What Is Your Wild Card and How Are You Going To Play It?

Wild CardBut I have a theory of life,” said Chumlig, “and it is straight out of gaming: There is always an angle. You, each of you, have some special wild cards. Play with them. Find out what makes you different and better. Because it is there, if only you can find it.” ~ Ms. Chumlig, from Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge

You know that feeling you get in your stomach when you realize you have an amazing hand while playing cards?

You slowly and deliberately fan out the cards in your hand — anticipating what’s coming. As you look at that last card, you get that “Holy crap…” feeling.

If you have a good poker face, you play it cool. If not, you squeal with delight.

Your Winning Hand

I’ve heard people call startups a crap-shoot. But as I’ve said before, I consider the entrepreneurial game more like blackjack than craps.

In blackjack, if you have a system, and play it smart, you can win consistently against the house. In craps, it’s all the luck of the dice.

One is calculated risk, the other, just risk.

Yet, unlike blackjack, in the game of life, you have a wild card. It’s that unique something that you bring to the game — your special gifts and viewpoint.

And as anyone who’s played cards with wild cards knows, it changes the whole dynamic of the game.

Playing Your Cards Right

Imagine playing a game of poker with your friends and not knowing what card the dealer declared wild. Chances are good that you’ll end up tossing one of them away, and miss your chance of bettering your hand.

So many people don’t know what their wild card is. They end up trying to play without it, and just struggle along.

What if you know what the wild card is, but because you haven’t taken the time to see how best to play it, you end up making a weaker hand?

Knowing your wild card is only the first step. Making sure how to play it best is second. Trying to use your gifts in a way that doesn’t fit, is like using a wild card to make 2-pair, rather than 3-of-a-kind.

That — both in the game of cards and the game of life — can be a very costly mistake.