20th century saw an unprecedented expansion in the popularity of poker. The sport has travelled a long way from primarily being a recreational activity restrained to the small group of enthusiasts to the most loved game both for members and onlookers, including on the web, with numerous expert players and multimillion-dollar competition prizes. Rising above the brick and mortar level, online poker games offer same level of fun and skills to its customers as it did in the offline gaming centers.
Playing the game can seem to be synonymous to passtime or entertainment too many but the players who professionally play this game argue that one acquires skills that help become financially independent and build a lifestyle that makes one stand apart. Thus, the game in a way provides financial security to the people. Though the game is a break through to the monotony of the day, a way to unwind the mind and rejoice; it can actually be a professional pursuit and teach a person invaluable lessons in life as well as in person. Poker offers all the strategies to build a strong character and an entrepreneur.
Lessons to learn from Poker as an aspiring Entrepreneur
With changing times, the road to entrepreneurship has turned into the most trodden path as it is here that they enjoy the freedom to apply their fertile minds, trust their endeavors, and traverse the road to their destination. The progress may be slow and challenging, but every bead of sweat that falls from the body reaps the rewards of fame and glory.
However, no path is perfect. The way is to be paved mile by mile with hard work, consistency, and perseverance. The obstacles that hinder the way are pillars to success that the young entrepreneurs need to surmount. However, there is always a rare opportunity to risk it all and come out on top just like the game of poker. It can be rightly said that entrepreneurs and poker players are two peas in a pod. The two are carried forward in a high risk environment for a potentially high reward, and many skills of poker apply to business and vice versa.
1. Observation and Analysis Skills
Observation and understanding are the two keys to grasp the lead in poker as well as in business. Just like in the game of poker, being observant about the moves of your opponents and understanding of your strengths and weaknesses can help you win the game, similarly, the entrepreneur can with his refined skills can gain knowledge of the market and acquire the necessary information about the products in demand, the competitive advantage if any and can also understand the timings of various decisions. Thus, an aspiring entrepreneur learns how he is perceived by his opponents and can use it to his advantage.
2. Planning for the Future
Planning is an essential step in every sphere of life. A move without planning in poker as well as business can lead to failures and fatal results.
A poker player knows well when to hold his cards and when to fold them. He acts smart and takes calculated risks. The game refines his planning and decision making skills and he learns to analyze the situations and understand which cards to play when the opportunity arises. This planning about taking the calculated risk often leads to victory.
Similarly, in a competitive business environment it is very important to plan and take calculated risks for setting up the business is itself a big risk. What move do you make and the timings of your action, then, ensure the both the immediate and the long-term benefits of the business.
3. Preparing for the Contingencies
One common feature between poker and business is ‘Unpredictability’. No matter how deeply you study the market, some opponent moves are sure to pull you down. Be it the game or business every opponent yearns to slip away opportunities from you. A good poker player keeps himself well prepared for the contingencies. They teach how to deal with ‘what ifs’ and pull out from the troublesome situations.
Entreprenuers are also exposed to the risk of unpredictability owing to the dynamic nature of the customers. In such a scenario, loosing capital base is the biggest nightmare to an entrepreneur which can be surmounted easily through a contingency plan.
4. Practice and Patience is the key
Rome wasn’t built in a day is an apt saying for both poker as well as business. Before becoming successful, poker players had to start from somewhere. Some started with free trials while some started playing online before moving to the brick-and-mortar casinos. Whichever path they took, they had to spend hours practicing to get the desired results.
Likewise entrepreneurs succeed because of their hard work, consistency and dedication. Their patience takes them on the roads of victory. Anyone can draft a business proposal, but it takes hard work, consistency and patience to watch it become successful.
5. The top-notch mind game
Millennials are the smart workers. Gone are the days they would sit in a cubical pondering on the grey walls, looking for solutions. They love to play secretly.
With the rise of the millenials has risen the popularity of poker. This is because poker is a mind-game and it offers a taste of challenge to their minds. It is all about the moves you make, the strategy you take and who you decide to play against. In order to be victorious it is important to keep the mental-conditioning top-notch.
The games of the business world also require the same level of mental conditioning. It is very important to choose your moves, for your competitors are always a step ahead of you. The choice of the customer base, the product selection and marketing strategies determine whom you decide to compete with. A sound mental game is important to make others a pawn in the game.
6. Folding your aces
Aces are probably the best cards to hold on in your deck. But, as the game goes on you may realize that you are not in possession of the best cards and odds might not favour you. Such scenarios might be disheartening but keep you going. The quest for victory helps you trod the path consistently.
Likewise, one might not have the best product in the market, but if the conditions are congenial, it is advisable to step back and wait for a while. Understanding that every act doesn’t turn out to be in our favour is essential.
7. No room for Emotions
In poker one needs to sit, observe and analyse and make decisions in a fraction of seconds. Any delay can give a glimpse of your move to the opponent who can take advantage of the situation.
You cannot let the emotions take a toil on you and loose a huge sum of money. Rational thinking is the key to win the game. Similarly be it an employee issue, negotiation or an investment decision the entrepreneur needs to be rock strong and think rationally. Being emotional can cause loss of money as well as a great market share for the opponents may use it to the detriment of the business.
8. Be Dynamic
Don’t ever think that you can follow a script and win the game of poker. It is completely situational and one needs to study people and pattern to customise their moves. While on the game table track their pulse, their breathing, their posture, and look for patterns in their behavior. This initial reading of the competitor helps you dive deeper and know your opponent well.
Business also operates in the same scenario. The environment is dynamic and keeps changing rapidly. Following a script and offering no flexibility can lead to loss of clients, investors and profits. A quick response to a new situation with a tailor-made plan is always a win win situation.
9. It is not about the Money
Another skill that an aspiring entrepreneur can learn from the game of poker is that everything is not money driven. Building relationships and networking are the success drivers of the business. The skill of socializing and knitting closer relationships helps deal better with customers, clients, investors and everyone across the table.
10. Setting up a Budget
Gambling is addictive and can make one lose control. Poker players on a winning run often fall into the trap of getting too comfortable with the game, forgetting the need to put aside money for contingencies. Even the most skilled players have seen hundreds of thousands of dollars – their entire bankroll – wiped out in the space of a few weeks. Hence another key poker lesson that businessman can learn from: Set a Budget for you.
A budding entrepreneur can lose track of expenses or overspend and forget to save for the bad sales days. A financial crisis can arise anytime and no reserve for future can lead to worsening of the situation.
Thus, a proper budget helps a budding entrepreneur learn about his expenses and incomes understand the prospective crisis and prepare well in advance.
11. Taking Right risk at Right Time
Advancing in both poker and business require taking certain risks. Undergoing a SWOT analysis to calculate your odds is self-explanatory but if you really wish to succeed and be the game changer, it is important to do the SWOT analysis of your opponents as well. Forecasting how your business clients or potential partners will react to a particular decision, or calculating the chances of getting duped by your opponents, changes in the business environments are all essential to ensure that you take right risk at right time.
Always remember that you have to demonstrate perseverance because at times the right decision isn’t going to be the winning decision. No one can avoid a few slips on the rocky road but if you know how to play the right cards in the long run you can easily manipulate the situation in your favour.
A combination of ability, hard work, patience, soft skills, and of course luck
The thing that makes poker a fun game is the ups and downs, the highs and the lows that the players experience on the table. However, a closer look reveals that no matter what happens players often have to keep their calm and let the emotions take a back seat. This is because even a flint for fear on their face might give some clues to the opponents and they may understand the next move of the player.
This is often referred to as the poker face that a player makes to hide his emotions and feelings giving a good look and hiding the desperation they are trailing. From this game one learns a lesson that players who cannot control the feelings and emotions are likely to give a competitive edge to their opponents over there game.
A similar situation arises in business. Being too vocal about emotions plans and ideas of the new as well as the distance future can lead to huge losses and even expulsion from the business world. Research, extensive preparation and attention to details are also the best practices to follow in order to advance your career and businesses and overcome a variety of challenges.
To succeed in life as well as business world, one needs to possess a combination of technical abilities, hard work, patience, soft skills and of course luck. People who rely only on skills without the willingness to take an extra ounce of risk can never succeed in life. Poker is a combination of both risk and development of skills. The more you take risks the more your skills are refined. Likewise in the business, higher the risk involved higher is the ability to manage stress, pressure and steer through with a victory. Higher returns are guaranteed to the one who has the ability to go an extra mile and reap what is in store.
Thus, the world of poker is a storehouse of lessons for a budding entrepreneur who can apply various lessons learnt from poker and be the leader of his world.