While success is the goal for every poker player, it’s no secret that the game can also get you well acquainted with losing as well. Take for instance when High Stakes Poker legend Sammy Farha lost to Chris Moneymaker at the final table. Moneymaker was unheard of in world poker at the time, when he qualified for the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, and then went on to win it.
Unexpected circumstances will always arise. But in business, just as it is in poker, your success is ultimately determined not by how flawless your record is, but by how well you deal with adversity. After all, successful business leaders have an ability to look at the bigger picture. That said, here are some tips from the world’s most successful poker players on overcoming failure — and how you can apply them to your own business endeavours.
Move Past Your Mistakes
Although you can still make mistakes regardless of how thoroughly you prepare, what’s important is how you move on from them. Dan Smith is one of the best poker players of all time, nabbing his first ever tournament win during the Heartland Poker Tour back in 2008. However, he has won many high-stake tournaments since that time and has experienced many failures as well. According to Smith, in the poker world, players who are thrown off by their mistakes suffer from a state of mental confusion called ‘tilt’. This makes them vulnerable to making more errors.
But Smith says that feeling bad about something that you can’t control is counterproductive. Those who reach for success are usually the ones most likely to encounter bumps in the road, yet the most important thing is moving past your mistakes so that you can avoid tilt and remain clear-headed with your next challenge.
Turning Flop Hands Into Potential Assets
Chris Sparks was a professional poker player listed among the top 20 online cash players in the world. Today, he is the founder of Forcing Function, where he provides practical applications for elite poker techniques in business. Even though making mistakes can cause doubt moving forward, Sparks emphasises that you should overcome doubt by setting up ‘experiments’.
These experiments involve going with a decision, and acting as though it’s the correct one. As time goes by, keep track of how these decisions have fared against your initial expectations. Sparks states that often, what happens is that you find that your vision will begin to align with your reality. Similar to making a semi-bluff in poker, which can turn a flop hand into a potential asset by getting your opponents to fold, expelling your doubt can bring about the results that you desire.
Seek Continuous Learning
Chris Moneymaker’s historical win in the 2003 WSOP Main Event changed the landscape of poker forever. At age 27, the amateur poker player from Tennessee bested 838 players and took home millions of dollars as his prize. He went on to become the figure behind the term “Moneymaker effect”, after sparking the poker craze of 2003.
Despite his legendary win, Moneymaker placed second in the next tournament he played. He attributes this to having been too complacent and sparing his efforts in the game. Big success in business can be followed by failures, especially when you grow complacent. But Moneymaker says that in learning his lesson, he now seeks continuous improvement and hopes the results will follow. Similarly, when it comes to entrepreneurship, the best way to move forward from mistakes is to double down on your efforts to become better.
Business and poker both hold significant risks. But for the entrepreneur playing the long game, mistakes are only minor bumps in the road. Just as these legendary poker players have shown, finding success is all about leveraging failures to become better.
No one ever said being an entrepreneur would be easy, and for many people, failure is just a part of the journey. In fact, according to Forbes, around 90% of all startups fail. So if you're an entrepreneur who has experienced failure, know that you are not alone. This blog post will discuss some ways to handle failure as an entrepreneur.
#1 Accept it
First and foremost, it is important to accept failure. This may seem like an obvious statement, but in order to move on from failure, you must first accept that it has happened. Denial will only make the situation worse and make it harder to learn from your mistakes. So how do you accept failure? An excellent way to start is by taking some time to reflect on what went wrong. Once you have identified what went wrong, you can begin to develop a plan for how to avoid making the same mistake again in the future.
#2 Learn from it
One of the best ways to handle failure is to learn from it. As mentioned above, taking some time to reflect on what went wrong can be helpful in this process. But learning from failure goes beyond just understanding what went wrong; it also involves understanding why it went wrong.
For example, let's say you launch a new product, and it fails miserably. In order to learn from this experience, you need to understand not only that the product was unsuccessful but also why it was unsuccessful. Was there a problem with the product itself? Was the marketing campaign ineffective? Did you misjudge the target market? Once you have answered these questions, you can begin to develop a plan for how to avoid making similar mistakes in the future.
There are many ways to learn from failure, but one of the most important things to remember is that failure is not permanent. Just because a venture has failed does not mean that you have failed as an entrepreneur. It is crucial to pick yourself up and try again.
If you are finding it difficult to motivate yourself to keep going through the failures or to find the lessons to be learnt consider hiring the help and services of a business coach. Award winning business coach Peter Boolkah emphasises that business coaching is all about you, the business owner, and how you manage, run and react to your business. Business coaching can help you develop and improve in such a way that your business will reap the rewards. It will give you a means of accountability to put those mistakes to good use and learn from them going forward. Business coaching could be just the drive to turn your mistakes into opportunity. So don’t let those mistakes go to waste.
#3 Use it as motivation
Another way to handle failure is to use it as motivation. When you have experienced a setback, it can be easy to feel like giving up. But if you use your experience of failure as motivation, it can be a powerful tool for helping you achieve success - Krissy Jones’s story is a great example! Think about what you want to achieve and let that be your driving force. Use your experience of failure to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing and what you are working towards. Let it motivate you to keep going even when things are tough.
#4 Don't dwell on it
Finally, it is vital to not dwell on your failures. Yes, it is important to learn from your mistakes, but dwelling on them will only make things worse. Once you have accepted and learned from your failures, it is time to move on.
Focus on the future and what you can do to achieve success. Use your experience of failure as a lesson and a reminder of what not to do in the future. But don't let it hold you back from moving forward and achieving your goals.
Failure is a part of being an entrepreneur, but it doesn't have to define you. By following the tips above, you can learn how to handle failure in a healthy and productive way.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live