Business is pretty much a gamble, especially to begin with. You invest a large sum of money and hope that the money will rise in value over a period of time. If you are earning money, you would keep on doing what you were, and if you lose the money you invested, you would borrow more in the hope of earning (winning) more!
Parallels Between Business and Gambling
However, the only difference between business and gambling is that you have considerable control on your winnings when you’re doing a business. The efforts you out would play a great role in the profits you earn. However, business is not just about making efforts. It is also a matter of luck.
You may have put all your efforts into launching a new product that serves all the needs of your target market. You may also give your best shot on marketing and promoting the product in the best possible way.
However, if your customers change their mind or if there is a new entrant in the market, all those efforts go to vain. It is similar to you having great cards in a game, but your opponent having the trump card that beats yours! You can also get lucky by earning a lot more than you expected in your business. There have been cases where a business has out minimal efforts in marketing their brand, but gets popularity and a boost in sales simply through a positive word of mouth.
Can The Game of Poker And Running Business Be Compared?
Whenever you talk of gambling and high-earning card games, poker always tops the charts! It is probably the most famous and the most played game in the casinos along with Black Jack. Poker has always interested gamblers from across the globe to try their luck and win huge pots.
If you don’t know what the game is all about, it is game where every player gets two cards and five other cards are opened on the table which are common to all the players. The player having the best combination of the cards available (2 of theirs + 5 on the table) wins. Stakes are raised and folded according to the players’ estimation of winning.
However, it would be an interesting analogy to compare the game of poker with business. Though the latter is completely a game of luck, it does require certain skills to outsmart the contemporaries. If viewed closely, there are ways in which poker teaches important entrepreneurial lessons to businessmen.
Wondering how a gambling game teaches business lessons? Read on to find out more:
The Odds Can Never Be Zero!
This lesson is of utmost importance for start-ups. Poker is one of the few games where the house never wins. It is always one of the players that take all the money on the table, unless one of the players decides to quit in the middle of a game.
One hand is certainly bigger than the others, but if a player knows how to play their stakes well, there are chances of them winning. In the business world as well, nine out of ten start-ups are don’t work out well. Due to reasons like insufficient capital, unskilled staff or poor planning, the venture dooms before it even takes a proper flight.
In the business world as well, the odds are never zero. No matter how unfavourable the conditions are and how difficult it seems to continue in the market, you can always play the right trick and sustain (and even win!) There are always ways to outsmart business competition, be it by efforts or simple manipulation!
Poker therefore teaches every fresh businessman to always believe that there are always chances to win if you have the right way to play, even during the worst of conditions!
Evaluation Of Risk
Risk evaluation is an important aspect of both business the game of poker. There are also experts that argue that poker is more a game of skills than chances. You need to evaluate the risks you would take if you are raising your stakes depending on the cards that you have.
If you have cards that seem sure to make you win the hand, you can go ahead and take the risk. On the other hand, if you have poor cards, you would think of not taking a bigger risk and limit your bets.
Similarly, you need to evaluate the risks you are likely to take in a business venture. If you have a huge capital and a team of highly skilled employees, you can take a considerable risk as you would be able to afford the losses.
However, if you are a small business with a limited number of employees and an average turnover, you would not want to venture into international markets! If you lack funds for your business, you need to evaluate the source of your funding. You can either take a loan from commercial banks or from an alternative finance platform. Here as well, you need to evaluate the interest and credibility of these institutions.
Therefore, you can neither win poker chips nor profits if you fail in the evaluation of risk you’re willing to take.
Never Wait For Complete Information
While playing poker, you can’t wait for all the cards to unfold in order to make your bets. You need to estimate the chances of your winning right from the beginning and place your bets accordingly. If you wait till the end and the cards turn out to be in your favour, you wouldn’t win the maximum that you could.
Similarly, you need to take business decisions pretty early in your venture. Make all the business plans keeping the future in mind. If you would wait for the market to get better or the competitors to come up with a new product, it may be a bit too late for you to make a move.
Therefore, anticipation is the key to business as well as gambling. If you are not sure about your chances to win, play safe – and if you’re confident about winning, go all in!