I read a lot of self-help books, and I have for many years. My family makes jokes about it, but they never actually read one to see if it can help them. In my mind, they’re missing the point. If you want to improve in some area, you have to do something to try to change.
I study gambling because I like to gamble, and I spend quite a bit of time writing about it. While most people won’t see an immediate link between the self-help industry and gambling, I’ve learned many similarities over the years.
The self-help industry does help many people, but it also fails to help some others. The entire industry has somewhat of a bad name because it seems like they’re always trying to sell you something you don’t have.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret before I show you some things the self-help industry can teach you about gambling. The secret is that there is no secret.
I personally believe this is a good thing. If work is all it takes to improve my gambling results or another area of my life, then I know I can do it if I’m willing to do the work.
Keep this in mind as you read the four things the self-help industry can teach you about gambling below.
1 – You Need a Plan
One of the themes that run through most self-help products is the idea of a plan. Sometimes, they call it something different, but the bottom line is, you need to have a plan if you want to improve.
As a gambler, if you’re looking to improve your results, you also need a plan. You can’t keep doing things the same way you’re doing them now if you want a different outcome. The plan might include reading a new article about your favorite casino games every week or watching a video about strategy every day.
Years ago, I decided I wanted to figure out how to be a winning poker player. I wanted to read as much as I could about playing winning poker then practice. It took several years, but I stuck with it. Now, I’m a winning poker player, because I made a plan and followed through.
I made a new plan to learn how to beat blackjack. I followed the same formula and spent a few years studying and practicing. You can do the same thing. But having a plan isn’t quite enough. You need one more thing, which I’ll cover in the next section.
2 – You Need Dedication
In addition to having a good plan, you need to dedicate yourself to following through. It’s easy to make New Year’s resolutions, but most people give up on them sometime in the middle of January. The best plan isn’t going to work unless you follow through by taking consistent action.
This is one area where the self-help industry is lacking. You can find all kinds of books and programs about goals and developing good plans, but it’s hard to find information about how you stay motivated and follow through.
The best way I’ve found to stay motivated is making sure I understand what I really want and focusing on it every day. I was really motivated to learn how to be a winning poker player. It wasn’t because I planned to make a ton of money playing, it was a matter of pride. I knew the game was beatable, and I wanted to prove to myself that I was smart enough to do it.
On the other side of the coin, I weigh a bit too much and have needed to lose weight for several years. I’ve went through times when I lost some weight, but I’ve never backed up the thought of losing weight with enough dedication to work it off and keep it off.
The reason I mention my struggles with weight loss is to point out that, even though this sounds simple, accomplishing anything of value is hard work. As I mentioned earlier, there is no secret. It’s all hard work, and some people do better than others. But when it comes to gambling, the next section is important. You can become a winning gambler if it’s important to you.
3 – You Can Win
Almost every self-help book and course available deals in some way with convincing you that you can improve. The good news is that this is based on facts, but the problem is that most people don’t really improve much. When they don’t improve as much as they want, they often buy another self-help book or program and look for the next big secret.
You can learn how to win, but you have to work hard at doing it. You can buy a book or watch some videos that teach you how to beat blackjack.
You can study books and videos about poker and learn how to win more than you lose at the tables. You can even learn how to handicap sporting events in a way that lets you win money. But all of these things require a great deal of work and time. Most people simply aren’t willing to put in the effort and time.
4 – Being a Guru Is More Profitable Than Gambling
One of the big dirty secrets of the self-help industry is that the top gurus make most of their money from peddling self-help books and programs, not from doing what they teach. The same thing is true in the gambling industry.
In both the self-help industry and the gambling industry, there are a few people who make good money in business of some kind and gambling. But the majority of people who write books and sell improvement programs make more selling their stuff than they do in other businesses or gambling.
Does this mean you should stop gambling?
The fact is, there are ways you can make real money while gambling. Some poker players and sports bettors make great money. Other advantage players make a great deal of money by playing blackjack.
All of the information you need is available; you just have to put in the work. There’s also decent money to be made in writing about gambling and teaching others how to gamble.
Overall, being a gambling guru is still more profitable than gambling on average. Unless you’re one of the top advantage gamblers making hundreds of thousands or more every year, you have a better chance to make more money becoming a gambling guru.
Should you run out and buy a self-help book or gambling course? Only you can decide if that’s the best option for you. But you can develop a plan, dedicate yourself to following through, and figure out a way to be a winning gambler. This is the same formula you find in most self-help books and courses, so you can get started without spending a cent.