How to Take Risks for SuccessCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scatterbrainphotography/5919202107
Risk-taking is necessary to the attainment of success; it’s a veritable aspect of life, yet we all cringe when it’s mentioned. Take it or leave it but without risk-taking, our lives would be drab, uninteresting and stagnant.
In order to attain success, you must be prepared to take risks or you remain on the same spot, year in, year out.
What is Risk Taking?
Risk-taking is essentially taking positive steps that will better your life, business, marriage, etc. There are negative and positive risks. The best way I can explain a negative risk is if you willingly sniff a hard drug (knowing fully well the consequences), commit an abortion when a pregnancy is far gone or go out with your husband’s best friend. They are negative risks which involve gambling your life, business or marriage away!
Positive risk involves creating a new product line for your business, getting married, having a child, etc
Examples of Risk Taking
God’s Risk-Taking: God took a huge risk by creating man in His own image. Man disappointed Him but He provided an alternative route! This is proof that if you take a risk and things don’t go as planned, you can always take an alternative route.
Abraham’s Risk-Taking: If you read the Bible, especially the Book of Genesis, you’ll see so many risks that Abraham took. He took the risk of almost killing his only son because of God’s instruction to him; he took the risk of leaving his family, his land of birth and properties to go into a land he did not know. But his attitude really brought him into a covenant relationship with God and he was proclaimed the father of all nations with riches beyond description!
Mark Zuckerberg’s Risk-Taking: Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg took a huge risk by dropping out of Harvard to focus on building Facebook. That risk has paid off handsomely today with Facebook recording over 1 billion members.
Steve Jobs’ Risk-Taking: Jobs’ dropped out of College to establish Apple Incorporated with Steve Wozniak (in his parents’ garage) in the year 1976. For several years, he led a company that transformed the computer technology industry. In October 2011 when he passed on, Jobs had built Apple into the world’s most priceless company with a line of products including the iPOD, iPOD nano, iTUNES store, iMAC, iPHONE, iPAD to its acclaim.
Why Do We Find It Difficult to Take Risks?
It’s surprising that we see risk-taking as an enemy, instead of a friend. It’s surprising because we live and dwell in risks. Now, let me explain. Everyday you get out of your house, you’re at risk of not returning home alive but that does not prevent you from going about your daily activities. The day you took a high-paying job, you put yourself at the risk of being sacked but that did not prevent you from taking up the appointment. I could go on and on but the truth is, life is uncertain; the earlier we get that into our brains, the better.
I honestly think we refuse to take risks because of the following:
- Fear of failure and rejection: Most of our fears have no substance but we still have all sorts of fear, from fear of failure to fear of rejection, to fear of public speaking to fear of flying, etc. But the reality is there’s nothing to fear except fear itself because it stops us dead in our tracks and prevents us from attaining most of our goals. So, the next time you experience fear in any form, know that there’s nothing to fear except fear in itself!
- Lack of courage: To take risks, we need to build courage.Without courage and confidence in ourselves, we won’t be able to take risks. By way of example, you need lots of courage to quit a high-paying job to start a small business. So, lack of courage is one of the reasons we refuse to take risks.
- Our upbringing: Our parents brought us up to take life easy. They told us to go to school, graduate and get a good job (even when you can start a business that can bring you 10 times your pay check). They told us not to rock the boat of life; we should be satisfied with the little we have because it’s too risky to do otherwise.
- Desire for Certainty: This is one major reason we do not aim for more in life. We desire to know exactly how that new venture we want to engage in will turn out but 9 out of 10 times, we cannot say for sure. We’re left in the dark and the only way to know how a venture would turn out is to go into it. If you’re waiting for certainty before you take a risk, let me shock you by saying you won’t get it!
- Being Satisfied with Little: Having a sense of complacency also robs us of the opportunity to take risks. When you have a business that is bringing in $1,000 monthly and there is an opportunity to scale your earnings to $10,000 monthly (by investing $5,000); if you refuse to take the risk of investing $5,000, you won’t get the $10,000 monthly reward. You remain satisfied with the little you have; you remain in your comfort zone.
Learning How to Successfully Take Risks
Learning how to take risks is a skill everybody should learn; it’s so essential to life and the attainment of success. In four simple steps, I want to show you how to take major decisions that involve risk-taking:
- List the negative and positive outcomes of a risk you’re considering to take. List them side-by-side and consider the best and worst case scenario. If the best case scenario comes to fruition, can you cope? What of the worst case scenario, would you be able to handle it in real life? After listing, do a comparison of the possible outcomes and which one you think is more probable (in real life).
- Allow your gut instincts to take pre-eminence. Once you’ve listed the negative and positive outcomes and you’ve done a comparison, sleep over it and allow your gut instincts take over. I call it the still small voice; if you allow it, you’ll hear it impress the choice to make on your heart.
- Develop the risk mentality. This basically involves building confidence in yourself and determination to move on in spite of your doubts. There will always be doubts about anything you want to do but the risk mentality would urge you on.
- Put your all into making your decision worthwhile. Once you’ve decided to take a risk, please give it your all to achieve success. At this point, there’s no dragging of the feet, it’s time for all-out-action!
Summary and Action TakeAway
Now that you know steps to take when you’re faced with a major risk-taking decision, implement these tips and attain more successes than you can ever imagine! Before I go, let me quickly say your success, at any point in time, would be equal to the number of risks you’re prepared to take. So, are you prepared to risk your money, energy, time, and resources to attain success? The ball is in your court!