With a couple of good friends help, or should I say influence, I have acquired the interest, along with 80 million other Americans, in the game of poker. So before going playing on line or testing myself at a live table, I decided I should study up on the game and read a few poker books to become better at my new hobby. The author of one the books conducts poker workshops all over the world. When he instructs a work shop he asks the beginners the following question, “What is the number one objective of playing poker? Most people gave the below answers in the following order. To make lots of money! To win more pots than any other person in the game! To enjoy yourself.


The author continued to explain that all of these seem like worthy goals for poker playing. But none of these answers were or should be the main objectives for playing poker. You could make lots of money one game…….. and loose lots of money the next! You could play more hands and win more pots that anyone………and still loose everything by the end of the game…..all in one hand. You should enjoy yourself…but not at the sake of loosing. The number one objective of playing poker says the author is…… to make correct decisions!

Poker is a series of decision making. With every card of every hand you are dealt, presents you with an all new decision, with all new consequences of your decisions. In an evening of poker you would literally make thousands of decisions with each one either making you money……or taking your money.

While continuing reading the book I found out another very interesting fact…..more than any other type of person that is being attracted to the new interest in poker are business men. It seems that they are several similarities between business and poker. People that are either in business or have talents that would help them succeed in business, do well when playing the game of poker. The author even teaches his poker students to think of poker as running a business. When you own a business you gather information, make decisions based on that information, invest your money as wisely as possible, and then you hope you get a good return on your investment. The author states that poker is exactly the same. The difference is you get to see your results immediately with poker, where it might take years before you know if you made money on a business decision.

This started me thinking of poker being a business.  I realized that the author was right! If you ask martial arts studio owners the same question, what is the main objective of being in the martial arts business? I bet you would get the same answers,

To make lots of money! I know a lot of owners that their only concern is with how much money they make. They forget about the quality of students, their relationship with their customers and the service they are providing. Some forget that we are in the people business and our business ethics will determine our reputation in our community. If we are mainly concerned with money at all cost…..we are setting ourselves up for failure in this business.

To sign up more students than any other person in your town! Signing up new students is important, but keeping them is more important. It is cheaper to keep a customer, than to find a new one. I know plenty of schools that can sign up a lot of students…for while…but if they can not learn how to keep their students…they will never win the martial arts success game.

To enjoy yourself! Yes, YOU MUST LOVE WHAT YOU DO TO BE SUCCESSFUL! But so many studio owners and staff only do what they enjoy, things that are in their comfort zone. With every occupation in the world there are some tasks that are difficult and situations that are hard to deal with. But often it is these things that make the success difference.