One of the greatest obstacles to man’s drive to succeed in his own business (or any other great undertaking, for that matter) is the disdain most of us have for taking risks.
The term “risk” has a very negative connotation for most of us; it suggests a situation that we’d prefer not to encounter.
Why do we dislike risk?
As a young child and throughout our schooling we are taught that risk is bad, that we should avoid risk whenever possible . . .
“Don’t rock the boat” or “make waves,”
“Be satisfied with what you’ve got,”
“Better to be safe than sorry,”
“Maintain the status quo,”
“Don’t go out on a limb,”
“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,”
We don’t take risks because we could fail and lose something of value that we now have.
But what if there were no real downsides to taking a risk?
What if you had nothing to lose? You might be more willing to accept a risk.
In fact, if there were no negative outcomes of going out on a limb, you probably wouldn’t consider that action (whatever it is) a risk at all.
Here’s a quick and simple example:
I don’t buy lottery tickets because I believe there are overwhelming odds that I will lose my money.
I don’t want to lose my money; therefore I will not take the risk of buying lottery tickets. The “odds” are too much against me.
But if you give me a lottery ticket, and there is no way I will lose any of my own money, then yes, I will play the game and take the risk of not winning.
In this latter case, taking the risk of losing is acceptable.
I can tolerate the outcome (not winning) because I’ll still have all my money.
I may be sad that I didn’t win, but that’s OK, I can handle the disappointment.
When there is nothing of value to lose, risk can actually become a good thing.
It can motivate you, energize you, and get you off your dime, so to speak.
Now, switch gears and think for a moment about the risk of starting a new business.
That endeavor, historically, has been one filled with substantial risk.
Get out a piece of paper and list all the risks of starting a physical brick and mortar business.
(Stay with me . . . we’ll continue our discussion in the next post!)
To your online business success,