Entrepreneurs and Gamblers Have Much in Common

Entrepreneurs and Gamblers Have Much in Common
Image credit: Simone Pievani
Reader Resource

Position yourself for growth in 2017—join us live at the Entrepreneur 360 Conference in Long Beach, Calif. on Nov. 16. Secure Your Seat »

Entrepreneurs can’t be afraid to fail or take risks in business, ever. If your plan is  disruption and if you call yourself an entrepreneur, you must be able to take calculated risks and do what others won’t based on what others can’t see- consistently. That’s why I love Las Vegas, I didn’t always love Las Vegas. I am not a gambler and I hate to lose money so I didn’t get the allure of Las Vegas for a long time. I travel there a ton for business and I just didn’t get the place for years, because I am not a gambler. If you are anything like me,  you commit a small dollar amount and once it’s gone its gone. I try to play the games that can stretch the money as long as I can so I can make it an experience,  but as always that amount is so small it goes very quickly. We all hate to admit it but deep down inside, most of us don’t expect to win, most of us just want to play and kill time before we can eat (or drink) again. Many of us don’t even bother to play, we eat and drink our time away.

Related: 7 Truths About Risk I Learned Riding the Rodeo Circuit

Some of us love Vegas for different reasons, we love it because of the energy, we love Vegas because of all the great restaurants, we love Vegas because of all the shows. We love Vegas because we can dress up and look and feel important even if you aren’t. Here is why I love Vegas, because it reminds me, that as an entrepreneur sometimes you just need to take that risk and go for it. Entrepreneurs aren’t gamblers per se, but we must be willing to take calculated risks, consistently or you are no longer an entrepreneur. That title comes with a price and it is a tag most of us wear proudly and I don’t want you to get your entrepreneurial card revoked. That is the life blood of a true entrepreneur anyway right, we were willing to hang a shingle and go for it. So now that we have been in business and gone for it, we can’t ever lose that edge, that risk taking mentality that we used to found your company in the first place. Once you lose that edge, you aren’t really an entrepreneur any more, you have officially turned corporate. Corporate, what a dirty word for an entrepreneur to be called, fighting words if you asked me. 

Related: How Much Risk Should First-Time Entrepreneurs Take On?

There is no successful entrepreneur that can get to the top of the business world or your industry without taking a risk or being afraid to fail. Filing bankruptcy is a privilege and a right of passage for most entrepreneurs, not advising you go that route but it stuff happens. Now I am not talking about a foolish gamble on a hunch, we are not gamblers. I am talking about a well thought out strategy that can be a move that you have confidence in. You see the reason many of us don’t gamble in Las Vegas is because it is set up for all of us to lose.   

However low our odds are in Las Vegas it is still a good trip because the possibilities are always looming. So are the possibilities of your entrepreneurial future. The lesson is even though all those so-called gamblers gamble foolishly for the most part there is some honor is rolling the dice. The good news is this, your chances of success are much greater because the marketplace unlike Las Vegas is not set up for you to lose. It is a naturally ambiguous opportunity that is neither positive or negative. It can literally go either way, so the more thought out your idea is, the better your chances, the more detailed your ideas are the better your chances. The more expertise you garner in your industry the smaller the risk will be when you take it, so go for it. The more people you get involved and consult improves your chances even greater. There is no such thing as a guaranteed win, but we can’t be afraid to roll the dice and that’s what we should all gather from sin city. Whatever you see as an entrepreneur, even though nobody else does, you can’t be afraid to play out your hand.

Related: Despite the Risks, Entrepreneurship Will Always Beat a 9-to-5 Job

The successful entrepreneur is who I am worried about the most. Now that you have gone for it and experienced success, do you now play it safe? Do you have another idea that you know will work but you are afraid to do it because it is too radical? Have you stopped innovating your initial innovation and been hypnotized into becoming the corporate person you have always despised? If you want to win and win big, Las Vegas has taught me that entrepreneur’s need to keep the dice in their pocket at all times. It’s who we are and what we do, we aren’t gamblers but we understand Las Vegas. We need to keep stepping up to that table, and taking risks. It’s the only way to win and win big.