To be successful, small business owners need to understand the role that risk plays in their business and their life. But many have a misconception about how much risk is needed or how many risks they are actually taking. I have always said that if owners really knew how much risk they were taking to start a company, they never would do it!
On The Small Business Radio Show, I talked with Captain Angie Morgan who is a dynamic, creative thought leader who knows how to unlock the capability and talent of leaders at all levels. After serving as a Marine Corps captain, Angie led in pharmaceutical sales for Merck and Pfizer. She’s been a special advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on diversity initiatives and engages routinely with boards and organizations to drive performance. She is the co-author (with Courtney Lynch) of “Bet on You: How to Win with Risk”.
First, Angie believes the first thing is to think about what you want to do (not what others want you to do) and what risk you want to take. She adds that “risk done right is doing research and take measured steps to where you are and where you want to be”.
According to Angie, many of us are stuck in a “Play It Safe Paradox”; “we get a lot of guidance on what we should be doing, and we are coached to play it safe from an early age.”
Angie teaches that “risk taking is a learned behavior. One of our biggest influences is our maternal figures in our early life. Fear is a big blocker to taking risk. We need to understand that risk is a decision that you make that puts you in uncertainty. If you understand it this way, you realize you take risks all the time. We need to take thoughtful actions. Risk is like a muscle; it develops over time. “
Angie says there are three types of guides in our lives to help us take risks. First, people we can connect with that are took the risk you want to take. Second, talk to people that have influence to inspire you to take a risk. Third, realize there are people that you have no choice but to be in your life (like family) that don’t support your risk. According to Angie, many times this has to do with their own insecurities not the risk you want to take.
Finally, Angie believes the best safety net for risk is their own talent. She says that too many people “catastrophize risk; they visualize themselves homeless before the can visualize their success in many cases.”