Business experience doesn’t always need to come from the corporate world.
After all, succeeding in business requires a whole host of experience and skills. Sometimes we can gain new skills in unusual ways, such as playing poker. The two worlds are very different, but there are lots of lessons that can be picked up at the poker table that can make you a better business person.
Be Process Driven
It is easy to get bogged down in the end goal when it comes to business. Having a successful company, with money to retire on when the time comes, is often the vision that keeps business owners getting up in the morning. However, fixating on something in the distance can distract from the day-to-day work that goes into making that dream a reality. It can cause people to take bigger risks than are necessary and, ultimately, to become disheartened by the small victories that are needed to reach those big goals.
The same is true when it comes to poker. Focusing on defeating a specific opponent or winning a certain hand can cause people to continue playing hands that should be folded or making bets that don’t make sense with the circumstances in front of them. Sticking to the plan, being process-driven, and focusing on the task in front of you is the best way to succeed in both business and poker.
It is impossible to succeed in business without taking risks. Those risks might be big or they might be small, but they always need to be managed and calculated. Business is all about calculation; profits, risk, resource levels, and much more. Being able to calculate risk is a key element for any business owner, which is handy, as it is also a key attribute of a successful poker player. Calculating poker odds is a method successful players use to determine risk and make informed decisions around raising and folding, mitigating the risk to their stack of chips.
Understanding when a risk is worth taking is a key to success in both fields and being able to calculate that risk is going to allow you to jump on opportunities early to maximize your profits. Sure, it is always a risk and no good businessperson or poker player will tell you otherwise, but there are plenty of ways to make sure you take as small a risk as possible.
Know Your Business Environment
Good market research is something that every business owner does from time to time. Learning who your customers are and, more importantly, finding out how your competitors are meeting their needs is a key to keeping ahead of the curve and never getting left behind. It allows you to position yourself so you can survive in case of an unexpected turn in the market.
In poker, players will look for another player’s tell, some sign that they either have the best cards or are, in fact, bluffing to try to get themselves out of a bad situation. This isn’t always as reliable as it is in the movies, but it starts with doing research into an opponent’s play history. What cards do they like to fold and which do they like to play? Data is more reliable than any tell could be.