How much of a risk is it to start a small business? What are the things that you feel you have to overcome in order to dive into this arena? It’s the digital age– you can start a business while sitting at the dining room table in one evening before your favorite nighttime reality show comes on. So is small business today truly risky?
In a recent “20/20” episode, Robert Frank, Wealth Reporter for The Wall Street Journal, said:
“Part of the risk-taking personality is the ability to overcome failure….One of the things that makes billionaires successful is their reaction to failure.”
This makes me think of my own, sometimes risk-aversive behavior. Who wouldn’t love an automatic win, a sure thing, a guaranteed success? But the truth is business carries opportunity and costs.
When you start a business, you get to, as Captain James T. Kirk (yes, “Star Trek”) says, “boldly go where no man [or woman] has gone before.” The adventure itself is a reward, apart from what you discover and create (and sell).
You have to boldly go where no man has gone before. That means no lighted path, no safety markers, no examples. Just you, your team and your dream (and a plan).
The Real Risk
This economy has taught me that the real risk is in staying the same. Observing the status quo and available resources, and then using that knowledge to solve problems that everyone else ignores, is smart business. The true risk is in doing what everybody else is doing, and hoping it will take care of you for the life of your business.
And I’ve discovered that just because it’s easy to start a business sitting at the dining room table in one evening before your favorite nighttime reality show comes on doesn’t mean that it’s as easy to maintain it or to grow it.
What risks are you taking?