Bored and unfulfilled with the office job he had worked at for seven years, Richard Fletcher decided to make a bold move and become a professional gambler. It sounded like a dream career, in which if you worked smart, you could rake in the big bucks. Unfortunately, though, some dreams are handed to us by Hollywood, and Richard found out the hard way that the reality of professional gambling is far different from what we see onscreen.
Rather than the James Bond-esque lifestyle he had been imagining, he found himself spending hours every single day sitting at his computer doing online sports betting, with little to no human contact. And, while the tantalising promise of gambling is that, if you play your cards right, you could be end up raking in a fortune, he actually ended up earning less than he would in a normal nine-to-five job.
There were, however, some days on which Richard would win big. “But”, he says, “even when I might make £1,000, I felt empty and unfulfilled”. It was a lonely life, in which his only motivation was to make money. Now, looking back, he realises that it could never have made him happy, as completely selfish and single-minded as it was. That’s not to say he doesn’t care about money – he does. But he also wants to give something back to the world, and gambling was not the way to do that.
Richard chased that unrealistic, hyper-glamourous image for some time, but eventually he had to come to terms with reality. As lonely and demoralising as it was, though, his time as a professional gambler taught him some valuable lessons: that he wanted to do something more engaging with his life, something that helped people, and something that still earned good money. These days, he does just that, as a business coach who teaches his clients how to boost their income and fulfil their potential:
“I’m no Mother Theresa and I still care about making money, but I also want to make the world better in some way. I describe the buzz I get from helping others succeed as a ‘clean high’, whereas gambling helps no one.”
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