Although many people would never put poker and entrepreneurship in the same category Benoit Lam believes that there are many parallels between the two.
These parallels are essential to success in most aspects of life including business, family, and individual happiness. His extensive experiences in both of these arenas have shown him how similar business and poker are.
He first started playing poker when he was in college. As his entrepreneurship journey has started, his schedule was packed, but he never lost his love for the game and never stopped playing. By participating in both the economical world and the world of strategy and risk, he developed skills that helped him perform well in both business and poker. These are the skills that he has utilized to play competitively in the highest stake poker game in Macau and manage his international property management business.
The first of these transferrable qualities is discipline. Setting goals is one thing but reaching them is another. To pursue achievement, one must be dedicated. He learned this while playing a massive three week 18 hours/per day long poker session in Macau. By eating well, going to the gym, and maintaining focus, he was able to keep his head in the game even when he was exhausted. This is the same in business. Accomplishing goals happens when you are dedicated and perseverant. This is the basic principle of success in poker or business. Self-discipline is required to set a goal and work towards it with full determination.
The second principle is opportunity. Success in poker and entrepreneurship both depend on identifying a situation in which you have a positive edge over your competitors
In poker, this is referred to as “game selection.” It is the art and science of finding a game in which you have a great enough edge over your opponents to maximize your odds of beating the game. In business, it’s your competitive advantage that gives you the edge over your competitors and maximizes your chances of success.
Sometimes playing the game doesn’t mean anything if you’re playing the wrong game. It’s both an art and a science to learn how to choose the right opportunities in business and in poker.
Both the poker player and the entrepreneur must recognize that the competitive balance changes over time, and what was once a positive edge could now be a negative expected value situation.
Thirdly is learning through competition. If you are always the big fish in a small pond, you’ll never be able to learn new skills and grow your perspective. In both poker and entrepreneurship, you need people who push you and challenge you. If you want to reach the top in Poker or in Entrepreneurship you have to consider yourself has an athlete. You have to always want to go forward, study your competitors and try to always be better than them. It can be difficult but if you want to succeed you will always have to work harder than them.
Humility and Learning
Fourth is constant learning. It is crucial to track your performance on regular basis to identify your limits and find out your areas of improvement. Both the successful poker player and the successful entrepreneur understand that they can never stop learning and improving, regardless of their level of success or achievement.
It is essential to personal growth in business, in poker, and in life. Attending conferences and honing your skills through competition are both great ways to continue moving forward. Both entrepreneurs and poker players must be humble and dedicated enough to continue reading books, watching videos, doing research, and practicing their skills. This is the only way you can keep climbing the ladder of success.
Control what you can Control
Last, but certainly not the least of these lessons is the proper balance between flexibility and planning. Although it is vital to have plans and goals for the future, it is also important to realize that somethings are out of anyone’s control. The solution to this is to control what you can but be adaptable to changes that you can’t anticipate. In poker, you can win with the weakest cards or lose with the strongest cards if you don’t play your hand correctly. By controlling your own emotions, sticking to your plan, and being prepared for quick change, you can have an edge in poker or in business.
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