Ever wonder what makes an entrepreneur decide when to take a risk? Examples of entrepreneurial risk-taking range from the calculated to the fool-hardy.
You’ll never hear me minimize doing due diligence on your entrepreneurial dream. Indeed, an entrepreneur’s hunch without some foundation is like a belt without belt loops. Still, there will come a time when an entrepreneur must take action without all the answers.
And in the not knowing, but going forward anyway, we find the quark of entrepreneurship and the paradoxical twin emotions, apprehension and exhilaration.
These emotions presage possibility: Might be good, might not be; might be successful, might be a train wreck. And contemplating either possibility produces the headrush entrepreneurs get the moment they risk what they know for what they might learn.
The best way to manage these emotions is a two-step process. First, believe in your own ability to take the next step. This confidence comes from gaining knowledge and experience, plus the perspectives of others – like a mentor – who have already been where you want to go.
If you’re having difficulty finding this confidence perhaps your subconscious is sending a message that you have more work to do before you take that next step. But if your credentials and preparation are reasonable and you’re still lacking confidence, perhaps it’s time to risk what you know for what you might learn. And that leads us to the second step, which is about faith.
Faith is defined as a belief in something unseen. You must have faith in yourself to handle future plans. You must have faith that your plans will be flexible enough to deal with the unknown. And you must also have faith in one more thing which may surprise you – serendipity.
My friend, Jim Ballard, author of “Mind Like Water,” says serendipity is “a meaningful coincidence.” Jim thinks the more we expect serendipity the more of it we will find. I think business serendipity is good fortune that happens when you show up in the marketplace with your plan, preparation and faith – every day.
Always research the risk you’re taking, believe in yourself and what you’re creating, and have faith that something good will come from your commitment. But when you take the next risk, be prepared for the possibility that what you get for your efforts might not be what you expect, and for the possibility that this is a good thing.
Expect serendipity whenever you risk what you know for what you might learn.