For the most part, all of us have a robust fear of failure. We are good at counting the cost of trying and failing. We are also pretty much aware of what we don’t want to lose. The result is that we miss opportunities due to not taking the risk of possible failure.
What we are not good at, is evaluating the risk of not trying. We decide to play it safe. Understand, though, you are guaranteed to fail if you don’t try. By playing it safe all the time, you limit your opportunity for success.
So what risks should you take? Fortunately, you are the only person who can answer this question. Do you have a plan? Do you know why you are interested in taking the risk? Is success tied in some way to your effort? These are just a few of the questions involved.
It comes down to balancing the difference between taking risks or taking chances. Taking a “calculated risk” is meaningful, but no one has ever heard of taking a “calculated chance”. A calculated risk is where you know what you need to do in order to be successful and you have some control over the criteria for success. For example, deciding to seek a Six Sigma Black Belt certification involves the risk of not making a passing grade. You control that risk with your effort.
Taking chances involves activities that put you in jeopardy in situations where no matter what you do, success is controlled by chance. For example, mortgaging your home in order to buy lottery tickets. You have hope, but understand that hope is not a plan.
The definition of an entrepreneur is someone who has a passion for seeing their dreams become reality. They live in fear of not trying. While other people fear losing something they already have, entrepreneurs fear not gaining something they want but don’t have.
So here is the point. Be an entrepreneur with your life. It is wise to be aware of the cost of failure, but at the same time be aware of the cost of not trying.
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