Stop me if this sounds familiar – you’ve been running on 3 hours of sleep a night for months now; you have an undiagnosed case of retina damage from staring at a computer screen for hours on end; and it’s 99.7% possible that you only ”kind of” know what you’re doing when it comes to building your business.
Sounds like you’re right on track! Every successful entrepreneur was there at one point. It’s what you do NEXT that will determine whether you are successful or just a sleep deprived, red-eyed maniac. Plus, the first 25 years of running your own business are the hardest, so keep your chin up. (Too soon?)
Here’s the thing – at some point you are likely to be faced with a tough choice. Option A is to hang on by your fingernails and get used to the status quo. Option B is to take a leap of faith and give up some (ok, pretty much all) certainty as to what will happen next.
Right now, your heart is jumping up and down singing: “Hell yes! Sign me up for the leap of faith option.” Meanwhile your head is frantically breathing into a paper bag and screaming: “Whoa! Put the brakes on, sister. Let’s not do anything rash!”
When it comes to making decisions for your business, just remember this one little rule: risk is directly tied to speed.
The bigger risks you are willing to take, the faster you will succeed — or fail. Taking fewer risks just slows everything way, way down. You could still become wildly successful, but it may take several years to get there. You could also end up failing eventually, but that too will be drawn out over a longer period of time.
Wouldn’t you like to know right now how this whole thing is going to shake out? Well, then pull on your big girl panties and lean in because we’ve got four tips for taking calculated risks that will propel your business forward:
- Redefine risk. Instead of thinking of risk as rolling the dice, think of it as a measure of confidence in your own experience. When you talk with clients you don’t say “Well, I guess I’m kind of ok at what I do.” You say, “Look, you can thank me later, but I’m totally going to kill it on this project.” When you know that you are excellent at what you do, the decision becomes less about taking a risk and more about trusting your experience.
- Don’t bet the farm. Sure, taking risks can accelerate your business growth, but we’re not talking about quitting your job or selling off everything you own. Start by taking small risks and keeping one foot firmly planted on the ground, like by starting a business on the side while you continue to work full or part time.
- Know what success looks like. You want your risks to pay off, right? Then define what success looks like in advance so you have something to shoot for. If you’re investing in an online course and risking precious time and a couple hundred bucks for it, maybe success is defined as earning back your financial investment 10 times over. Would that be worth the risk? Know what will make it “worth it” before you start.
- If you’re gonna let go, then be a big girl and let go already. If a risk doesn’t feel right, don’t force it. Walk away without waffling. Do not fall into the “maybe I’ll think about it later” trap. Once you decide that it’s not something you want to pursue, let it go completely so you’re free to consider new possibilities as they arise.
Just One Thing
Think of one risk you’ve been stalling on lately (Yep, stalling. That’s what it’s called when you refuse to make a decision). Use one of the strategies above to decide whether you’ll give it a go or walk away. Either way, you will feel better once you make a decision and stick to it.
We want to learn from you! What is one risk you’ve taken recently (big or small) and what impact did it have on your business? Share your experience in the comments below.