Tag Archives: gambling

Entrepreneurial will, pt 2

Damian took issue with my perspective on entrepreneurialism as a thing for people with a more aggressive appetite for risk; that is to say, that a gambler (or someone with a ‘gambling personality’) is more likely to have a desire to (if not aptitude) for starting up a business.

His (reasonable) point was that – unless you’re fronting the capital yourself – you’re not gambling with your own money and therefore the ‘gamble’ is damage limited.

I think, however, that this misses a  number of strands of my view on the issue and – at the risk of stretching the metaphor – doesn’t take into account all the characteristics of a gambler. Specifically:

  1. The consequences of failure – reputationally speaking – are sufficiently high that whose capital you are using is largely irrelevant – true for gamblers and for entrepreneurs, although probably moreso for the latter.
  2. The passion required is high for both. You have to have absolute certainty that not only is this what you want to do, but you can make money from it. I have about 60 of poker losses this year; my friend Matt – a much better poker player than I – is about 600 up.  Neither of us are showing great ROI despite our enjoyment for the game.
  3. The commitment required to both is huge. Pro poker players are up all hours on Pokerstars and other online gambling networks, playing multiple tables and trying to grow their capital. I love my job – but I do also love that I can put it down when I go home, most of the time.

So I maintain my view that gamblers make the best entrepreneurs, although happy to be argued with further.