Business Advice from American Idol: Pick The Sure Bet

Adam has some great business advice–Lambert, not Smith, that is.

When given the choice, do you look for the “long shot” or the “sure bet?”

This guy’s voice gets on my nerves, and I am generally not a fan. However, he consistently picks the sure bet. Within every genre, he has selected the song that turns the judges into bobble heads. Sure, he has a good voice, but out of the 50,000 contestants these finalists all have good voices.  Plus, they practice 8 hours a day, but before spending any time practicing, Adam spends time thinking and asking, “what’s the sure bet?” He doesn’t pick songs that are out of his range. He doesn’t pick songs because his mom sang them to him when he was a kid. He strategically picks songs that consistently wow the judges–and obviously the audience.

In business, there are as many reasons to pursue various opportunities as there are opportunities. You can “pull off” a thousand opportunities and possibly hit a home run, but sure bets guarantee consistent hits. For some reason, we are inclined to pull for the long shot. The payoffs on the long shot can potentially pay 40:1, but the sure bet will statistically make you rich–the long shot can make you hopeless.

Once you pick the sure bet, you still, like Adam, have to work hard to get big results, but you’d be doing that anyway.

Jeremy Floyd

Jeremy Floyd is the President at FUNYL Commerce. Formerly, he was the CEO and President of Lirio, Bluegill Creative, a marketing and communications firm in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to managing the digital strategies, Floyd was an adjunct professor for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga MBA program teaching digital strategies and social media. Floyd blogs at and tweets under the name @jfloyd. Jeremy is licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee and holds a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from MTSU in English and Philosophy.

  • The following article doesn’t necessarily recommend the long shot, but it definitely promotes bucking the conventional wisdom: