How Poker Arms You For Success In Business
We’ve seen a number of prominent leaders in business who are known to be poker enthusiasts, and a few years ago, word of a massive CEO poker night furthered the notion that a lot of the most successful people in modern business play the game.
To some extent, this is only natural. After all, they have money to play with, and these games make for good opportunities to network and make deals. However, there’s also something to be said for why so many successful business people tend to share this hobby: some elements of poker can help prepare you for business success. Let’s take a quick look at some of those elements and how they can help you in the business world.
Learn to Manage Risk
Risk is something that is always going to come up in business. In fact, it seems to be the basis of every business’s success. Playing games such as poker, however, can prepare you for dealing with situations that come up when you take risks. While considering a risk, you look at every factor that goes into it, and every possible outcome. If the odds are in your favor, you tend to take that risk – even if the odds aren’t 100% in your favor. Understanding the math behind odds is a great skill for business owners that often find themselves in negotiations.
Learning to Read Competition
Hiding your emotions is a domain of expertise, and professional players know how to use this to their advantage. On the other side of the coin, however, players also know how to read those minute details that give someone away: a twitch, a tiny smirk, a flicker of emotion. Knowing how to read your opponent while keeping your own feelings and reactions in check is an invaluable skill for both poker players and business owners.
We can’t always get what we want. When you play regularly, you learn that winning in poker is not about individual games so much as your long-term play. You’ll encounter defeat, and it’s how you accept and handle this that often dictates how you perform in the long run. Oftentimes professional poker players accept defeat gracefully – as do CEOs. Sure, loss hurts, but how to accept defeat speaks volumes.
Another part of poker is getting back up on the horse after falling. Players may have lost the game, but that doesn’t stop them from trying again in the next game. For business owners, giving up just isn’t an option. Business owners often accept defeat (again, gracefully!) while contemplating their next big move.
Learn to Manage a Limited Bankroll
Running a business is heavily dependent on how well you manage your finances. In poker, it’s pretty much the same – you need to take care of your bankroll. Your objective is to fatten it up, but at the very least, you don’t want to lose it. With a business, top-line revenue is always going to be a priority, but you’ll balance this with taking risks and spending money that’s hopefully going to increase your ROI.
Recognize the Need to Keep Improving
No one is perfect. In any type of venture – business, poker, life in general – we need to identify areas of improvement and take steps in order to level ourselves up. With poker, it may be by studying others in tournaments, reading poker books, or learning odds and pot odds. With business, you may decide to study negotiation techniques taught by famous FBI negotiators or attend seminars related to areas that you’d like to get better at.
Whether you’re a working CEO or an entrepreneur just starting out, you may find that poker is more helpful than the average hobby. Skills learned from playing poker are highly transferable to business ventures.