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The Biggest Risk Is Not Taking One

by / ⠀Personal Branding Startup Advice / July 18, 2012

The headline is a quote that has been preached by some of the most successful business people out there. And there’s a reason why they’re successful, they took risks to create something awesome and it paid off.

Now, if you’re not moving forward at the pace that you want, think about the risks that you’re avoiding.

Here are two of the most common fears that have prevented this world being blessed with a few more innovative products, a greater selection of amazing services and a truckload of successful business people:

Risk of Financial Loss

This is the most commonly quoted risk that prevents progress. Sure, you have to weigh up risk and return and analyze the worst-case scenario. But if the risk of losing money is too great, adapt your idea and approach.

You can adapt in several ways. For example, spread the cost amongst investors, partners or over time. Or perhaps eliminate immediate costs by offering key employees or contractors equity as opposed to cash.

Your options will depend on your business. Don’t just dismiss an idea or opportunity because the headline cost makes it seem too risky.

Reputational Risk

Budding entrepreneurs and established businesses are sometimes afraid of what their friends, clients and other stakeholders might think if their new business endeavor fails. As a result, they do nothing because of this hypothetical risk to reputation

The truth is the people that really matter will praise you for doing something daring and different as opposed to simply following the herd.

Let’s take Google as an example. They’re an amazing company and they launch new products and services all the time. Many of these do fail – so what? They are still heralded as being one of the most innovative companies out there and as a result, are also one of the most profitable.

Michael Jordan beautifully summed up what you should take away from failures:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Your success will be ever lasting. Failure is temporary unless you decide to quit.

All of the amazing people and companies we see around us took mighty risks to get where they are today. Apple entered a completely new market and took a huge risk when they went from producing the iPod to releasing the iPhone in an already saturated market – it has changed the mobile phone market forever. The recent quarterly revenue it generated by just the iPhone alone beat all of the revenue generated by Microsoft over the same period.

Richard Branson took a risk, and overcame initial legal obstacles, when he decided to name his company Virgin. The company is now known worldwide as an exciting, trusted and innovative brand. I can’t imagine it creating the same fledging image if it was named something ‘safer’ such as Richard B Ltd.

The next time you see an opportunity or encounter a challenge that you decide to turn down, think about what led you there. Be honest with yourself and evaluate whether the rationale for not undertaking an idea is legitimate or if it can be overcome. Nothing worth getting comes easy.

Remember, where there’s no risk there’s no reward. Take calculated risks and keep moving forward.

Bio: Sandip Singh is the founder of crowdfunding website Go Get Funding which has helped people from all over the world raise money for what matters to them. He is also a stock market investor and martial arts enthusiast.

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.

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