“The biggest risk is not taking any risk,” he asserted. “In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
Treat risks as essential steps.
Rather than seeing risks as something to avoid, consider them important steps along the road to success. “You don’t know exactly how you are going to get to the results that you want to see,” says Kay Koplovitz, the first woman CEO in the history of network television. “There is going to be experimentation along the way. And you have to be comfortable that you can think your way through and actually execute your way through to the desired outcome.”
By treating risks as experiments, you can worry less about how exactly you’re going to get to your destination, knowing that even roadblocks can become valuable lessons.
Jump into risk–but don’t jump blindly.
Sure, taking a risk may seem like a wild leap into glory, but that’s not the whole truth. According to Leonard Green, author of “The Entrepreneur’s Playbook,” the reality is more complicated.
“Risk-takers bet it all on one roll of the dice,” Green says. “If they fail, they fail spectacularly–and in such a way that they don’t live to fight another day. They literally go out in a blaze of attempted glory. This is not what the best entrepreneurs do.”
Green goes on to elaborate that, while risk is an inevitable step to success, the savviest entrepreneurs take the necessary precautions to minimize that risk before taking the leap. Everything from studying your product and industry to taking out liability insurance can create the all-important safety net beneath your high-wire act. The more of this work you do before you set out on your venture, the better off you’ll be.
While no one can guarantee a winning business venture, you’re sure to lose if you don’t play the game at all. Take a seat at the table and let the cards come to you. If you’re like Zuckerberg, you’ll figure out how to make the most of what you’re given–and maybe change the rules in the process.