Taking a gamble

Photo by  William Picard

Photo by William Picard

I have this theory that my New Years Eve plans tend to give me an idea
of what to expect in the following year. The years I stay home,
usually due to weather, I have a less-than-stellar new year. The years
I find myself joyously drunk on Korbel or other cheap sparkling wine
surrounded by friends, the following year is quite positive.

After the previous year, I was a bit anxious to find SOMETHING to do
or SOMEWHERE to be at midnight. With new houses or babies on the way
for some friends, you don’t expect a crazy raucous going down at
someone’s house. So after the traditional dinner with family (stuffed
with a burger, fries and a few Cokes), I wandered around the nearby
casino. I walked around, watching people firmly planted into the
overstuffed revolving chairs at each slot machine. Like robots,
routinely pushing the “bet” button hoping those cherries, sevens or
Michael Jackson silhouettes will create a lighted eruption of

Gambling on New Years Eve. Quite interesting and symbolic, really. If
you think of it, would winning or losing make or break a year? I have
overheard many people through the din of bloops and whistles that
they’ve lost a significant amount of money. I can’t even bring myself
to slip five bucks into a machine. Then there’s those who are up a few
hundred, but what did it take for them to get up there? Are they
breaking even or did they clear their wallet and just continue to hope
and pray with each bet that they come out on top?

Business is like gambling. Of course, I was going to get to that
analogy! I look back on the last year–which was my first whole twelve
months in business–and start working on how to make the next year
better. There were great months and there were bad months. No matter
how good or bad, each one makes you look back and reconsider what you
can do next time.

So as I pushed the voucher into the cash redemption machine and
pocketed my five bucks and some change (after slipping a dollar into a
penny machine), I took my positive earnings as a good omen and
shuffled back out into the cold and back into a warm house and ate a
handful of whiskey-soaked cherries to welcome a new crop of 365 days.


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