How I Cheated To Become The Pinball Wizard of Reno

I never really got to go on any true ‘vacations’ when I was growing up. On a couple of occasions, I would wake up on Saturday morning and my grandmother, would ask if I wanted to go to Reno for an one day trip. We lived in Northern California, so Reno (aka “The Biggest Little City in America”) was about a four hour drive to the place where she could play the nickel slot machines. Reno, to me meant one thing, staying at Circus Circus.

I did not know at the time that Reno was kinda scoffed at by those more well off than us. It was seen as a dirty little city where poor folks, like us, would go to gamble and stuff their faces at the cheap buffets. So, guilty and guilty:)

For me Circus Circus, was the place I could watch free circus acts, play in the arcade, and do carnival style rides. Best of all it was all for free! Just like serving free alcoholic drinks to keep the adults numbed and feeding the slot machines, having free entertainment for kids, kept the crowds from wandering around to check out other casinos in the area.

My favorite part of the experience was the arcade though. I would get $5 worth of quarters and be own my own for hours playing the video games. I was left alone, but never even felt lonely, because I was consumed with playing in the arcade.

On one trip, I was down to my last couple of quarters and getting ready to leave to find my grandmother to hit the buffet for dinner. We had agreed on a time to meet and I was needing to leave soon. I decided to plop a quarter to play a pinball machine next to the exit of the arcade on my way out.

What I then discovered was that this one pinball machine was broken. Not broken in a bad way though. After my 5th ball was lost, instead of saying game over and requesting another quarter to play, all I had to do was hit the play button and it restarted. Every. Time.

You can imagine my delight to have a found a machine I could play without ever having to feed another quarter to keep me entertained. No one else knew about it, I suppose because no one was curious enough, like me, to hit the start game button before inserting a quarter.

As you can guess, I was running late for the time we were supposed to meet at the buffet. I knew I had to leave, but I did not want someone to find out my secret and take control of this ‘broken’ pinball machine from me.

So what could I do to make sure no one else found out my secret and keep me away when I returned? After all, I was coming right back, after my second piece of coconut pie from the buffet!!!

Being the curious kid I was, I had already known how they turned all the video games on and off. For most pinball machines, there was a switch on the bottom right side, you had to flick to turn on and off. Sure enough, that is where I found the switch to this pinball machine…

I hurriedly looked around to make sure no one was watching, flipped the switch turning tha machine off and ran to to buffet to meet my grandmother.

Upon my excited return, do you know what I found waiting for me?

A turned off pinball machine, everyone else was walking right by.

Another scan around the room to see no one was watching me, a reach under the right side, a flick of the switch, and vroom the lights all came back on. Now to see if pressing the start button gave me a game without paying…

I pushed the start and *pow* out popped my first ball, ready to play…

I must have played for hours there on that trip.

I was unhindered from fear of losing. If I lost all 5 balls, I just had to push the start button to begin anew.

It took hardly any skill and the risk of loss was removed, but…

That is how most people think they need to find a business. Just find a machine that has a loophole or is ‘broken’ in their favor.

You have seen the same promises manifest like, ‘Never spend a dime and make millions drop shipping from China’; ‘Use Amazon to private label someone else’s products to be rich’; ‘A no fail system to get people to pay you for selling affiliate products’, etc.

I cannot count the times I have been paid or even helped a friend or family member to start an online business. In the end though very few ever make it work. Why?

They are convinced the secret is not in increasing their skills and persevering. Instead, most are looking for that loophole, that sure thing, that broken pinball machine that ensures they never lose.

But here is the thing; even if finding such a business would work, do you know what happens?

You lose interest and want to move on to something that feels like a true challenge.

For me, as a kid standing at the same broken pinball machine, after a couple hours, I simply got bored with it. What got me so excited just a little while ago, was now feeling like a chore to keep doing.

I tried to keep at it, but eventually felt it was more fun to go put my quarters into other machines that were not guaranteed wins, but at least were more of a challenge to conquer.

If you are trying to promote your coaching, consulting, or system as a no lose proposition, you are going to find yourself working with people who will be excited at first, but eventually want to move on to something that is more interesting, more challenging, more purposeful.

Be very wary of promising no work, no fail type of offers to your market place. You will attract people who will not want to do the work and if you start taking them down the road of needing to do work to succeed, they are going to leave. Even if what you say is true and does take advantage of some type of loophole, the same fate lies ahead for you. Those people are going to lose interest in you and your system and move on to something else. Thus, not paying you and requiring you to keep finding more and more clients.

Instead, we all should be looking to help people who are excited not for sure bets, but work that is meaningful that produces lives of purpose and prosperity.

If we start marketing our services as anything less than requiring adventure, challenge, and discovery, we will all suffer the fate of my beloved broken pinball machine.

It will keep people interested for a short time, before they flip the off switch and move on to something and someone else.


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