Lessons From A Card Game

You were dealt a hand. No matter how your cards landed in your hand, you get to choose how you respond. Don’t quit. Don’t settle in to failure. Don’t settle into success. Don’t find cruise control.

Dream a little. Play the cards.

Envying someone else’s hand doesn’t do anything except slow down the game. Wishing you had different cards doesn’t change what you’re holding. Cheating disqualifies you. Lying only pays off sometimes; then the lie destroys your credibility.

Think carefully. Use the platinum rule (treat others the way they want to be treated). Not sure what to do? Ask a friend you trust. Then play the freaking card and just see what happens.

Sometimes, what happens next is fun… Other times, you get to sit back and learn. That card was a dud, but the next one may look like a real winner. I love it when my card didn’t matter, but the person who played before or after me did.

Own it, folks. You only get to live once.


(The homeschooled Montana girl raised in the sticks most of her life who figured out how to live in her own in a new city at 19 with no money. Self-taught programmer, first real job at 19, got knocked back a few steps when the tech stocks crashed leaving us pregnant and unemployed… we dusted ourselves off and started a business with $100. Nine years later, it’s not $100 anymore. It’s 100 employees.)

What have you learned from playing your cards? I’d love to see links to successes popping up in the comments. I’ll publish happy stories and encouraging comments.

Jenn is the Founder and CEO of Cotton Babies. She holds an Executive MBA from Washington University. She was awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Emerging Category for the Central Midwest Region in 2011. Among many other awards, she recently received a 2017 YWCA Leader of Distinction Award for Entrepreneurship. Jenn holds many patents on various inventions in a number of different countries and is listed as one of 50 Missourians You Should Know. She is particularly fascinated by languages, chickens, and children (she has four) when she’s not reading economics journals. Jenn offers mentorship to product developers at any stage in the journey from idea to shelf.