Eden Amirav was Israel’s national undefeated champion at World of Warcraft. He has also established and sold one seven-figure business and founded another eight-figure business.
For the uninitiated, World of Warcraft has grossed nearly $10 billion in revenue since 2004. It’s also a fiendishly addictive video game that encourages players to sink hundreds of hours into it.
After retiring from gaming, Amirav founded Lending Express, a technology company that helps small businesses find and secure funding through technology.
Lending Express clients generate revenues up to $150,000 per year and apply for loans of about $25,000.
To grow both businesses, Amirav used many of the lessons he acquired from World of Warcraft.
Know Your Role
World of Warcraft requires that players specialise in a particular role or class, such as hunter, warrior or mage. Each class has strengths and weaknesses and demands a particular playing style.
In business, successful leaders build on their strengths and find other players or team members to fulfill different roles.
“You also want your own management team to be working together, helping each other,” said Amirav.
For example, marketing and sales leaders must be able to depend on each other to find and acquire new customers.
In a smaller business, an entrepreneur might fulfill several roles, but they can still outsource tasks, such as customer support, to a third party.
“Each [employee] should really have his own role and responsibilities. [The business] becomes a strong group that can accomplish great things together,” said Amirav.
Today’s video games demand players review large amounts of information and make split-second decisions…or face certain death.
“World of Warcraft” players typically set up a keyboard, mouse and monitor with macros or hotkeys so they can respond to in-game events immediately.
“You need to be super quick,” said Amirav. “In my tournaments, my record was two-hundred actions per minute. So, I got really, really good and fast with keyboarding.”
An entrepreneur bootstrapping a new business must also be super efficient and productive if they want to grow the business.
In other words, they can’t afford to waste hours on Twitter after getting distracted by a random notification.
“When you have a growing business, you see opportunities all the time,” said Amirav. “You…must focus and decide what you do and what you don’t do.”
Allocate Your Resources Wisely
World of Warcraft rewards players with an array of rare artifacts, powers and spells, which they then decide how and when to use.
According to Amirav, small business owners must also consider what to do with newly acquired resources like funding or a hire.
“When you are a professional gamer, you really need to choose your battles, to know where to focus your resources,” said Amirav.
“It’s very similar to how you build and plan a business. You have a lot of resources and…you need to think what you’re going to do with those.”
The best way to spend a resource wisely is to figure out what opportunities to defer or even pass up for now. Amirav continues to cultivate this practice today.
“Identify what is the most important thing that you should, as a company, focus on,” he said.
“Later on, it becomes much easier to say no to…everything that is not directly related to that main-focus point.”
Play Well With Others
Part of the fun playing World of Warcraft is finding other like-minded players, joining clans and going on raids and entering competitions together.
Amirav relied on a mindset of collaboration to first succeed at video gaming and later grow his businesses.
“You ask for help and you give help, eventually what you create is some kind of a clan or a group that can work with each other and help each other,” he said.
“When you have business partners and you’re not working all by yourself…that is the right way to scale a business.”
As a gamer, Amirav played or trained for up to nine hours each day. He has since retired from defending his World of Warcraft title and spends this time working.
However, Amirav occasionally plays less demanding video games like Overwatch to relax.
“When you come back home, you want to rest and maybe enjoy a game or a movie. It is fun, it is refreshing and gives me good adrenaline.”
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