“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
~ Robert F. Kennedy
In setting up a new business, you take huge risks. You put yourself and your finances on the line. What kinds of risks will move your business forward, and what risks will jeopardise your business success?
Traditional risk management concentrates only on reducing risks. However, if you want to grow your business or gain competitive advantage you will need to take risks. Being a successful entrepreneur involves taking calculated risks and minimising unplanned risks.
In her bestselling book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, author Susan Jeffers explains what separates people who succeed from those who don’t. She says that successful people “feel the fear and do it anyway.” Successful people don’t let fear stop them from achieving their goals. Instead, they use fear to their advantage. By acknowledging the risks you are taking and assessing them you will be able to analyse risks and avoid foolish decisions.
How does this work in practice? Entrepreneurs are often driven by fire in their belly, passion and single mindedness. Adrenaline can be an important motivator in business. One business owner recently told me that they were motivated by “The thrill of the chase… sweet smell of success if and when it comes, and the adrenaline rush it all brings.”
In order to determine what types of risks are good for your business, you need to rely on your gut instinct.
This takes courage and self confidence. Properly channelled, fear can help keep you from being complacent about starting a business. Fear can tell you when it’s time to research the competition, alter your business plan, or obtain extra funding. You need to harness your fear and use it to make your business more successful.
This means that unless fear is paralysing you from acting, you should not aim to reduce your fear. Instead use it, learn from it, and take action in spite of it. True entrepreneurs are able to adapt and take action in spite of fear to achieve their goals, because they feel it is the right thing to do for their business.
A good way of reducing your risk is to share your plans with others. Ask for advice on your business ideas from others who have more experience than you. Listen to constructive advice, and take it on board. Also, commit to learning more about all aspects of running a business. Your gut instinct will tell you whose opinion to listen to and what to do about it.
What are the biggest risks you have taken in your business? What did you think of this article, will it give you confidence to take a calculated risk which your gut instinct is telling you is right for your business? I would love to hear your comments. Please get in touch!