Monday, January 19, 2009

Poker Night

This past Saturday night was a significant night for my roommate and I: it was our first time hosting poker night. The night before I left him alone for dinner and our apartment was how it always looked; by the time I got back, I thought I had walked onto a movie set. Our dining room table was in the middle of the living room with extra leaves already inserted, a second card table by the kitchen, hundreds of poker chips already placed in baggies, along with the house rules, explanations of the chip amounts, and hand explanations posted on each wall (we had several players just learning the game). I couldn't believe my eyes! He had even cleaned the kitchen in the process.

I couldn't help but comparing the novice poker players we had over with businesses having to take the same risks with government contracting. I know I had difficulty the first time I played. I didn't know what combination of cards were the best, I didn't know when to fold or place my bets, and I really couldn't tell if people were lying to me or not. When our contracting business first opened its doors, we had no idea how to read the contracts. In most, there were dozens of pages of instructions, and half the time we weren't sure which were worth bidding on. We also didn't have any contacts at the time and when we made friends in the industry, we weren't sure who we could trust. We've grown since then, having completed contracts and found trustworthy individuals within the contracting community and hope to help others grow as well through Gateway to the Government.

Now when I say the words 'poker night,' I'm sure the majority of people think of roughly the same thing: a night of boys sitting around a table, smoking cigars, placing bets, having a drink, and yakking about their jobs/girlfriend/whatever. Never does the phrase 'fiscal responsibility' pop up when mentioning poker. Neither does 'planning for the future.' I'm sure most people don't even find that the word responsible can be attributed to gambling at all.

One thing that I learned from my recent poker night, as I'm sure my friends did too, is that planning ahead makes everything better. My roommate had taken the precautionary steps: talked to everyone involved to find the best time to host, figured out what needed to be worked on, and set everything up ahead of time. Because of all of these steps, the night went very smoothly. No one was upset by the end of the night, nothing was broken or lost, several people had learned a new game, and there wasn't any confusion regarding who had won or why. I found out that my roommate had hosted many such friendly poker nights during his college days and knew exactly what needed to be done. Government contracting is the same way - having someone who has experience and knows what needs to be done can ensure that everything moves smoothly. Businesses can benefit from taking risks - just like a poker player - but until the player knows the rules, it can be a great way to gamble and lose, especially to the experienced players. A friendly contractor such as Gateway is willing to take the "gamble" out of contracting, allowing your business to use our winning cards.

No comments:

Post a Comment