Entrepreneurship and cards

Posted by Brian Lee in Doing business |

playing cardsI enjoy the occasional game of low-stakes poker. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the phrase, “It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand” in respect to life, especially business.

In poker and in business, sometimes you start with a bad hand. You can whine about it, or you can do something about it. In other words, you can win with a bad hand, just like you can lose with a good hand. This is what makes being a business owner both frustrating and rewarding.

Let’s say you’re dealt a bad hand. I know, this sucks. You have a major uphill battle to have any chance of success. You feel that all of your competitors are catching the breaks. Do you fold and try another business? Do you ride it out when you should have folded? Or do you bluff a big hand and see how far you can get?

You’re dealt a bad hand, and you get to draw more cards. This can be considered a pivot. Unfortunately, the new cards may not be any improvement, and now you’re back to where you were before. Or perhaps the new cards are a modest improvement, and while three-of-a-kind is not the best hand out there, you at least have a fighting chance.

You’re dealt a good hand. I think only a small percentage of entrepreneurs start with everything in their favor, and sometimes it’s from pure luck. We shouldn’t spend too much time being envious of this group; instead, we need to focus on how we can improve our own situation. If you’re one of the fortunate ones to start out with good cards, don’t squander it. And don’t get greedy by asking for more cards, because you may just end up with a worse hand.


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