Strategy / What Poker can Teach you in Business

What Poker can Teach you in BusinessSamedi, 28 juin 2014

For the vast majority of players, poker is primarily a source of entertainment. We gather around a table with friends, as you would in a bar, restaurant or cinema. Yet for the most serious, learning poker leads to the development of a winning strategy, allowing the best to eventually stand out from their opponents. Through this training, many qualities must be acquired. Listing them is a good way to quickly see a frankly interesting parallel between the latter and those of a good entrepreneur. Can learning poker help you in business? Certainly! Here's how:

Passion and perseverance

"Nobody is born learned and taught." Standing out in poker requires devotion beyond the scope of simple interest, enthusiasm that can only come from a sincere passion for this game. All great poker players share the reality that they are really passionate for what has become their main activity and then had to earnestly work to move up the ladder having led them to their levels of success.
The reality of an entrepreneur is the same. Without the passion for his company, it's impossible to provide the energy needed for success. Just like the poker player, the contractor must work harder in his own progression. Not only will he have to work better than anyone to build and advance his project, but he will mostly have to keep his passion and creativity to remain at the top if he reaches it, but also in order to constantly reinvent itself. Over time, isn't this the true mark of a successful business?

Ironclad objectivity

One of the main qualities that makes a poker player a master of his discipline is his ability to make complete abstraction of his emotions at the table. Poker is a game of incomplete information where the most rational person maximizes his chances of winning. In such a cognitive process, no emotion is welcome! Whether a player has a lucrative or miserable evening, he should be able to remain completely objective, otherwise his game will be affected. This is a difficult skill to master, but oh so rewarding when mastered!

How many profitable companies have taken the path of bankruptcy because of panic following a crisis or simply unexpected or disappointing results? The inability to step back from a situation and deal with it objectively is a cancer for both the company and the poker player. In this sense, the player can also be seen as a self-employed worker, the poker table being is his personal office. "A high risk investment broker with a short deadline" could we say!

Adapting to others

A poker player is not a robot. To maximize its success rate, he must be able to adapt its strategy to his opponents at his table. When asked what its approach in order to win should look like, his answer should always be: "one that will allow me to beat the present specific opponents at my table!".

Successful entrepreneurship always rhyme with clever selling. What is the secret of an experienced dealer? It’s the ability to adapt to his customer, to stand and adjust to its specificities, to close the transaction. Selling is a human discipline; poker too.

Timing, timing and timing!

It is a well known adage in business that three factors are needed to be successful: timing, timing and timing! Indeed, the best idea is not enough if the context of its implementation is not in place. The best sales pitch will not replace a non-existent customer need (although some will disagree!). One thing is certain; the greatest entrepreneurial success stories share this common point: they originated at the ideal time to hatch and evolve optimally.

What about the importance of this maxim poker! The best player in the world won't win the most important annual tournament, the World Series of Poker Main Event, without perfect timing. Talent in poker requires absolute control over everything that is under control of the player. However, success requires a precarious balance between self-control and what Lady Luck can give him. Luck? Yes! And I don't know any flourishing entrepreneur who hasn't been at least a little, or even who would dare spit on it!

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