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4 Killer Poker Skills That Help Your Business Grow

4 Killer Poker Skills That Help Your Business Grow

Most professional poker players are earning a living from the game precisely to avoid working in a traditional corporate structure. Rather than punch a clock and work for somebody else, poker pros pay their own way while grinding the circuit, living an independent lifestyle while attempting to build a secure financial future.

Eventually, though, many seasoned players realize that the very same skills that propelled their career on the felt can also be transferred to the world of business and entrepreneurship. Modern poker pro players like Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and Jason Somerville have built their own brands, leveraging good standing within the poker community to pursue projects which are both financially lucrative and personally fulfilling.

The 5 skills listed below not only help poker players overcome variance, they are in fact wholly transferrable in many aspects of life and can have a direct impact in helping you to grow and improve your business venture.

1. Reading People

For all the talk of having an inscrutable “poker face,” the game doesn’t really hinge on scanning your opponent for tells like the movies would suggest. But reading people is an essential poker skill, in the sense of sizing up their demeanor, tolerance for risk, and other intangible factors before proceeding accordingly.

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Even more importantly, reading people in poker involves anticipating their next moves and carefully observing for patterns and trends. The same holds true for successful businesspeople. Whether you’re assessing the reliability of potential clients before signing a contract or monitoring market conditions before making an investment, knowing how to read both people and situations is pivotal.

Max_Steinberg

    Source: Wikimedia

    2. Risk Assessment

    Before putting their entire stack on the line with an all-in bet, poker players run through an array of mental calculations before deciding on the correct course of action. Knowing how to determine the exact odds that a needed card will come or how a particular hand rates against an opponent’s all serve to help poker unlock the game’s sheer complexity.

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    Even with the exact same cards in front of them, certain situations may warrant taking an additional risk, while other scenarios require more conservative play. Assessing the ratio of risk versus reward, which defines every single poker hand ever dealt, is a fundamental skill that separates successful players from break-even or losing status.

    In business, every purchase order and expenditure represents a certain level of risk, and the best businesspeople are capable of continually managing that risk. Knowing when to cut your losses with an unproductive employee or how the pursuit of new revenue streams may impact current productivity levels are just some of the countless risk assessment decisions business owners must navigate on a daily basis.

    3. Money Management

    Whenever a poker player breaks through into the big leagues — winning gold bracelets at the World Series of Poker or playing in the nosebleed cash games running night and day in Las Vegas — they still have a long way to go. After all, money won can just as easily be lost, and seemingly every year a few well-known pros drop off the poker map due to poor money management.

    The same economic traps that can ensnare poker players, such as taking on too many loans or spending more money than they’re bringing in, can also spell doom when running a business. The most enduring poker players, like the most iconic business brands, know when to walk away from a bad deal, how to save money for a rainy day, and the value of scaling back expenditures during a downswing.

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    4. Patience and Planning

    Despite the nonstop onslaught of all-in pots and bad beats you might see on televised poker broadcasts, the game can actually be quite a grind for players. Thirteen-hour days are the norm, and the best players can find themselves doing nothing but folding for dozens of hands in a row.

    For recreational players, the reality of toiling for hours on end in a tournament can lead to boredom, and even a phenomenon known as “punting” in which bored players who simply can’t stand the inaction any longer put their stack at risk with a marginal hand. Top pros, on the other hand, use their downtime to observe their opponent’s tendencies, planning future traps out in their head before springing into action at the most opportune time.

    Every business owner has been forced to weather the slow season when the invoices dry up and the phone calls stop coming. Some resort to impulsiveness, striking out with ill-conceived product lines and advertising campaigns to try and right the ship, but successful businesspeople approach the situation like poker pros — by planning ahead in order to exploit future boom times most efficiently.

    When it comes the time to choose their bet sizing, the best poker pros can work like a computer, adding up the previous bets to find the size of the pot, scanning their opponent’s stack to count their chips, and choosing the perfect bet for the situation. As a business owner in today’s society, you can profit by adopting the same meticulousness with your calculations, mitigating risks but being valiant enough to strike beneficial deals even when there’s no guarantee they’ll be successful.

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    Above all, consistency is key: a regular maintenance of solid business practices will stand you in good stead for those high-pressure moments where you are put on the spot. Your ability to make accurate decisions on the fly just may be the difference between closing a deal and losing an account.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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    Last Updated on March 29, 2021

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

    What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

    The Dream Type Of Manager

    My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

    I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

    My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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    “Okay…”

    That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

    I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

    The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

    The Bully

    My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

    However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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    The Invisible Boss

    This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

    It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

    The Micro Manager

    The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

    Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

    The Over Promoted Boss

    The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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    You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

    The Credit Stealer

    The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

    Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

    3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

    Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

    1. Keep evidence

    Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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    Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

    Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

    2. Hold regular meetings

    Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

    3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

    Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

    However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

    Good luck!

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