"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
--- T.S. Elliot
In my mind, taking risks is usually reserved for those brave souls who take on Mount Everest or bullfighting, or eating at Joes Bar and Grill (a local dive where you do not want to eat…trust me!). Risk is usually not associated with business in my mind because the word conjures up a gambling table or a double-dog-dare to stick my tongue on an icy flag pole--- too much trouble and not enough reward.
But business experts tell us that the successful business people are taking risks on a daily basis. They say that the smart business person takes calculated risks, weighing all the odds of risk and reward before pulling the trigger on their decision. They say that only then do businesses succeed.
"If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary."
--- Jim Rohn
I imagined that the calculated risk is one that is studied for days and weeks before making a final call, but after some research I found that the successful business person doesn't sit on the decision for too long, but gathers the information readily available and then either goes for it, or decides to abandon the risk. This takes guts, but it also takes experience. It is the seasoned business person and risk-taker that can see and study all of the angles quickly before jumping in. They don't fiddle-fart too long waiting for the right moment, but has enough experience to take action and then live with that action.
"One hour of life, crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh, without either honor or observation."
--- Walter Scott
It appears that it all starts with taking some baby risks. These are risks with low consequences, but still a risk. This is not gambling or blindly throwing darts, but actually gathering information quickly and making a rapid decision. This practice builds risk-taking confidence and gives the business leader a chance to flex his or her risk muscles. Taking baby risks will open larger opportunities for larger risks. The more we risk, the better we will get at it. Yes, we will make some mistakes, but at least we are trying. Each attempt will make us stronger and smarter risk takers.
I think I am going to give it a try over this last quarter that we have of 2013. I wish you will join me. Let's begin searching for some risks that will stretch us and leave us feeling just a little uncomfortable. Besides, it was risk that founded America, risk that took us to the moon, risk that started Starbucks, and risk that opened your business. I am beginning today. I am heading to Joe's Bar and Grill.
"You don't concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done."
--- Chuck Yeager
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