Over the years, gamblers and entrepreneurs have been compared so many times that we have almost come to think of entrepreneurs as gamblers.
Actually, there are quite a few similarities but there are also some major differences as well! If you are wondering why this comparison has been made for so long and so often, you might want to look at some of the most common similarities. That will probably give you the answer you are looking for.
#1 Similarity – Willingness to take huge risks
If there is any one characteristic that gamblers and entrepreneurs have in common, that would be their willingness to take on huge amounts of risk. However, it is how you view that risk that makes a big difference. Gamblers wager money in the hopes of winning and so do entrepreneurs. However, a gambler is usually ‘risking’ money based on the actions of someone or something else outside themselves. A gambler will bet on horses based on their past records or the records of the trainer and/or jockey. A poker player will wager against the luck of the draw, and so forth. Entrepreneurs wager on themselves, on their ability to read a market and then provide products or services that will sell.
Similarity #2 – Knowledge and experience are key
While there is that old cliché about ‘beginner’s luck,’ few gamblers actually win big without understanding how the ‘game’ is played. When it comes to cards, for example, the luck of the draw will come into play but strategies are also involved much like the strategies an entrepreneur would utilize when starting a company based on his knowledge of the industry and experience within that field. You couldn’t expect a poker player to win hand after hand if he or she didn’t understand which cards beat others and how to best strategize to read your opponents so that you can detect bluffs, for example.
You can wager with William Hill horse racing bets online based on the past performance, as mentioned above, on a horse’s history with the kind of turf it will be running on, the jockey, the trainer and other things you must be knowledgeable about before wagering on that particular horse in that particular race on that particular course. Over time, you develop a strategy that helps you to win more often than you lose.
A major difference to be aware of
One of the main differences between a gambler and an entrepreneur would be in who stands to gain and who stands to lose. As an entrepreneur, you are looking to build a company in which you probably have several people on your team or in your employ. You are not just wagering your money and your future but also that of those who count on the company to pay them a decent wage. You can’t tell your team that you are investing all your money in something that may or may not offer a return on that investment and they will need to be patient to see if it pays off before they can get paid.
A gambler, on the other hand, is (or should be!) gambling with his/her own money. If you win, you win big – all of it! If you lose, you are not losing anyone’s money but your own. And this is what entrepreneurs need to internalize when starting up a company. Yes, it’s a risk, a gamble in your future. But whose future are you gambling with? This is not to say you shouldn’t take risks, but make sure those risks are your risks and not the risks of those who are counting on you for their salary.
Gamblers and entrepreneurs are, indeed, a lot alike but the one major difference is in whose money you’re playing with. Only risk what’s yours to risk.