You have heard this time and again that poker skills are in a way linked to business skills. You wonder at the validity of this statement because you know poker players who do not know a thing about business.
So let us get a few facts straight:
• Simply because you play poker, does not mean you will naturally be great in your business. You have to work and get practice in both.
• Bad poker or average poker is not what gets you good business. It is great poker that gets you great business. So hone those playing skills.
• Learning poker and using what you learn in business will definitely get you ahead.
Now that you have the facts, then start to know which skills to gain in poker and where to translate them in your business.
1. Learning to read people
One of the great skills every good poker player must have is the art of learning people’s movements and behaviors. A simple twitch of the finger, widened eyes of shifting eyes tell a lot more than the loud call to fold. Many people play poker by calling false moves and attempting to hide the truth from other players. However, only a few know how to do this successfully and their body language gives them away.
The same applies for business, as many people will try to swindle you. Know who is telling the truth whom you can trust and who is the outright liar.
2. Learn how to lose big
If you have never lost money in poker then you have never played. In poker, you can lose and lose big.
Losing a round in the game is not the end in the game. You learn how to control your emotions, come to terms with the loss and plan. Many companies go bankrupt, go into receivership and suffer major losses. However, the ultimate businessperson knows how to rise after the fall. You only do so by strategizing and keeping calm instead of throwing a fit. Losing and moving on is the best way to win.
3. Learn proper planning
A good poker player knows not to sit at a table without a plan in mind. Otherwise, they simply will be planning to fail. You have to plan your moves and have an outline of your strategy. The best planning is that that factors in even the unexpected. Always have an escape route that leaves you safe.
Writing a business plan is not something you just do in business school. Even if it is your own venture and no one will assess it, always plan every move.
4. Learning money management
People who go bankrupt because they played a few games are not great poker players. You need to know how much you have and are risking to spend. Once you get to your limits, find a way to move out gracefully and admit defeat with tact.
In business as well, you make progress through valuable investments but you need to know how much you can risk. Also managing your money in understanding that the more you invest, the more you make yet remind yourself to stay within the limits.
5. Learning strategic decision-making
Many games have been lost by a player who made a big move or call in the early stages of the game. Ensure when playing you get as much information as you can. That is the reason many hold off before making a move because you need to be sure no one will counter you. You may lose a few but all in the act of getting information. Never make a move with limited information you will fail miserably. Call as many false moves as you need to before you launch the big one.
6. Learn where to focus
Many opportunities will present themselves but keep your focus on the bigger picture. A great example is not only in poker but also in chess. Do not fall for the pawn and lose your queen!
In business as well as poker, focus on the great advantage. You may need to let go of the small opportunities along the way to gain the most in the end.
7. Learning to depend on your gut… instinct
Above all, never silence the small but powerful voice that is your instinct. At times, it will save your life, business and money more than years of learning how to read minds and making strategies. The unexpected happens and your gut can save you!
Chad is a poker enthusiast and blogger. He is also a leading businessman and uses the game of poker to train his employees’ work skills. He believes that being the player with the high poker hands shows just much tact one has as a spot-on businessman.