Poker Taught Me More About Business Than Any Class Or Book
I barely graduated college. I never took a business class. In fact, I learned virtually everything about entrepreneurship and running businesses through real-life scenarios.
In spite of my unconventional background, over the past 10 years, I have co-founded three companies with one successful exit, M&A partnerships with some of the largest companies in the world and my newest venture is about to launch.
My career hasn’t been a walk in the park by any measure (having made and learned from pretty much every mistake in the book). Looking back, I can attribute a lot of my accomplishments not to some fancy school, but to a game: poker.
Poker has its ups and downs, very much like a business, and the way you attack the tables can very well emulate the way you handle your business. Here is what I have learned in business from the game of poker and how you can apply it, too.
• Risk management. In poker, players must constantly assess the potential risks and rewards of each decision they make. Business leaders can learn to do the same by carefully considering the potential costs and benefits of different strategies and investments.
• Probability and statistics. Poker players use probability and statistics to evaluate the likelihood of different outcomes and make more informed decisions. Business leaders can also use these tools to analyze data and make more informed decisions.
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• Reading people. In poker, players must constantly assess the behavior and body language of their opponents to gain insights into their strategies and intentions. Business leaders can learn to do the same by observing and analyzing the behavior of their competitors and colleagues.
• Emotional control. Poker players must be able to control their emotions in order to make rational decisions. Business leaders can learn to do the same by managing their emotions and avoiding impulsive decisions.
• Adaptability. Poker players must be able to adapt to changing conditions, such as shifts in the players at the table or new strategies from opponents. Business leaders can learn to do the same by being flexible and responsive to changes in the market or industry.
• Focus and concentration. Poker players must be able to focus and concentrate for long periods of time in order to make the best decisions. Business leaders can learn to do the same by developing the ability to focus and concentrate on tasks and goals.
• Patience and discipline. Poker players must be patient and disciplined in order to wait for the right opportunities and avoid impulsive decisions. Business leaders can learn to do the same by being patient and disciplined in pursuit of their goals.
I am also extremely impressed with how successful poker players run their businesses, particularly when it comes to marketing. For inspiration, I suggest you follow Doug Polk, Brad Owens and Matt Burkey. The way they handle personal branding and content is something we, as business leaders, can all learn from.
See you at the tables.