I must admit that country music is not my favorite music genre, but in 1978 the Kenny Rogers’ version of The Gambler hit the charts and the chorus of that song has stayed with me for 34 years!

Royal flush (isolated from the background), old used cards

[Image courtesy of GraphicStock.com.]

If you’re gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right,
You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em,
Know when to fold ‘em,
Know when to walk away,
Know when to run,
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table,
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done.

Even though the song is about gambling, I relate to it as an analogy of my whole life. It’s important to choose what you do and learn the rules (be it knowledge about the technical aspects of your profession, how to run a business, or work well as an employee, laws, regulations, and expectations from your profession and clients). (“You gotta learn to play it right.”)

Discretion is important in life. Particularly in this field, it relates to upholding confidentiality. Also, this discretion equates to being slightly reserved in business negotiations. I come from a Win/Win philosophy in life and tend to lay all of my cards on the table. If both parties like the terms then all is well. Unfortunately, many people like to haggle a bit. I had to train myself to adapt many of my proposals to leave a little room for the other party to adjust the contract. (“You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em.”)

It’s also important to react appropriately. Sometimes circumstances change and it’s just not worth the effort or it might be impossible to create your ideal environment under those conditions. In that case, it’s time to move on. (“Know when to walk away.”)

I have achieved most of my major career goals and am currently evaluating what I really want to do professionally. Part of my dilemma is that I am not sure I want to do some of the key things I know need to be done to foster business growth (knowing the rules). These past 2 weeks have been a good time for reflection. My birthday was at the beginning of the year, and it’s been cold, grey and drizzly here (somewhat rare for Tucson). Inspiration hasn’t struck, yet I am still clarifying the specific aspects of my business that I want to continue doing. (“There’ll be time enough for countin’ / When the dealin’s done.”)

I encourage you to identify what needs to be done to create your desired level of business success and decide what tasks you don’t want to do. Next, determine if you can hire someone to do those “unwanted” tasks. If you can’t delegate those tasks, re-evaluate your goals. It could be time for a change…. (“Know when to run.”)