If your eyes are open, there are business lessons to be learnt all around us, and often in the most unexpected of places. One fantastic example is the gambling industry. The techniques, strategies and knowledge that professional gamblers accrue in the process of doing their job are equally salient when applied in a business environment. With that in mind, today we’re running through five important business lessons you can learn from those winning big at tournaments like the World Series of Poker.
1 – The importance of the basics
Sure, we all want to be rolling in cash as quickly as possible, but being successful in business means building your knowledge from the ground up. It’s vital to learn the rules of the game and to observe and learn from those that know more from you…because someone always knows more than you. Gaining essential knowledge about how things work and experience of trying and failing is what will make you a better all-round player, whether that’s in the poker world, or in the world of business.
2 – Money management
Much like businessmen, professional gamblers know that establishing a budget and sticking to it is key to success. Effectively managing your funds helps you to stay in the game. It’s important to know when to raise and when to quit – an equally important lesson in business and in gambling. Risk management is another facet of this. Professional gamblers understand that there is an element of luck involved with certain games. How do they combat this risk? They manage their exposure to it. You have a far higher chance of being successful if you’re playing a game where skill and strategy are more important than the cards (or dice) going your way.
3 – Practice makes perfect
Of course, there are examples of people enjoying wild success with the first thing that they do. However, more often than not, ‘overnight successes’ are in fact the culmination of many years of education and toil. You can’t expect to be the best of the best without training. In addition to learning the rules, in business and in gambling, experience is key. The more you do something, the better you get. The more scenarios and outcomes you encounter, the quicker and slicker you become at reacting to them and using them to your advantage in order to succeed. Sure, people are born with God-given talent, but nothing can replace experience in terms of success.
4 – Time management
Putting in the hours is an important step for anyone looking to become a leader in their field. But so too, is knowing when to call it a day, or, more importantly, when to rest. The most successful professional gamblers are those who manage their time effectively. They get to know their natural rhythms, so they understand when they perform best. It’s the same in business - it’s not possible to maintain a constant sprint towards victory. Get to know your patterns and remember to recharge your batteries - it gives you the best chance of coming back stronger.
5 – Being humble
Both business and professional gambling involve two factors – winning and losing. It’s unavoidable. Some days you’ll win big, other days, it will be back to the drawing board. In both professions, you must learn to not let the losses defeat you. Especially as every loss is a chance to grow. Flip the script and view losses as a win in their own right. Each loss is a chance to deepen your understanding of the playing field. Every failure is your chance to learn how to win better.