In today’s recession it seems that the saying “nothing ventured,
nothing gained” could be re-written as “nothing ventured, nothing
lost.” But is that really true? In the long-run, is there a safe path
to success? With a tough economy, risk-taking might seem even scarier than
normal. But the truth is that there are also downsides of playing it
safe. Our entrepreneurial spirit pushes us to explore risk, and seek
out smart risk.
Before taking any risks, the first step is to be introspective and
consider your situation, your goals, where you’re heading. These days
there are more opportunities than there is money to fund them. Set
your priorities and gain as much insight as possible, to make informed
decisions. Look at risk-taking as an exploration. Risks are necessary to make change happen. Look for ways to de-risk the opportunity.
Your instincts are great, but why not get some information to provide
you with perspective. Give serious thought to the opportunity in
advance, including developing your hypothesis of what the outcomes will
be and doing an experiment for validation.
The same principles of risk-taking in the business world apply to
personal decisions. For example, a former colleague recently asked at
what point should you leave the corporate world and enter the
entrepreneurial world? If your firm is laying people off, start
pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity at night and on the weekends to learn more about the viability of
such a path. Talk to experts and mentors to get their advice. Be more
prepared in the event that you do get laid off, or better yet, leave
your job with confidence because you did your homework.
Along the way, you will have doubters. Don’t let one person
discourage you, but use the feedback to modify and refine your plans.
When others raise challenges…