Part of my job as a business coach is to get people more comfortable with taking risks in business. After all, taking risks is inherent to growing a business over time. The old adage of “No risk no reward” is also true.
Before getting into how to become more comfortable taking risks in business, I first want to point out how I used to be risk-averse. Part of the reason it’s taken me so long to get this far in business is that I was too afraid. I was afraid to spend the money, quit the job, rock the boat and put in the time. However, I slowly overcame those things to have the business I have today.
Here are some of the ways I’ve gotten more comfortable taking risks in business. These are also many of the same strategies I teach my clients.
Learn to take calculated risks.
There’s a difference between taking dangerous risks and calculated risks. Calculated risks involve knowing how you’ll receive a return.
For example, every time I invest in a mentor it’s a calculated risk. At first, it was terrifying, but then I started mapping out how I would get a return on my investments.
As an additional note, there’s also a difference between taking risks hiring mentors and taking risks on something stupid – like a website redesign before you’ve done your market research.
Start rolling with people who teach you about risk-taking.
Part of the reason taking risks has become so much easier for me is because I’m surrounded by people who take risks all the time. Not only that, but they are very open and transparent about said risks.
By seeing these examples in my daily life, I am able to see how taking risks in business pays off. I’m also able to see what happens when a risk doesn’t work. For example, I have a colleague who got out of $2 million of debt. If they can do that then I can invest a few grand in my business and deal with the consequences if it doesn’t work out.
Realize there’s a risk in everything.
Part of the reason so many people fear taking risks in business is because they are trying to control the outcome. They want the “safe” route. Well, there’s actually no such thing as safe. Everything has a downside and “security” is really just a myth.
While this is a somewhat terrifying notion, it’s also incredibly liberating. If there’s really no such thing as “security” then it becomes easier to do things that seem risky. Either way, you’re taking a risk, so the question then becomes what kind of risk you want to take.
For example, relying on one job as your source of income is risky because you can always get laid off. Starting a business is also risky because all the responsibility is on you. Both come with inherent risk. So which one would you prefer to take?
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
The final step in getting more comfortable with taking risks in business to feel the fear and do it anyway. The more you take risks and succeed, the more comfortable you’ll become at taking them. The same is true with failing at risks. Once you overcome one failure it becomes easier to overcome others.