Wynn-ing Ways: What Drives Your Actions? Get Better Results with a Decision-Making System

What drives your actions?

I’m going to share a story of a buddy of mine.

We’ll call him Jack.

Jack’s got some amazing stories from Las Vegas—better than mine.

Jack is the flip side of Lefty Rosenthal and Annie Duke.

Jack and I were in Vegas in 2000. We had just checked in to the Venetian, and I had a hunch. I said, “Let’s go shoot dice over at the Mirage.”

The Mirage was still nice, but the Venetian was on a whole other level, and it became the hotel for me and the old man.

A year or two after our first trip to the Mirage, I talked my dad into going across the street to see the Venetian, as it was the newest on the strip. While we were there, we played a little blackjack. We had a good run, and my dad asked the pit boss if he could see a casino host.

These were the old days when regular gamblers had a casino host. Casino hosts were people whose job was to get you to come back and play often. They made you feel special with free dinners and room nights. This casino host got me to come back to the Venetian and made it my go-to hotel. He made me feel like a high roller even though I wasn’t.

Any-who back to Jack and I crossing Flamingo Boulevard the other way…

Jack agrees, and off we go to the Mirage.

We step up to a craps table and place bets. The shooter at this craps table threw the dice weakly, and they barely reached our end of the table.

Jack turns to me with a disapproving look and says, “this guy throws like a palsy.” Jack’s a retired truck driver and Vietnam Vet—not one to be politically correct. The table broke out in a cheer as the shooter hit his point, and all those betting with him won.

It turns out “the palsy” holds on to the dice for forty minutes. I won’t get into all the nuances of craps, but when a player keeps making points and holds on to the dice, those betting with him make a ton of money.

I wasn’t nearly as aggressive as Jack, but I know a good run when I see it. I’ve been part of a few in my lifetime.

This one ranks number two in winnings for me.

The shooter sevens out, and the dealers rake in all the bets.

That was it…

A mid-four-figure win for me and five figures for Jack.

Now, the casino wants you to stay there and grind it out, hoping to see the streak return. That’s how they get all the money back.

I cashed out, and Jack followed suit.

I turned to him and said, “You know the thing to do is you and I go put all this money in the room safe. We could hit the spa and Delmonico’s tonight and fly out tomorrow.”

Jack turned to me and said, “I’m here for the action.”

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And that was that…

I didn’t see him for the next two days, and when I did, he was at a blackjack table with veins popping in his flush forehead, muttering curses at the dealer under his breath.

He had burned through the Mirage winnings and had been to the cash machine twice.

He had been doing this for decades.

He had gone to his last cash draw on a credit card and dug himself out of the hole multiple times.

He had won six figures and been put up in the same Desert Inn suite as Howard Hughes (not at the same time). His aim was no longer beating the casino but riding the emotional roller coaster—the action of chasing past wins.

It’s analogous to those of you who have had advertising or some marketing gambit work for you in the past. Maybe you were an early adopter, and it worked for you, but it stopped working.

You get lost in trying to hack the result of rank or sales rather than following a process that delivers customer delight. You add more hacks rather than distilling them down to what is the true driver of results.

I know a lot of authors who got to be part of the push-button make-money days. When it’s no longer the status quo, repeating our old habits can’t make those days come back. It may feel like it’s working, but it isn’t.

You get lost in the action of chasing a bygone era and don’t realize the casino has the odds stacked against you, or worse, that the game has changed.

We are emotional and easily-triggered creatures.

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Maybe you’re not as quick to trigger as Jack or go as deep into reactive behavior, but how do you act in stressful or uncertain situations?

If this business thing isn’t your jam, you’re susceptible to letting emotions and reactive behavior drive your decisions. It’s perfectly natural.

What if we create a decision-making system?

Just like any system, we can step out of it and improve it. We can learn from mistakes and build that learning into a process that eliminates repeated errors.

Using a decision-making system improves decisions and acts as an emotional circuit breaker, keeping you from getting triggered and falling into unproductive behaviors.

The decision-making system can help you break free of the paralysis of FOMO and get you to the Joy Of Moving On.

That’s what we’re going to do—help you build a basic decision-making system.

A decision-making system can be your most powerful business tool. It helps you to deal with the most feared aspects of entrepreneurship—maybe in all life—uncertainty and ambiguity.

Next week, I’ll share the test results. I promise this will be eye-opening.

Read: Decision-Making Insights from Our Confidence Test Results