Poker is a game of skill that is mastered through patience, discipline, strategy, and the ability to read people. Business success requires the same qualities. So let's jump into why it is so useful to learn poker as a boost to your professional life.
Poker is a game of probabilities. You are dealt a pair of cards and with this, you need to either construct a winning strategy or opt-out and wait for the next round. Your winning strategy is a function of your ability to estimate the probability of winning on the strength of your hand or the strength of your bluff. This is not far removed from the business of negotiation. You may not always have the best product or service, but you can negotiate either the strength of the value of your product or service or the perceived value it will deliver. You also need to know when you are out of your depth and need to fold.
Business is a game of people. Your ability to read people will help you close deals. When negotiating the price of a deal, you need to suss out your counterpart. If you are a buyer, you don't want to leave too much on the table. You want to find that price point where the counterpart is neither too happy nor too sad. In poker, you want to estimate the risk your opponents are prepared to take, and how they react to situations of stress.
Poker is a slow-moving game. It consists of a series of betting rounds and each round consists of making moves to achieve the optimal reward. You may need to make multiple decisions with a single hand to move into a position of strength. This methodical plan of attack requires patience, the same quality required to build a business.
Business requires attention to detail and concentration, especially if it is your own small business. If you come from a large corporation and you decide to go it alone, you need to cover a wide base of responsibilities. You may need to be a chief marketer, human resource officer, and technology officer. Poker requires you to be observant. Every facial expression, tweak, and gestures must be observed as a potential cue to the hands of your opponents and could be the difference between winning the pot and losing your chips.
5) Money management
You start the game with a limited bankroll and you must optimally deploy resources based on the information off the table - your cards, the community cards, and the mood of your opponents. You need to make quick decisions as the environment changes. You want to go all in on the strategies that present a high probability of success and you want to protect your capital on hands with a lower probability of success. Business is no different. You need to stay in business over the long term and therefore deploy your resources wisely.
6) Emotional control
If you are playing for high stakes, poker can put you in stressful situations. Business is stressful. If it is your own business, the stakes are high and you can flourish under this stress that will determine your success.
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