Lessons From Chess And Its Greatest Master - Bobby Fischer
One thing I love to do is study the world’s greatest masters. Any given craft has a master. Someone that surpassed all others and took things to the next level.
In chess that was Bobby Fischer.
Fischer was a genius. The "Mozart" or "Van Gogh" of chess. He did things no one had seen before. He opened games with crazy moves and beat grandmasters 8 to 0. Things not seen before or after him.
Like many other geniuses he was also a troubled man. Some argue that his relentless obsession with chess drove him into madness.
The trailer for the 2014 Tobey Maguire movie about Fischer, Pawn Sacrifice, starts off by saying: "This game is a rabbit hole. After only 4 moves there's more than 300 billion options to consider. It can take you very close to the edge."
Fischer isn't the only chess genius that went mad. Paul Morphy is another famous prodigy that lost touch with reality and ended up roaming the streets of New Orleans.
Regardless of whether Fischer acquired his mental issues over time or was born with them - one thing's for sure - he became the best.
"Success leaves clues" as they say. What are some of the clues Bobby Fischer left that we can learn from?
After studying him for a while and watching this fantastic documentary about him the other day - it's clear he had the core traits of a master.
There are certain things all masters have in common. Out of everyone I've studied he may be the most extreme though. He took things to the nth level.
Here are some of Bobby Fischer's main traits and fundamental reasons for his success:
1. He had FOCUS: Actually that's an understatement; this man had a relentless obsession. Since he was 6 years old all he did and thought about was chess.
2. He SACRIFICED: Everything. This man literally sacrificed his family, relationships, reputation and entire life for chess. He lived a monastic existence.
3. He STUDIED: All the time. He devoured chess literature and studied his opponents games, countless times. He'd run plays in his mind and was in a constant pursuit for improvement.
4. He TRUSTED HIMSELF: He paved his own path. People referred to him as arrogant which he may have been - but he did have the confidence required to win. He took control and did it all by himself, refusing to let anyone get in his way.
5. He was COMPETITIVE: To do the above you have to be fucking competitive. He had the desire to win and all he wanted was to become world champion (which he did).
6. He TOOK THINGS TO THE NEXT LEVEL: Like all great masters he not only mastered his craft, he made it better. In fact he invented his own variant of chess, called Chess960.
On this last point, the conclusion he came to on chess is fascinating: "chess is dead."
Isn't it weird that the ultimate master of chess would think that?
Perhaps not. What Fischer meant is that chess has been "done" to such an extent now - that there isn't much left to discover and improve. For more than two decades computers have been able to beat humans at chess.
This is why he proposed a new variant to chess that is more random and harder to memorize.
What is the lesson here?
Everything changes and has to change. Nothing remains static. When a large group of people pursues something for long enough, it dries up.
And yet a fact about humans is they like to stick to the known. But it's those who venture beyond the present known first that win big - like Bobby Fischer.
The same is true for those of us in the game of private labeling. Most sellers are playing by the old rules and are slow to catch up with the changes. And if you're too slow the model will dry up on you.
But those who venture beyond the present known first, win big.
Right now I'm working with a small group of sellers and we're venturing beyond the present known in private labeling.
I'm showing them things like how to pay 30% less for your products, how to craft a deadly product strategy and how to run laps around your competition with ads.
99.9% of sellers on Amazon have no clue about the things I'm sharing, because no one else is talking about them. It's like a "new variant" on private labeling.
We’re a small group and it's good, because it means the advantage is ours and ours alone.
If you're selling your own private label products and are interested in becoming a part of this group, start by checking out this free case study video I created.
- I hope you got value from this and insights to help you master your craft.