Many of today’s entrepreneur’s and business leaders will tell you that one of the ways to become successful is to take big risks. Business leaders take risks every day when making decisions. They have to introduce new products to an uncertain market, find new ways to outshine competitors, and make daring decisions that pay off very well. How can you become a grade A risk-taker? Here are some handy tips.
1. Do your homework first. Taking a risk isn’t exactly the same as taking a blind leap of faith into the abyss. Every good risk is preceded by the necessary amount of diligent research. You should examine all your options and find out the risks and rewards associated with your decision before you make it. What could possibly go wrong? What are the worst things that could happen if you fail?
2. Be prepared for failure. Nobody wants to fail, but it is something that sometimes feels inevitable. After all, the Silicon Valley model is “fail fast, fail often.” If you do fail, will it totally cost you your business and leave you bankrupt? Or perhaps you will only lose a few weeks of time. Make sure you know the consequences of what will happen if you fail. You should also make sure that you have some sort of safety net to fall back upon.
3. Learn to face your fears. You should never do a head dive into something you are totally scared of. However, there is another way of getting over your fears. Perhaps you fear talking to new people or trying a new marketing strategy. The best way to get over such a fear is by facing it a little at each time. This is called exposure therapy, a means of facing your fears by slowly exposing to them a little at a time. If you fear talking to new people, start off slowly and start small conversations with strangers. If you fear a new marketing strategy, test it on a micro level and slowly scale upwards.
4. Don’t be a perfectionist. Just because you can’t pull it off perfectly doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your best. Plans are hardly ever executed as they were intended to, but that doesn’t mean those plans are always unsuccessful. The fear of not doing something good enough is what keeps many people from taking risks at all.
5. Ask yourself what will happen if you don’t take a risk at all. What happens if you don’t do anything and just stay still? What will happen if you decide to play it safe rather than being bold? What will the consequences be? For example, if you never went for your Bachelor’s degree in college, you might be stuck with a high school diploma flipping burgers for the rest of your life. If your company does not try marketing in a new industry, your competitors might overtake you.
6. See your failures as an opportunity to learn something new. Even the greatest of us make mistakes. After all, Thomas Edison failed a thousand times before me successfully made a single light bulb. Just see your mistakes as something to learn from and know that your future endeavors will be improved because of it.
These items are by no means a comprehensive way of making sure that you are ready to take risks in both your business and personal life. However, these will serve as stepping stones for you to become less risk adverse and make the decisions you need to make. These items are by no means a comprehensive way of making sure that you are ready to take risks in both your business and personal life. However, these will serve as stepping stones for you to become less risk adverse and make the decisions you need to make.
Craig Cecilio is the CEO and Founder of DiversyFund, Husband, and Father to three daughters. Craig’s mission is to break down the barriers that keep most Americans from investing like the wealthiest 1%.