Nine months ago, I received a call from a good friend of mine that I met in college.

My friend said, “Mike, you have to start playing poker. It’s just amazing. You can play with us next week at Frank’s house or just jump online and join a game. It’s such a rush.”

He was excited. But I had to say, “Thanks, but no thanks. I’m not interested.”

I’m just not that much of a gambler.

But then, about two weeks later, I was channel-surfing and I came across a poker tournament on TV. Because of my friend, I stopped and watched. I wanted to see for myself why he was so excited.

Poker has taken off. It has become a billion-dollar business and a worldwide phenomenon. So I wasn’t surprised to see the face on the cover of the May issue of Inc. magazine.

Who was it? You got it right. The guy who started the poker craze: Steve Lipscomb.

“Oh boy!” I thought to myself the day that issue landed in my mailbox. “This is going to be a great story!”

And I was right.

Let me share with you five success secrets that Lipscomb used to build a $300 million business and kick-start a multi-billion-dollar industry.

1) Do Something You Love.

Why did Steve Lipscomb get into the poker business? Because he started playing the game, LOVED it, and saw a better way for poker to be “sold.” So simple. Right?

What do you enjoy doing? What products or services have you bought in the past that revolve around your passion? How can you improve them and sell them to other enthusiasts? Those are questions I ask my clients to help them discover how to make money with something they love.

2) Find a ‘Model’ That Works and Emulate It.

After Steve decided to turn his poker passion into a business, he looked for a business model that he could emulate – one that he could learn from. He found the model of the PGA golf tour and used it to build his $300 million business. (Amazing what we can learn from businesses outside of our own!)

3) Ignore the Naysayers.

Nobody believed in Steve Lipscomb. I know how that feels – and it’s not good. The cable companies, production companies, even people around him thought he was crazy. They said, “Nobody will buy this.” But he believed in himself and his idea. And that’s what YOU need to do.

4) Sell Your Vision.

Steve Lipscomb is incredibly strong in selling his vision to others. When no one believed him, the only way he could get backers and employees was to sell his grand vision of what would be possible with his idea.

People like to be involved in something that’s going to be great. So it’s your job to sell them on what will be possible when YOUR IDEA grows into a reality. When you sell your vision, make it bright, clear, and exciting.

5) Build a Team.

Steve Lipscomb has a great team around him – and this has been a critical part of his success. To find and pick the right people for your team, you’ll have to understand their individual strengths and weaknesses – and learn how to manage both.

By taking it one step at a time, celebrating each victory, Steve Lipscomb has built a publicly traded company worth $300 million.

Pretty good for a guy with nothing more than a passion and an idea.

[Ed. Note: Being scattered is the enemy of entrepreneurship and greatness. The good news is that the ability to focus your  concentration like a laser-beam is something you can develop. And like a muscle it will grow stronger with use. If you would like to attain the power of total concentration, be sure to check out Mike Litman’s Program, “The Power of Concentration”.]