|Why do I love penny slot machines? I know that in the long run, I'm not going to win. And I know that there's nothing I can do to control the outcome (although I have some rituals). But even with that knowledge, I enjoy sitting down, putting my money in the slot, pushing the button and then watching to see what riches await.
Why? I'm smarter than that.
I'll tell you why: hope. Despite what I know about slot machines, every spin gives me the opportunity to hope. If all the machine did was eat, I'd never do it. But every now and then, for my measly 20-cent bet, the machine gives me back $8.50, or $13, or (and this has happened to me) $62.85. And because I know that each machine has the capacity to do that, I enjoy playing.
How, you may ask, does that relate to business? It has to do with networking. You stand with a drink in one hand and your business cards in the other, and you talk to 50 people in a crowded room. And then somebody says, "I'm glad I met you. I need help writing the text for my Web site." It has to do with e-mail blasts. You send your message out into the ether, not knowing whether it's going to be read or trashed. And then, into your in-box comes the reply that says, "Do you write brochures?" (Oh, yes I do!)
It has to do with hope. For every broad outreach method you employ, you must know that most of the recipients won't respond, and many of the responders won't buy. But some will. And when they do, you get to do the thing you love and keep going. That's the jackpot.
Warning: Slot machines are for entertainment purposes only. Please play responsibly.