It’s Risky — But Is It Too Risky?

by Thursday Bram on January 27, 2011


Starting your own business will always be a risk.

There’s always a chance that something could go wrong. But the most successful entrepreneurs can evaluate risks and decide how far they’re prepared to go.

The ability to evaluate risks — to decide what risks are worth taking and which truly are too risky — is what separates out someone who can start a lasting business and who gets stuck along the way.

Learning to Evaluate Risks

When I started out on my own, I figured that I could learn just about everything I needed to know about running a business out of books.

Have you ever tried to learn to evaluate risks out of a book? I don’t recommend it.

The simple fact is that the only way to learn about risks is to run them. If you’re willing to run your own business, you’re likely not too risk averse. If you do feel timid, though, you have to push your boundaries: a business owner who tries to avoid every single risk that comes along will never have the chance to grow her business.

Personally, I’m still learning about risks. I know that there are plenty of potential problems out there, any time I make a decision.

I try to learn as much about the consequences of any big move I make beforehand.

I look at the potential decision from as many angles as possible, looking for ways to reduce the potential problems if something goes wrong.

I’ll make the occasional jump straight off a cliff, but I always know what’s waiting for me at the bottom.

That makes it a lot easier to figure out a parachute or arrange for a couple of mattress before I land — anything is better than just starting to flap your arms after you start falling.

It’s All Risky

It’s worth remembering that everything in our lives has some risk.

Holding down a job is an incredibly risky proposition: at any point, an employer can shut its doors, with no guarantee that the company will fulfill its obligations to its employees.

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be in a position where I can take steps to reduce or balance the risks I’m running.

Don’t be afraid of taking risks. Having a family requires running incredible risks. But it’s worth it.

The same goes for running a business.

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Image: Fayjo via Flickr, Creative Commons

Thursday Bram offers content marketing through Hyper Modern Consulting, as well as more traditional writing services. She’s also the co-creator of Constructively Productive, the blog that’s bringing perspective to productivity. You can find Thursday on Twitter.

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