Successful entrepreneurs hunt everywhere for tips on how to be better.
It’s an industry where no single set process results in a positive outcome. Some startups with a killer idea and great work ethic don’t succeed, whilst less obvious ideas can become a big hit. Who would have thought, back in 2000, that one of the biggest business ideas ever would be a platform where you can talk about anything in just 280 characters?
It is important to diversify your influences and look everywhere for tips on becoming an effective entrepreneur when starting out. That might be a famous businessman such as Mark Zuckerberg or an athlete who talks about working hard and doing the right things. You might even cast an eye over those playing poker in Las Vegas as this year’s World Series of Poker.
That might sound odd, but playing poker professionally is a lot like starting a business. Those players have all raised capital, they’ve risked everything on their skills, and they have to accept the rough times with the smooth. They are the ultimate entrepreneurs; they’re just all in the same business, fighting each other for a slice of that dollar-laded pie.
How can you take the lead from the likes of Dan Lazrus, Phil Ivey and the thousands of other players? By following these important lessons.
Business is all about calculations. Some entrepreneurs might tell you they go on gut instinct, fly by the seat of their pants and always land on their feet. For every single success story, the same method will lead to a thousand broken souls going back to their old jobs, cap in hand. Around the felt of Las Vegas, players calculate poker odds and bet accordingly. If they’re packing a royal flush, they know you can bet big and plan accordingly. If they have two pairs, they’ll look at your chips differently, perhaps a little more reserved. In business, always calculate the odds of something being a success. If you go into a new venture, don’t overcommit your capital, just as a poker player wouldn’t overcommit their chips.
Manage Finances Sensibly
Calculating risk is one thing, but keen financial management is another element of poker. That starts before they pull up a chair at the tables; do they have enough to buy into the game? The cost of poker ranges from $5 buy-in games right up to $10,000 games at the World Series of Poker. A player with a cash reserve of $100 won’t buy into a $100 game; they have to eat, sleep, and play again if they luck out. The same should go for an entrepreneur; a new opportunity might be exciting, but if it eats up your entire cash reserve, you must walk away and look elsewhere.
Don’t Lose Sight of the Prize
Business can be a lonely venture, and sometimes the path might become cluttered and a bit confusing. Is it possible to reach your goal at those dark times? Of course it is, but if you’ve hit a wall, struggled with a failed venture, or feel like quitting, don’t. That’s something poker players learn quickly; each hand can turn out badly, even if it looks like a winner. A small loss, even a big loss, can be put behind you quickly. Some players play for years and never hit a top prize, but they remain focused on turning a profit and going home with dollars in their pocket. No matter what is thrown at an entrepreneur, you must always get up and face a new day just as a poker player faces a new hand.