Lessons In Business I Learned From Board Games With My Grandparents

Sometimes buried in those childhood memories lie tremendous business lessons.
Sometimes buried in those childhood memories lie tremendous business lessons.

Sometimes buried in those childhood memories lie tremendous business lessons.

Grandparents are such a blessing. The precious moments we spend with them are filled with love, laughter and lessons that last a lifetime.

Today I want to share a few of the lessons that I learned from playing board games with MY grandparents…along with the business lessons we can find in several other childhood games.


This game isn’t as well known as some of the others on the list, so I’ll break it down. There are 64 identical game pieces – black on one side, white on the other. You take turns putting your piece on the board with your color facing up with the goal of flipping your opponent’s colors to yours.

The key to success, as my grandfather taught me at a young age, is that you have to corner the market. If you want to flip the game in your favor, you need to establish dominance in the four corners of the market as early as possible…and everything becomes yours.


My abuelo (that’s what we call grandpa on the Puerto Rican side of the family) designed these boards and games for us. For those of you who are familiar with Sorry, it’s the same concept.

There are two lessons here. First – always get home as soon as you can. You’re safe there. It’s a happy place.

The second lesson? Even the sweetest grandparents will stab you in the back the first chance they get if you’re not watching. They will destroy you. You learn very quickly to always be alert. But they’ll do it out of love, of course. And then bake you cookies – unlike the rest of the world. 

Mouse Trap

Sometimes you’ll spend tremendous amounts of time building something…that doesn’t work. Something that causes you tremendous amounts of wasted time and spectacular headaches. But sometimes what’s just as important as the finished product that didn’t work is that fact that you tried…and that you’ll do it again and again until you get it right.

The Game of Life

You’ll never make enough money. You’ll never have enough status symbols. There will always be some bill or issue that sets you back. But it’s not always about the cash – it’s about enjoying the road you take getting it.

Hungry Hippos

If you want something, go get it. Go hard. Go fast. There are times in business where you need to just grab onto everything RIGHT NOW.


In business, it’s a long game. You’ll have highs and lows. You’ll hate everyone – especially the banker. You may buy properties and lose them. You may have to negotiate to get ahead. Sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose some. But keep your eye on the prize and you might just find that everyone else has passed out at 2am and couldn’t make it to the end.

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Kyle Reyes is President and CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing.  He's also an acclaimed Keynote Speaker on entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and social media.  You can find him on FacebookTwitterInstagram and on Snapchat @dasilentpartner.