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The Business Secrets of a Poker Player

“If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things.”Vincent Van Gogh

Why is mastery important?

There is a difference between knowing how to do something and being a master of it. There is a difference between dabbling in something and being a master of that pursuit.

I know how instrumental this mind shift has been for me in my life.
And naturally, I just want to share with you some of what I’ve learned.

Here’s an example – my path towards mastering getting clients:

  • I learned to see the whole picture of what it takes to get clients anytime, anywhere (my system)
  • I committed myself to a relentless pursuit of learning everything that’s relevant for me on that subject (pieces of the puzzle)
  • I learned to say no to other things while I was in the throws of my pursuit (focus)
  • I also gave absolutely all of me while I was with my clients and always put them first (it’s not about me)
  • I never gave up even when it seemed like I was going to fail (perseverance)

There have been tremendous tangible benefits to this pursuit. I have an overflowing practice and a coaching company with 5 successful coaches. I now know what works and what doesn’t work as far as getting and keeping clients. I have the confidence that I can get clients. The freedom that gives me is huge. And most importantly to me, I now have intimate knowledge of the mechanics of success and the confidence that I can be successful with anything I commit myself to.

What I learned by playing poker

I have recently got into playing poker. I love the game. There are a lot of moving parts and it takes a lot to master. I have to know the cards. I have to know myself. I have to know the people I playing with. I have to know the situation. It’s complicated and I love it.

I can talk about poker all day, but one important thing I have noticed is that many of the top players were once champions and winners at other games/sports – chess, backgammon, bridge and even basketball.

In this past World Series of Poker, Jordan Farmar, a point guard for the Lakers basketball team, made it to Day 3 of the event. I have played in the tournament and I know how difficult it is to get to Day 3.

What’s remarkable about Farmer’s great poker run is that he learned to play poker just a few days prior to the tournament. He already knows what it takes to win. He knows what it takes to be a masterful point guard. And he converted that to doing well at the World Series of Poker.

When you commit to mastering one thing, you commit to being successful.

Another example of this is Josh Waitzkin. He was a Junior chess champion and now he is a Martial Arts champion. I’ve heard him mention in interviews that he sees no difference for himself between chess and martial arts. He understands mastery and the rest is simply picking what he wants to be a master of.

“There’s this wonderful buddhist story, an ancient Indian story, and basically the parable is this: If a man wants to walk across the Earth, and the Earth is covered with thorns, he has two answers, he has two possible solutions: He can cover the entire Earth with leather, which will take a lot of time – that’s the external solution – or he can make sandals, that’s the internal solution. And I really believe in making sandals.”Josh Waitzkin

So when you commit to mastery, you don’t just master that one thing, you learn how to master anything… and thorns will not stand in your way.

When you can make a mindshift from attaining your goals to being a master of what you chose to take on, not only do your goals come to you more effortlessly, but you learn how turn anything you want into gold.

What can you do now?

  • Decide if mastery is important to you
  • Pick something that you want to master
  • Commit to getting on the road to mastering that which you just picked
  • Identify what the first step is on the road to mastery
  • Start walking

“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”Albert Einstein

Here’s to mastery!!


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