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Aug 3, 2020

Rob Angel is a speaker, author, and entrepreneur. He recently published his book, Game Changer: The Story of Pictionary and How I Turned a Simple Idea into the Bestselling Board Game in the World.

In 1985, using a few simple tools, a Webster’s paperback dictionary, a No.2 pencil, and a yellow legal pad, he created the phenomenally successful and iconic board game Pictionary®. Putting together the first 1,000 games by hand in his tiny apartment, Rob mastered all the needed business skills, including sales, marketing, and distribution, before selling the game to Mattel in 2001.

Today, he makes his home in Seattle where he is involved in philanthropy and mentors young entrepreneurs.


“It’s ok to miss an investment. I’d rather miss 10 great investments than go into one bad.”

Rob Angel


Worst investment ever

What do I do with all this money?

When Pictionary® became a worldwide bestseller, Rob made a lot of money. He was about 28 years old at the time, and he had no idea what to do with the money. He reached out to a couple of friends who also had a lot of money and asked them for advice. Every one of them told him first to figure out what he wants for his life.

So Rob took time and thought about it. He decided that what he wanted most was freedom. So every investment he made from then on was focused on giving him financial independence and freedom of time.

Going against his investment vision

About four years ago, Rob received a call from a friend with an investment idea that would make him 56X his investment in four months. Of course, it sounded too good to be true to Rob, but the guy spun him a story that captured his imagination, and also, he trusted this friend.

Rob looked at the paperwork, and it didn’t make sense to him, but he just couldn’t help himself. His gut feeling pointed Rob at all the red flags, but his ego made him go ahead and invest in the idea.

It was just a scam

Rob gave his friend a check and sat back, waiting for his investment to kick in. When the day that Rob was to get paid came, he got nothing. He waited a couple of days, still nothing. After a few weeks, Rob went looking for his friend, but he was nowhere to be found. It was now quite clear that he had been scammed.

Rob wasn’t too concerned with the money that he lost, but he was angry with himself for going against everything that he knows about himself and investing. He was mad that he had let greed lead him to make his worst investment ever.

Lessons learned

Listen to your intuition

Listen to yourself and your gut instinct. Don’t let your brain and your ego override your intuition. Trusting your gut will save you from making your worst investment ever.

Stay true to your vision

When investing, stay true to your vision. Don’t let the excitement of the moment distract you from what you want to achieve.

Plan for your success

Don’t plan to fail; instead, prepare for your success. It’s ok to have a plan B, but plan for your success and what that looks like. Doing so will help dictate your business, your growth, and your investment strategy.

Andrew’s takeaways

Be open, aware and present

Usually, we’re caught up in all of the excitement of the day, and we miss out on the opportunities around us because we’re not present and living in the moment.

Look for inspiration around you

We’re all standing on the shoulders of giants, and we get ideas from other people all the time. So be open to learning and drawing inspiration from people surrounding you. You might just get your next big idea from them.

Invest for the long term

Warren Buffett’s success in investing stems from his ability to watch grass grow. When investing, go in for the long term. Careful, thoughtful investing is just a simple long-term waiting game. It is not a game of excitement or buying and selling. Start investing early enough and let that grass grow.

Learn to move on

When you make a mistake, no matter what you’re feeling, happiness, joy, shame, etc., feel it, then move on. Don’t let it eat you up. Don’t let it ruin your next investment.

Actionable advice

Trust that little voice in your head. If you can get past that little voice, then go ahead and do your research. Then go ahead and see what the investment looks like. Listen to your intuition. We’re all smart, we all know what we need, and we all know what we want. Just pay attention to it and be disciplined about it.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Rob’s goal for the next 12 months is to sell his book and have fun doing it. Rob is trying to sell Game Changer on Amazon. His goal is to talk more about what he did right and what he did wrong. Hopefully, it will resonate with people, and they can avoid some of the mistakes that Rob made.

Parting words


“Just go out and do it. Find your aardvark.”

Rob Angel


Connect with Rob Angel

Andrew’s books

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Further reading mentioned