In life you never really know what or where is going to be the biggest inspiration for you, if your aim is to become an entrepreneur. It may turn out to be a specific thing you learned in your time at college, something you were told by a tutor, or what you did in your last job. But away from the more traditional ways of learning, there are things that present themselves in other areas of life which may not at first seem as inspirational. It could be something over heard at the gym, at the coffee shop, or was it something that just cropped up whilst you were enthralled in your hobby.
Believe it or not, there is a world of learning from our hobbies that could help you thrive in your chosen career. After all, there are so many successful people who are seen to partake in one of the most popular interests in the world, away from the boardroom table.
David Sacks, the founder of Yammer and the CEO of SurveyMonkey, Dave Goldberg, are amongst a host of entrepreneurs who enjoy nothing more than a game at the poker table. But what is it they see in the sedentary pastime that keeps drawing them back time after time? Are they taking aspects of the game which is played by millions of people around the globe, into their business?
So we take a look at some of the reasons they could be actually utilizing poker as a method of advancing in their professional lives.
Risk taking is something that doesn’t come naturally because most people are naturally actually risk averse. So having the ability to calculate risk is something that entrepreneurs need to have, it shouldn’t be a surprise either as they’re defined as risk takers. If you consider that taking risks is something that happens in almost every hand in the top table of poker too, entrepreneurs and the game of poker are almost the most likely of bedfellows. The smartest of players take the risk when the odds are in their favor. After assessing the situation their attention is then aimed firmly on the goal, not the possible negative outcome.
Learning and learning from experience
If a risk doesn’t go the way of the entrepreneur, then it’s about learning from the experience and moving on, positively. Poker players have to do the same. Tournaments can last a number of days. So, if one bad hand was to affect their mindset going forward, then they’d be hampered and soon be on the plane home. The best players at the table haven’t been perennial winners from day one. Even the best now take the lessons of defeat and work on them, for as long as it takes. Daniel Negreanu who is considered one of poker’s greats, recently ended an eight-year winless streak. Like in business, after a loss you have to be even more determined to start over. Always remember that tomorrow is a new day.
The most successful of players in the world of poker can read their opponents; their ability to glean information from the slightest of ‘tells’ is almost unmatched. Learning to win at poker means figuring out how to master emotions in addition to various elements of gameplay. Successful players figure out how to read things from almost everything. They know when their opponents are onto a good thing, or if they’re bluffing. Then they’re back to calculating that risk, what’s the best play to move forward. Learning to read emotional, physical and verbal cues can be the key to success.
Social interaction and communication
One of the best methods of learning to succeed in poker can often be through speaking to other players. And if you get the chance to speak to those at the very top, who are more than open to share their tips, it opens more doors to success. Most top poker players are more than happy to interact on social media; aspiring players all learn the value of following them. Much like networking in business. If you’re given the chance to speak to successful people in your area of business, and find out what makes them tick. You might get that piece of information that makes the difference for you.
Whilst there are no definitive links between the benefits of playing poker and being an entrepreneur, these are mere suggestions that there is a crossover. But, it’s easy to see why some of the most influential people in business, take up the game as both a valued and enjoyable pastime.