How do I win?
This is the question we always ask ourselves before starting any venture or transaction.
Especially in real estate.
We ask ourselves this because we are used to playing finite games: games with clear winners or losers.
Games that are defined by James Carse as, “the familiar contests of everyday life…played in order to be won, which is when they end. There are players, there are rules and there are winners. The game is designed to end, and it’s based on scarcity.”
Just about any kind of sports game is a finite game: there are set rules and an endpoint with a clear winner and loser.
But there is another kind of game, the infinite game.
In the infinite game, “the point is to keep playing for fun, not to win. In the infinite game, the journey is all there is. And so, players in an infinite game never stop giving.”
Playing catch with your child is an infinite game.
Neither of you can win, the goal is just to play together.
The problem with playing a game to win is that you may find yourself keeping score of things that don’t matter because you are playing for a scarce resource.
Like when we post on social media purely to gain more likes and comments despite the fact that they don’t amount to much.
But, when you play an infinite game, you aren’t looking to win.
So rather than asking, “how do I win?”
You ask, “is it worth playing?“
Now, this may all sound very profound, but what is the point?
Well, when I decided to build Gokce Capital, I wanted it to be an infinite game.
I wanted to build a business that I simply enjoy running.
One that doesn’t have an end-point: a payoff of x amount that ends my involvement in the company.
And I also wanted to focus on finding ways to use my business to give as much as possible.
While I probably only live up to this ideal about 10% of the time, striving for the impossible means I must constantly improve.
And ensures I keep playing.
I used to help New Yorkers find affordable housing, now I help people around the US find affordable land!
I live in New York Metropolitan area with my spouse, daughter and cat, but I’m originally from Chicago and still consider myself a midwestern at heart.
A brief bio
After that, I spent three wonderful years with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development as director for two new construction affordable housing programs.
If you’d like to hear more about my experiences in real estate, check out my book, Land Investing Mistakes: 11 True Stories You Need To Know Before Buying Land.
One way I strive to give back is by protecting our natural landscape for current and future generations through conservation easements.