Hidden Gambles

I know many people who aren’t “gamblers”. They would never plop down their money on a blackjack table, a speculative real estate deal, or starting a company. Often these people are unaware that nearly everything in life is a gamble, many of which are hidden, and each person is determining what has the best odds. Probably the most common example is working for someone else. What assumptions and gambles are present there:

  • They’ll value you
  • They won’t let you go
  • They are good at their business
  • They won’t sell the business

Contrast this to working for yourself:

  • You will value yourself.
  • You won’t let yourself go.
  • You’ll focus on continuing to improve things
  • You won’t sell the business unless it makes sense for you.

Now, I don’t think that means everyone needs to pack up today and work for themselves, especially if you haven’t developed the skills to run a company yet. It’s just important to see the gambles being taken. Keep in mind, on the other side of the table the company has a similar gamble on the employee that they will:

  • Value working there
  • Won’t quit after a short time period where they weren’t net productive
  • They are skilled in the role

It’s worth checking in with yourself from time to time to make sure these things are still true and that the assumptions and gambles haven’t changed unexpectedly.