What images are conjured up when you think of a game of poker?
A high risk, low return game of chance? Smoky bar rooms or casinos frequented by down-on-their-luck chancers, desperate for one big win to change their fortunes? Or crooked games, often depicted in Hollywood movies, such as Ocean’s 11?
None of these are true. In fact, poker is a game in which the intelligent and clever often triumph. Many academics and educated individuals find the blend of math, emotional intelligence, and strategy the perfect place to thrive. Take Vanessa Selbst as a perfect example; Curvemag.com explain how she went to Yale before becoming one of the most successful poker players of all time. She now works in investment banking, putting skills she learned around the poker table to good use.
Suppose there are attributes that Selbst’s likes can use in poker or indeed Liv Boeree, who earned a First Class Honors degree in Physics with Astrophysics at the University of Manchester in England. In that case, there’s learning potential for any young entrepreneur. Some of those lessons can be found here for you today.
One of the fundamentals of poker is to not treat it as a game of chance, where you turn up with a cheeky smile and a big bluff and win. That doesn’t happen, and as Poker.org claim, the first key element anyone wishing to improve their poker must understand is the need to study. Look at others who play and understand what the successful do that the unsuccessful do not. Understand the guides and strategies that make you a success. The same goes for being successful in business. Instead of just getting in there, take time to understand your industry or field and learn from those already a success. Successful people often share the same traits, and whilst business does have elements of luck involved, you can stack the deck in your favor by being knowledgeable.
Focus on Mistakes
A train of thought suggests that making mistakes is part and parcel of being successful at anything. Everyone fails at something, especially poker. One minute you’re holding a pair of pocket fives, thinking you’re doing well, and suddenly you’ve overplayed and lost a stack of chips. The same goes in business, a big deal falls through, and you’re urged to move on and forget it; don’t. Each fail is a lesson, and if you focus on those and where you may have gone wrong, then you’ll be better the next time you’re negotiating or thinking of going all-in on a weak pair.
Focus on People
If you’re setting up a business, it’s only going to be as good as the people in it. You can have a killer idea, a work ethic that is unmatched, but if you surround yourself with bad people, you’re going to fail. You could end up with what Atlassian deem a toxic culture, and that’s got to be avoided. How do you avoid those problems? By focusing on people, reading them when they’re in the interview and displaying an emotional intelligence to tell a good egg from a bad one. In poker, reading people is key; you have to understand people’s tells and strategies, their bluffs and their weaknesses. Seriously, a few hands of poker will teach you more about a person than you could glean in normal conversation, although we don’t suggest bringing it into your interview process!
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