Becoming Your Own Risk Manager

Risk Comfort ZoneRisk is integral to build an innovative, unique enterprise, and if you are an entrepreneur, you are probably already hardwired for risk. Because risk taking is part of your verynature, maybe you don’t even recognize that it is the daring dreamer inside you that risks failure to achieve success. This is where entrepreneurs thrive, because in most cases, their inherent tolerance for risk taking is higher than others’. Those who establish their own businesses are typically no-limits visionaries, with the ability to build a mental picture of their venture far into the future. But they are also not afraid of changing, molding and altering that vision to suit changing environments or circumstances.

Conducting business in this way is not scary for the entrepreneurial mind. However, not everyone operates with this mindset. The world needs both risk takers and measured, methodical workers who weigh those risks preemptively. And frequently, those methodical rule-followers are encouraged to think more creatively, adopt the entrepreneurial spirit of free-thought. Yet, it is just as important for change-oriented entrepreneurs to examine their own work styles and perceptions, flavoring their habits with some regularity and deliberation. How does the big-picture thinker utilize some of these practices, without stifling their intrepid outlook?

The Global Entrepreneurship Institute (GEI) identifies several steps involved in the entrepreneurial life cycle, but one in particular can help high flying dreamers maintain the grounding required to safeguard their business from oversights. The GEI calls this a sanity check or a go/no-go stage of business development. In other words, this is an opportunity to focus on the narrowly defined goal of the business, early on, without becoming entangled in future ideas and branching out. There is plenty of time to grow your business beyond its primary objective, and straying too far from this will result in spreading the venture too thin, too soon.

Some entrepreneurs find this difficult. Research indicates most entrepreneurs are comfortable juggling many ideas or even many businesses at once, and work more
productively when they are harried, busy and operating in a state of constant change. In the article Are you someone who lives in the comfort zone, I discuss living in the comfort zone, how our attitudes and beliefs become habits and the stagnation that can occur when the habit removes our ability to choose our reactions. Adhering strictly to any mindset, without exploring other possibilities, is an example of this stagnation. And while the entrepreneurial spirit is enviable, the article also states that becoming immersed in tradition suffocates thinking and becomes the replacement for constructive thought.

So, even the creative types can benefit from stepping outside their comfort zone and may thrive from the perceptions and preferences of the systematic and temperate. Never abandon your courageous inclination to build without limits, but always ensure recklessness isn’t part of your risk.

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