Business Is Like Playing Poker
I have had the opportunity to be associated with some very smart and successful business individuals. I was having coffee with one not too long ago. He was telling me about a favorite book of his that he enjoyed reading and asked if I had read it. I had not. Then on Saturday the book showed up in my mailbox as a gift from him and I started reading it that afternoon. This is a very good book and I finished it on Sunday, 24 hours later.
Because of the length of this blog post, I will divide it up into two posts.
Delivering Happiness, A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose was written by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com.
It is Tony’s story of success from starting a worm farm, to running a pizza business, to ultimately having Zappos acquired by Amazon for $1.2 Billion. Unfortunately, he passed away in November of 2020, but his concepts are very important to business success.
One of the analogies he used that I found fascinating was his comparison between business and playing poker and the lesson learned along the way.
BUSINESS IS SIMILAR TO PLAYING POKER
EVALUATING MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES
- Table selection is the most important decision you can make.
- It’s okay to switch tables if you discover it’s too hard to win at your table.
- If there are too many competitors (some irrational or inexperienced), even if you’re the best it’s a lot harder to win.
MARKETING AND BRANDING
- Act weak when strong, act strong when weak. Know when to bluff.
- Your “Brand” is important.
- Help shape the stories that people are telling about you.
- Always be prepared for the worst possible scenario.
- The guy who wins the most hands is not the guy who makes the most money in the long run.
- The guy who never loses a hand is not the guy who makes the most money in the long run.
- Go for positive expected value, not what’s least risky.
- Make sure your bankroll is large enough for the game you’re playing and the risk’s you’re taking.
- Play only with what you can afford to lose.
- Remember that it’s a long game. You will win or lose individual hands or sessions, but it’s what happens in the long-term that matters.
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