Are Entrepreneurs Gamblers?

Entrepreneurship is often associated with risk-taking behavior which requires an enormous amount of courage. Individuals looking to rake in the big bucks and strike gold are seen to have a greater amount of willpower, having the ability to throw caution to the wind.

However, is this an accurate depiction of a typical entrepreneur? Are all business-minded people that courageous? Do all entrepreneurs behave like gamblers would? The truth about entrepreneurship might paint a different picture, one that challenges this long-standing view of entrepreneurs as gamblers.

What is an entrepreneur?

Many entrepreneurs are looking to build an empire that stands the test of time. A serious entrepreneur starts a business with the intention of growing it in order to make a profit in the long-run. There is pleasure in taking something that previously did not exist in the world and growing it into something that matters, has meaning and that people become reliant on.

The simple definition of an entrepreneur is “someone who looks for business opportunities and invests time, money and/or other resources to take advantage of those opportunities.”

Any entrepreneur wants to make a profit, yes, but the end goal is to also build something, whether tangible or intangible. Very few serious entrepreneurs are looking to simply make some money; it has everything to do with the success in building a concept, an idea, a place, a market, from scratch.

What is a gambler?

On the other hand, a gambler is looking to make a quick buck and strike gold in the most efficient and quick way possible. Gamblers place bets and understand the notion of “chance,” hoping to get lucky and win big right off the bat. It’s important to note that gamblers are always playing against the house, with the house usually winning.

A gambler takes a risk, yes, but one that is not frequently calculated due the house having the upper hand the vast majority of the time. They hope to simply get lucky and bank in on that luck as often as possible. Gamblers are extremely impulsive, which is what sets them apart as true risk-takers.

They leverage the opportunity for quick fixes and gamble like in the new method today – online – because it offers them exactly what they need and enjoy: immediate gratification and accessibility.

Are entrepreneurs gamblers?

Entrepreneurs may be equally as keen on leveraging some luck in order to succeed, but their chances of winning are way more plausible and higher than gamblers. On that note, entrepreneurs may not be gamblers but they are certainly risk-takers, and herein lies the notion that is often misunderstood.

Entrepreneurs, much like gamblers, see an opportunity that is attractive and place a bet on it. They bet their time, savings, some capital and assets on an opportunity they hope to transform into a successful business. They may depend on luck to a certain extent, but they take calculated decisions that place the odds in their favor.

True entrepreneurs never embark on a new business venture without some advantage which will allow them to succeed in any particular business. It’s not just about taking risks for the sake of it, it’s about taking risks for the sake of potential success based on analyses.

An entrepreneur will never enter a situation full-throttle, it will always have potential for success due to careful planning.
And thus, an entrepreneur always has a plan, and this is what sets him apart from the gambler looking for immediate gratification. This visionary outlook on their mission is what makes them so adamant on having an end goal. And, it is this end goal that gives their mission purpose.

An entrepreneur will never risk purpose for the sake of immediate gratification as it takes away from the potential for future success, which ultimately, is what they are trying to achieve.

Despite popular belief, entrepreneurs are never as daring or as impulsive as they’ve come to be seen. Truthfully, the data backing up an entrepreneur’s quest and reason to pursue his or her mission is usually left unnoticed by the vast majority of analysts who claim them to be gamblers.

What may seem as an ad-hoc hunch, is actually a vision for what they see for the future, something that might change the way in which we live and function. Yes, the intuition behind this is daring and bold, but the underlying mission is one of very calculated decision-making.

Working on impulse can be possible without being labelled a gambler at large. Impulse creates momentum, but entrepreneurs take this impulsivity with a grain of salt and choose to act on what simply makes sense.

Furthermore, entrepreneurs are all made and very few, if any, are born this way. What really makes an entrepreneur is their ability to make mistakes, learn from these mistakes and build better strategies moving forward. They are daring in how quickly they choose to make mistakes and embark on missions to learn from the experience, but they never the let the lesson go by.

This trial and error mentality is often lacking in a gambler’s state of mind. Understanding the need to learn from the errors made in the past is what allows successful entrepreneurs to continue moving forward. Entrepreneurs always know when to play the game, so that they might win, due to their past actions and decisions.

In conclusion, an entrepreneur is not a gambler. Entrepreneurs strive for long-term success and can deal with forgoing immediate gratification in order to achieve that. Although entrepreneurs, like gamblers, do take risks and are daring, they always approach every decision with a clear goal and an unrelenting mission that keeps them from losing it all.


  1. says

    As an entrepreneur myself for over 15 years I never thought of myself as a gambler. Quite the opposite, in fact. I am always careful before I make a move, but I also understand that no amount of planning can guarantee a certain outcome. It is this “comfort” gambling which all entrepreneurs are faced with everyday.

    Taking a gamble every now and then in business is ok, as long as you can afford to lose if the gamble goes wrong. Risking everything on a gamble is not something a smart entrepreneur would ever do.

    Great read, thanks for sharing.

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