What Poker Can Teach You About Your Business Competitor’s Secrets

November 29th, 2010 by admin

Here is an interesting way to look at your business and your competitors. How are you displaying your business situation?

Wouldn’t it just be the cat’s meow if you could have an inside look at every one of your competitors? Just think about what kind of advantage you could have if you knew which competitors were really doing well, and which ones were just a lot of hot wind? Well, there is a trick to doing this, and it’s something I learned playing poker with my friends.

Determining Position

In poker, when someone has a weak hand, they have two options – they fold or they stay in. If the poker player with the weak hand decides to stay in, they only have two ways that they can win. The first one is by good fortune, if their hand is unexpectedly better than everyone else’s. This is possible when everyone else has crap, although it is rare.

The other way is if the player with the poor hand can bluff the other players into giving up, which is the likelier way for them to win. So, in this type of scenario, what does the weak player do? They behave as if they are strong! They don’t want you to know they have a weak hand because, if you know, you can easily determine your odds of beating them.

Those players with the weak hands will try to act stronger through the words they say, the gestures they make, how they peek at their cards, how they crack a smile, or even by the speed at which they put their chips on the table. They will do everything they can to make it appear that they have a strong hand.

On the Flip Side

Conversely, those who have a strong hand want to get as many chips in the pot as possible. The more people they can persuade to stay in the game and keep adding to the chips, the larger the pot becomes.

So it is important to understand that the player with the strong hand wants to look weak. He wants you to think you can easily beat him. And of course, when the cards are revealed, he has won with his great cards, much to your surprise.

The whole game of poker is about persuasion, and it has these basic two rules – if your hand is weak, you are best served by making others believe it is strong. And if your hand is strong, you are best served by making others believe it is weak or, if nothing else, that you are of no consequence.

Business Poker

In business and in life, it is exactly the same way. The entrepreneurs that are struggling behind the scenes will put on an air of success. After all, if prospects know they are weak, they won’t get the business. The stronger they act, the more likely they are to get the client. And if the competition believes they are successful and strong, they will respect them and work at staying competitive with them.

Conversely, when you have a strong company, it is much better for your competitors to think you are of no consequence. Let them spend their time fighting other competitors, while you go about getting clients.

Sizing Up Their Hand

So, here is the big reveal (although it is not 100 percent, since there are, in fact, people who simply speak the truth and don’t have hidden agendas, although they are rare). If you want to get a sense of how your competition is doing, simply ask them. If they brag, if they pound their chest and point to how successful they are, they are likely struggling.

On the other hand, if they simply respond that they are “okay,” or that “business is just business,” then these are the ones that are probably kicking ass and taking names. They are without a doubt the ones you want to watch.

While this doesn’t put the whole puzzle together on how your competition is doing, it is a big piece. Often, when it is competitor talking to competitor, the overt actions they take are a huge “tell.” And another thing to keep in mind is what Paul Newman used to say: “If you’re playing a poker game and you look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you.”

By Mike Michalowicz, Author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur

Original Article can be found at:


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What Does it Mean to be LEAN?

June 17th, 2009 by admin

Lean is about having a drive for simplicity and the power of knowledge.

One of the biggest areas that is forgotten in Lean is respect for people. If a company has properly trained individuals they can in many cases help your facility make a profit. Laying people off and eliminating jobs is not lean. The company may not have as much in salaries, yet they are losing the knowledge their employees have which could make a difference in their success. Lean is about thinking for the long-term, not the short-term.

People are not a liability that accounting professionals tries to impose on a business. Employees that are  properly trained, supported, and acknowledged for their value in the company are an asset.  Knowledge,  and experience cannot be measured on a accounting balance sheet.  Employees are worth far more than what we pay for a simple pair of hands.

With this downturn in the economy all businesses should look at Toyota. They have not downsized any one in their fleet of employees. They are making a profit. When we do not use the talents of the staff we have, companies are bound to not be at their top best.

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