Poker may be a game, but a lot of what you learn at the tables can be applied to the real world too. In fact, many people who enjoy playing poker can list off a few areas of their life where the game has helped them, often in unexpected ways. If you own a business or you’re looking to start your own company, you might be surprised to know that playing poker could help.
Poker and business share a lot of similarities, in fact. In poker, you’re competing against other players for a chance to win the pot. In the business world, you face a similar level of competition when trying to gain customers and make a profit. Coming up with a strategy, bluffing, trying to read your opponent, and calculating odds of success are also just as relevant in business as in poker. Here are just some of the ways that playing poker can help you in business.
Finding an Edge
Being successful at poker is all about finding an edge and taking advantage of openings. You need to find good tables that have weak players who you can beat to make money. You’ll also need to consider your edge when it comes to playing hands. One hand might be strong in a late position but less strong in an early position. It’s all about looking for where the advantage is and taking advantage of opportunities when they open up.
Running a successful business involves similar concepts. When you’re launching your business, you need to make sure there’s a market for your product or service. Check out the existing competition and ensure that whatever you offer is always better than your competitors. You also need to know how to exploit your edge with the right marketing and business strategy.
Each time you play a hand in poker, you need to calculate your pot odds and the risk of failure. Calculating and managing risk is what sets playing poker from simply gambling your money away. Although it’s possible to win without risk management, you also increase your chances of losing money each time you play.
Being able to calculate and manage risk is essential to business. Assessing your chance of success and failure and working out what’s at stake will help you make more effective decisions and avoid losing money with each business you start.
Dealing With Pressure
Playing poker can be extremely stressful and comes with a lot of pressure, especially when the stakes are high. The best players know how important it is to stay calm no matter what and never fold under pressure. Sticking to your strategy when the chips are down is how you get ahead, and you’ll never be successful if you can’t handle a bit of pressure.
This is an important skill to learn for business too. Running a business comes with a lot of pressure and stress. If things go wrong, there’s no one to bail you out, and the stakes are usually very high, especially if you have investors or business loans. By playing poker, you’ll be able to keep it together and stay calm even when there’s a lot of pressure. This will help ensure you’re following your strategy and give you the best chance of success.
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Learning from Failure
You can’t win all the time in poker, no matter how good you are. Sometimes you have bad hands, and other times you suffer from bad beats. The trick is to learn from each loss and keep going. Provided you’re playing with a good strategy and managing your risk. You should still come out on top over time.
The same is true of business. A large percentage of businesses fail in their first year, but failure isn’t the end. You can learn from your mistakes and come back stronger next time. As long as you learn from each mistake, you can still be successful.