“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
If there’s someone alive today whose ideas and advice about entrepreneurship are worth listening to, MArk Zuckerberg is that man. The founder of Facebook took a risk a few years back and benefitted to the tune of a 50.4 billion dollar net worth.
Not bad, eh?
Mark Zuckerberg and hundreds of others have ventured down this same path–incurring huge risks that ultimately paid off in the largest way imaginable. Without having taken the risks that he did, Zuckerberg could have gone the way of millions of entrepreneurs every year who file their business plans away as “too complicated,” “unattainable,” or, perhaps worst of all “too risky.”
At the core of an entrepreneurial venture is the concept of taking risks. Without risks, you’ll find you and your business ventures calcifying and stagnating. Stagnation can kill a business or an idea faster than almost anything else–very much like I wrote about on NobleNewman.net. And the avoidance of risks can kill a business before it even starts.
Action is important in the creation of a business or in capitalizing on an opportunity. Don’t wait until it’s too late to put your ideas into creation–instead formulate, calculate, and cultivate and evaluate.
Any good idea for a business starts with a plan. The necessary first steps involve formulating a top to bottom business plan–map out the idea for the product or service, how you’re going to create it, how it will operate and how it will be delivered and marketed to the public. There are numerous online guides for creating a business plan, so do some investigating and see what you can come up with once your idea has solidified in your head.
Taking risks is one thing–a necessary evil perhaps. Can it backfire, certainly. Is it possible that your money and time will ultimately go the way of the Zune. So how can we help to minimize that risk and mitigate any chance that your business venture, the thing you’re risking your money, time and sanity on, won’t flop? By carefully calculating your risks.
At face value, this blog post is about the benefits of taking risks. But below the surface it’s about the importance of calculating those risks to best suit you and your business. Check out Entrepreneur’s guide to calculated risks for some guidance.
Put your ideas, your plans, and your calculations into action and cultivate your business opportunity. This is where everything written about, all the time, all the money and all the effort you’ve invested into your business will come together. It’s where the business will be not just created–but where it will be cultivated. Because creation involves a one-and-done mindset. Your business shouldn’t be just created, it should be developed and morphed over time, just as the word “cultivate” implies.
Evaluation, once your plan is in action is key, and can go in drastically different directions. As I wrote above, no good business will thrive off of stagnation, so constant evaluation of your business, its direction, its audience and its success is paramount to not just success, but sustained success.
At the same time, it’s entirely possible that, even following all the best practices of business, you’ll fail. If this is the case, evaluation will serve as a learning opportunity. Let your failures guide and motivate you for the future. Evaluate where you failed and why, and use that as fuel for your next business opportunity.
Above all else, don’t give up. If you continue to try and continue to invest in your entrepreneurial spirit, eventually you’ll be able to add a fifth word onto this list–congratulate.