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sega-genesis.jpg Cindy Ord/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Lessons For Advisors From Playing Videos Games With My Son

Old skills never die, while new ones take time to learn.

Last week, while I was at work, my parents hooked up my original Sega Genesis for my 6 year old. My son sifted through all of my old games and landed on Street Fighter 2. He turned on the console, popped in the game, and was hooked.  

When I picked him up that day, I witnessed him glued to the screen. I must admit, the nostalgia was very real. The characters, the music, the special moves—I felt like it was 1992. 

My son begged me to play with him. So, I decided to stay for dinner and we ended up playing for two hours and beating the game. Fun? Yes. An unexpected learning lesson? For sure. Here’s what I took away. ...

  1. Old Skills Never Die

While I hadn’t played in nearly 30 years, like riding a bicycle, it was all coming back to me. 

Down-forward-punch and I was throwing Hadoukens once again. I was back in my element, reliving childhood tournaments, and totally surprised how quickly everything came back to me. 

It got me thinking about the many business skills that may have gotten rusty during the pandemic, especially those around social prospecting.  

My thinking is this: as an advisor when you’re finally able to socialize as normal, don’t worry. Those skills you’ve learned and mastered over the years will resurface. Sure, they might need some fine-tuning, but your ability to build rapport, pivot conversations and ask for the business will come back to you. In our opinion, social prospecting is about to come back quickly.

playing Sega Genesis

  1. New Skills Take Time

The next lesson I learned is that new skills do take time. My son, the newbie, was getting frustrated. He would win a few rounds but then lose. He got to the point where he just wanted to watch me play instead of playing himself. I tried to explain that it takes time and practice to be good. I reiterated the countless hours I spent as a 10 year old playing at my friend’s house. But he wasn’t having it. His expectations were off. He wanted to be really good, really fast. 

From a business perspective, the pandemic has forced most of us to learn some new skills. For financial advisors, this may have come in the form of social media, video, content creation or video conferencing. If you’ve only been at these new skills for a year or so, you may not feel like it, but you’re just getting started. Don’t give up on these marketing strategies—you will get better with time.  

Inspiration for business comes in many forms. Thanks for indulging my walk down memory lane. If nothing else, maybe this inspired you to dust off your NES or SEGA, too.  


Kevin Nichols is a partner with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. @KevinANichols

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