5 Business Lessons Learned from Monopoly

5 Business Lessons Learned from Monopoly March 22, 2012

The board game Monopoly is simply an American classic.  You, your parents, and even your grandparents probably owned this world famous game.  The brilliance of Monopoly is that it gives each player the chance to walk away victorious whether they are 8 or 88 years old.  With a little luck and good financial cents, you have just as good of a chance as everyone else to turn your initial $1,500 of Monopoly money into the ultimate real estate investment.

Now Monopoly is good family fun and all, but it’s also a crash course in business.  Buy too much too fast and you’ll end up having to mortgage properties to pay an unfortunate $100 hospital bill.  Let opportunities pass you the first time, and they may not be there the next time you’re back around on the board.

5 Business Lessons from Monopoly

1. You’ll Never Win if You Don’t Invest

It’s just not possible to win the game of Monopoly if you don’t invest your money.  Sure, you’ll probably last for a while, maybe even half the game.  But as soon as you have to start paying rent, you’ll be out faster than you can spell M-O-N-O-P-O-L-Y.

You don’t need to be an expert to invest in the game; nor do you have to be an expert to invest in real life.  The problem for most people is that they’re unsure, how, where, and how much to invest.

While you’re on your own in the game of Monopoly, you don’t have to feel alone when it comes to investing today.  Investing companies like Betterment have simplified investing by providing visual tools and projections to put you on track to your goals.   But these tools are only useful if you take that initial step to invest.

2. No Such Thing as Free Parking

Landing on Free Parking can be nice, especially if everyone contributes to the pot every round.  But guess what…there’s no free parking in life.  It’s almost sounds like this phrase, There’s no such thing as free lunch.

Someone always pays.  The quicker you can understand this, the quicker you’ll start to see that life is a game full of opportunity costs.  There’s always something that you’re giving up when you choose between opportunities, even when it’s labeled as ‘free.’

3. Community Chest: Be Ready to Pay

Sometimes landing on Community Chest means that you get to advance to GO and collect $200.  Other time you land in jail or have to pay street repairs on every property. 

Life (and Monopoly) is full of surprises.  You can either prepare for them with an emergency fund, or try to scrape together every last dollar you have to pay for life expenses you didn’t expect to see so soon.

4. When Life Deals You Baltic Ave…Build a Hotel

Sometimes the dice just don’t roll your way.  Sure, it’s nice to be able to land the three red spaces – they’re reasonably priced with high payouts.  But sometimes you’re stuck with Baltic and Mediterranean Ave.

It doesn’t do any good to complain about what you’re lacking when you already have the tools you need to succeed at work or in starting your own business.  Nearly every giant company started as a small unknown startup.  Don’t underestimate your potential because you’re starting small.  Use it to your advantage and build your hotel.

5. Take Chances

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

Life is full of risks.  You can either run from them or prepare the best you can and try to turn the opportunity into something big.

So what are you waiting for?  It’s your roll.

Which of these ‘lessons’ resonates the most with you?  Leave your comment and ‘like’ us on Facebook and you’ll be entered to win the board game MONOPOLY.

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