Risk taking in business can be a critical success factor. What this doesn’t mean however, is to completely throw caution to the wind and ‘go for it’, without thought of consequence. While I believe the bigger the risk bigger the reward, I also know from experience that there’s a way to ‘do risk’.
I recall the first time I went into business in 2009, I was “all in”. I couldn’t have been more committed and I absolutely backed myself 100%. So much so that I believed that my belief was enough to help me succeed.
Financially I committed everything; emotionally, I gave every breath and thought to positivity and success. I visualised, I risked, I worked hard, I pushed myself harder than I ever had before, I ignored the nay-sayers, I did what I was supposed to do. And yet, after making $17 in six months I was forced to realise that my dreams weren’t going to come true, then. I had to rebuild myself emotionally, financially, and physically as it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough (or so I thought at the time).
Having to walk away was one of the hardest moments, and the thought of giving up sent me into a downward spiral. I didn’t want to let myself down, or the people to whom I’d promised that I would succeed.
Soon enough I realised the error of my ways and the many lessons I needed to learn from this experience. One of which was to be smarter with risk-taking.
What does this tell us?
Firstly, while belief is a key component of success – belief in your product, your people, yourself; it’s not the only ingredient in the recipe for success.
And secondly, there’s always a chance of failure and negative consequence when taking risks, however there are steps you can take to minimise these consequences should things not go to plan.
So while you need to take risks in order to move your business (and yourself) forward, when you take risks there are some fundamental things to look at.
A couple of things for you to consider when looking at taking a ‘calculated risk’:
- Preparation and planning: including realistic timeframes (don’t be in a rush), financial impacts and how you can minimise these impacts. Consider your desired outcome, the approach on how you’ll achieve it, and identify potential barriers to your success.
- Support and surroundings: who do you have to support you in business and personally, and who can help you achieve these goals and ensure the risk is worth the result?
- Marketing: identify how you’ll attract your ideal clients, determine ‘where they are’ and what problems you’re helping solve for them, and define your measures of success.
- Sales: Have a sales strategy in place to ensure you attract and keep your ideal clients on board.
There will always be an element of risk-taking when it comes to sales and business success. The key here is to plan “enough”, without getting stuck in a state of procrastination and overthinking.
Risks are all about getting you out of your comfort zone, so it will feel scary at times. Don’t let that stop you from doing things differently to how you’ve always done them. If you don’t grow and change, you’ll get the results you’ve always got!
In my instance, my failures led me to rebuild my life and learn how to love the mistakes that I’d made. You won’t succeed at everything you do. The trick is being okay with this and developing the ability to look at what you can use in future and to learn from all the times you try.
There is a common stigma attached to ‘sales’ and yet, sales are so critical to the success of all businesses. The hard truth is without sales, your business is a hobby.