Vegas: home of debauchery and addictions, the most notorious city of the US.
I've just come back from Vegas, and during my gambling-filled, alcohol-sprinkled week, I managed to take away some surprising lessons.
And no, they are not about how to lose as little money possible while gambling. They are about business.
As strange as it may sound, the world of Las Vegas can teach you a lot about how to succeed in the business world.
You just have to listen.
1. Stay away from easy things.
When you put leg in Vegas, the first thing you notice is the slot machine. In fact, there will multiple slot machines everywhere, even in the airport.
It's easy to understand how gambling addiction became a major problem when you look at these machines, which almost whisper to you to feed them your precious money.
But once you give in and start playing at one of these machines, you are never going to see your money back. The jackpot is not going to show up. It would be too easy.
The same is valid in business: If something is too easy, it's not going to be worth it. It's like an easy job, where you do the same easy things over and over again, only to have a small paycheck at the end of the month.
If you want to succeed in business, get out of your comfort zone and take risks. Work hard, and your efforts are going to pay off.
2. Take your time to learn the simple things.
When in Vegas, you see loads of people who go straight to the card tables, without any idea on how to play, just to lose lots of money.
On the other hand, there are wiser people who just stay and watch. After enough watching, they eventually try their hand at cards and win.
It's not a huge amount, but it's enough to afford a small weekend escape.
With so many tutorials and guides on how to start your own business, you might be tempted to go straight in, but it's always best to wait and learn the basics of the trades and the subtle details that make an entrepreneur successful.
Then, take action and establish your own successful business.
3. Networking is crucial.
This one is a classic, but it's also true. Work on establishing your connections, and when you need them, give them a call and ask them if they want to step in and lend a helping hand.
This can be seen in Vegas all over: People find themselves in a long queue give a couple of calls to their friends, and they quickly manage to enter a famous club and land at a VIP table.
When your business is in trouble or just needs a helping hand, do call your connections. They will also call you when they will need help, so no need to feel ashamed.
4. Avoid overdoing it.
While successful businesses seem to invest a lot in their own success, the reality is, the amount of work invested is significantly smaller than one would imagine.
When you arrive in Vegas, everything is new, and it overwhelms you. If you don't take a nap and then decide what to do next, you are going to drop off your feet in minutes.
When you are managing your own business, you have to make sure that 20 percent of your efforts give you 80 percent of the profit.
Overworking yourself is not going to make your business bigger or better, so make sure you dose your efforts wisely.
5. Don't forget to have some fun in the process.
When you are busy managing your business, it's easy to forget to unwind. Have fun from time to time, and leave all the problems in a drawer, locking them away.
Humans need to relax in order to perform better in the long run, so make sure you have your own "me" time.
Another reason you need to let it go from time to time is to find new ideas. Having a short vacation is going to help you find new ideas, and it can teach you new lessons about businesses.
You just have to open up your mind by having fun.