“Fear can keep a man out of danger, but courage can support him in it.” — Old English proverb
Merriam-Webster defines courage as “the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous.”
Few endeavors — scaling Mt. Everest or swimming with sharks might qualify — demand greater courage than the act of starting (or running) a small business. And with courage comes the willingness to take risks.
Whether borrowing money to grow your business, launching a new product or hiring more employees — accepting risk and protecting yourself with liability insurance is critical to business success.
Business Risk Taker Self-Quiz
If courage and risk-taking are traits necessary for success, how much of a business risk taker are you?
Take this 10-question quiz to find out. Once completed, use the key at the end to score your business risk taking aptitude.
When considering starting a new venture, you:
- Fear that it will be unsuccessful making you reluctant to step out.
- Weigh the pros and cons beforehand and consult with other business owners and financial advisors.
- Are confident of that you will be successful and able to overcome any obstacles.
In your business activities, you:
- Tend to avoid competition.
- Factor in the competition and take steps to block or limit it.
- Fight against your competitors, confident you will come out on top.
When driving a car, you:
- Obey traffic laws to the letter.
- Follow the laws, so long as they do not hinder your purposes.
- Are willing to break the laws, assured that you won’t get caught.
When faced with the opinion of the majority, you:
- Typically go along with the majority.
- Respect the majority but retain your views.
- Confront the majority, believing that your opinion is always right.
In games of chance, you:
- Don’t play.
- May play but stay within a certain limit that you deem acceptable.
- Are a high-roller, playing for all the stakes.
When making decisions, you:
- Tend to hesitate for lengthy periods.
- Decide only after assessing the prospect of success.
- Choose quickly, firmly believing that you are right.
When it comes to conflicts, you:
- Avoid them at all costs.
- Try to avoid conflict but settle it when you enter into one.
- Crush the enemy.
When making investments, you:
- Put your money into no-risk, relatively low interest, long-term programs.
- Put your money into programs that have sound interest but that come with medium risk levels.
- Invest in programs that you believe will grow considerably within 1-2 years, regardless of risk.
Regarding risk, your close friends would say you are:
- Risk averse.
- Willing to take risks after completing adequate research.
- A true risk taker who is reliant on your abilities and strength of will to succeed.
When considering the purchase of business liability insurance, you:
- Take steps in advance to protect your business against loss.
- Meet with an insurance advisor to review your options and make a decision based on the best available advice.
- Don’t worry about it until something happens.
Business Risk Taker Aptitude
Are you a business risk taker? Let’s find out.
Give yourself 10 points for every “1” answer, 20 points for every “2” answer and 30 points for every “3” answer. Tally your score to discover your business risk taker aptitude.
100 – 150: Your risk tolerance is low. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be in business for yourself, just that your tendency to avoid risk may make it harder to accept challenges and overcome obstacles.
150 – 250: You have an acceptable level of risk tolerance but regard caution and mindfulness equally as high. Because you have to marshal your finances as well as your time and energy, your willingness to progress more deliberately could work to your advantage.
250 – 300: You are a genuine business risk taker who moves ahead confident that the decisions you make are right. Doubt rarely factors into the equation. Your boldness in undertaking new ventures could prove to be your downfall, however. A bit more caution may be warranted.
To learn more about the courage it takes to run a small business, review these resources, from Hiscox Business Insurance:
Hiscox American Courage Index
Hiscox American Courage Index (Winter 2016 update)
How Courageous is America? (infographic)
Take the Test Your Courage Survey
Market Image via Shutterstock