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Make smart choices about your money, time and productivity

Apr 17, 2017

#73: Last January, I went to a party at a trailer park that featured a huge bonfire, a few llamas, and a member of Public Enemy.

(I realize that sounds like the setup to a joke. Welcome to my life.)

While I was there, I met a former competitive chess player named Steve Gossett. Steve is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker who creates Princess Rap Battle videos for a YouTube channel with more than 1 million subscribers.

But that's not why I invited Steve onto the show.

I asked him to join me on the podcast to discuss the lessons that chess taught him about money, work and life.

On this fascinating episode, Steve and I discuss:

 - Opening Theory: At the start of the game, you have a limited selection of moves. Yet you can quickly lose the game if you choose the wrong moves. Don't lose at the outset.

- Muddled Midgame: While the first few moves are (relatively) simple, even the experts don't quite understand the complexities of the mid-game.

- Gambit: Sometimes, you need to be willing to give up a piece on the board for the sake of getting another strategic win.

- Eliminate options: You'll fatigue yourself if you try to consider every move. Learn how to quickly eliminate options so that you can focus on choosing between a small handful of optimal moves.

- Think ahead: Don't just think about the consequences of the next move. Think many, many moves ahead on the board. Also, realize that every move carries an opportunity cost: once you move a piece on the board, it's not in that same position anymore -- for better or for worse.

- Study/practice/knowledge can reduce time pressure: Chess is a timed game with a ticking clock. You can make smarter, faster decisions through study and practice. Knowledge is your competitive advantage.

I hope you find this conversation as fascinating as I did. Enjoy!

 - Paula

Links to the Princess Rap Battle and Whitney Avalon's YouTube channel can be found in the show notes at