Sports betting isn’t just a hobby for sports buffs or college kids, but also an activity to sharpen business skills. In fact, sports betting has many similarities to doing business in terms of the traits or skills one needs to succeed in both. The transferable skills learned in either business or sports betting can be applied to either. Mainly, there are five main skills to remember.
Top 5 skills to apply for both business and sports betting
Whether you’re operating a small business, selling products or services, or working as an employee for a financial institution, you are learning and picking up transferable skills you can use wherever in life. This is most relevant when signing up with online sportsbooks and trying your hand at sports betting.
- Financial management
This goes without saying that business involves managing finances among other things. With sports betting, financial management takes the form of bankroll management. Serious bettors do not wantonly throw bets. Properly allocating money is the bread-and-butter of profiting.
Some professionals use a unit system when placing bets. A unit is exactly one percent of your bankroll. So if you have $1,000, a unit is $10. The amount of units to allocate depends on the expected value (EV) of a bet, the measure of what you can expect to win or lose per bet on the same odds. The higher the positive EV over time, the better.
- Critical thinking
The ability to absorb information, interpret it, and apply it is done through the process of critical thinking. Successful business people can crunch all the data they find on a daily basis and parlay it to a solid decision. Critical thinking is critical to business, pun intended.
Similarly, a winning bettor will be able to properly determine the value of a bet by properly calculating odds to implied probability. Some basic math is also required here as calculating the expected value of a bet plus some long-term strategizing are all necessities for betting.
The best businesspeople are also the most astute observers. A top salesperson can sense patterns when selling the same way a successful business owner can sense if a customer is ready to make a purchase. Likewise, sharp bettors can smell a good or bad bet.
Observant sports bettors will be up to date on any line movement or sports updates and relay this to their betting decisions. They can also tell if an oddsmaker has accurately lined a game or not. These observation skills will allow you to make better decisions on whether to bet or not.
- Creative thinking and flexibility
While planning is one of the most important skills in business, the ability to quickly adapt to unforeseen circumstances is often a top skill recruiters look for. The same can be said with sports betting. Things like injuries, unexpected player movement, or weather can wreak havoc on games.
As a sports bettor, being able to make up for sudden changes can be what keeps you from profiting or losing. This is where live betting and hedging, adding a countering bet as insurance, can be invaluable. Thankfully, most sports books like Bovada provide quick-to-access betting platforms in case you need to make bets on the fly.
- Thick skin
Although this last on the list, having thick skin may be what makes or breaks people in business or in betting. Having to deal with constant failure is a part of business. As a salesperson, you lose sales. As a business owner, you may operate at a negative. And in sports betting, you can go on a losing streak.
Being able to adjust and deal with the losses first requires a thick skin. Some losses will be hard to stomach and some may push the undisciplined player to make an ill-advised follow-up bet (known as “chasing”). Grow a thick skin and learn from mistakes or you won’t last.
Applying business skills to other similar excursions
These transferable business skills aren’t just handy for online sports betting for a slew of other hobbies. And like online sports betting, these can be profitable ventures.
- Fantasy Sports: whether it’s daily fantasy sports or a season-long league, using a combination of critical thinking, creativity, and asset management can lead to success.
- Running a website: in a way, running a site is akin to having a small business (and you may already have one). But likewise, the skills above are crucial for creating a fun, engaging, and useful site that can generate you some income.
- Coding: few may think of coding as a hobby or side gig, but with how accessible it is now it might be fun to dive into. Critical thinking and perseverance (thick skin) are paramount to good coding. You may be able to build something new with it as well.