What’s the big game you would love to play over the next three years?

At the heart of your pitch is a mission, your ‘Big Game’. It’s what you want to be known for. Your perfect pitch must contain your ‘why’. It’s your compass.

It’s the reason you get up each day and do business.

Bill Gates said Microsoft’s big game was ‘to put a personal computer in every home and on every desk in the world’.

Ray Kroc said that McDonalds’ big game was ‘if Man goes to the moon, we will go there too, open a restaurant and serve him a great burger at a great price’.

Oprah Winfrey said her big game was to ‘share a daily dose of inspiration with women all over the world’.

My big game is to create entrepreneurial teams all over the world who solve meaningful problems at scale.

Your big game should:

  • Get you out of bed raring to go in the morning and keep you up late at night.
  • Become the heart of how you design your business and how you get results.
  • Become the source of the irresistibly delightful experience you deliver to everyone who comes into contact with you.

Your perfect pitch is not just a set of well-rehearsed words. It is a statement about what you are up to in the world. It’s your big game that lights you up just thinking about it.

The components of a game worth playing:

1. It must be fun: there is no point playing a game that is no fun. Underneath the challenges, it will still be an exciting and fun game you want to get up each day and play.

2. It must have rules: there are clear structures, time frames and behaviour that is ‘out of bounds’. You must be able to explain to people ‘the rules of the game’.

3. There must be players: every game has players who come to the game because they consider their strengths are well suited to the game. The better your players, the more fun the game.

4. There must be a prize: committed players love to play for the fun of the game, but when you have a coveted prize at stake everything goes to the next level. Is it money? Is it ownership? Is it recognition? Is it something even bigger?

5. There must be a way to win: imagine a game that has no end time. Imagine a game that doesn’t keep score. Imagine a game where there is no clear way to win. It would not be fun and it would not keep people interested.

6. There must be a way to lose: if you can’t lose the game, then it’s no fun either. The game must be edgy enough that the players realise it’s entirely possible to lose.

The thought of losing the game should be a strong driver, and there should be a point where it is clear the game has been lost so players know when it’s time to go back to the locker room and rethink their strategy.

The question you must ponder again and again is this:

‘What’s the big game I would love to play over the next three years… win or lose!?’

The answer needs to make you feel enlivened. When you have that answer you are ready to construct your perfect pitch.