning a video game, you can jump in and try to play. At some point if you want to advance more quickly or understand the game better, you check out guide books and get involved in forums and online communities. With your business, you can do the same thing—read the business books and join groups like Mama CEO to learn from others. Maybe the most fun (and direct) way to learn is to sit down and play with somebody who knows how to win—whether it’s a video game fanatic or a business coach. It’s time to up your game!