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Is a Start Up the Same as Gambling? I Hope Not

June 24th, 2010 | Small Business | No Comments »

This week I’m in the city of New Orleans for a conference.  I’ve never been before and it has been eye-opening.  As with anything, there are pluses and minuses.  The minuses — the weather and 3 inch long cockroaches.  In fact I just left a fancy dinner, barely eating my food because one NO’s finest cockroaches scurried across my table. 

The upside to N.O.?  First, if I lived here, I would lose a lot of weight — as I don’t eat sea food.  The second: they have a great casino dowtown.  Last night I played blackjack for 2 hours, and I was thinking about joining a poker game. 

You often hear that starting a new business is a gamble.  Well I certainly hope that’s not the case.  I get the point that starting a business involves risk, but risk doesn’t equate to risk for me (so long as it’s a calculate risk).  Last night, as I was playing cards, it seemed pretty clear that most of what was happening was pure chance — no strategy.  I mean, you could have a betting strategy, but if you followed it perfectly, it still gets you to a coin-flip chance of winning. 

I don’t envision the same type of discipline (or lack thereof) with starting a small business.  Sure, you still may go bust, but that doesn’t mean strategy was essentially pointless.  With a business, a good team and idea should get you a better than toss-up chance to succeed.  Whether you recognize if you have a good team or idea is another story.  By the way, I lost $100 last night…so I hope I’m a better business person than gambler.

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