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20 Entrepreneurs Discuss Whether or Not One Has to Love Risk Taking to Be a Business Owner

Business involves risk-taking at different levels. Starting a business in itself can be a risk and the decisions you make while running the business can also be risky. The big question then pops, do you have to love risk-taking to expect great results? One thing is certain, if you take the risks blindly, you’re likely to make a mistake that could cost time and resources to recover. We asked entrepreneurs and business owners whether one has to love risk-taking as a business owner and here’s what they had to say.

#1 – You don’t have to but..

Photo Credit: Nika Wolf

As much as some business owners appear like they love risk-taking, I feel it’s more about not being too afraid to take risks instead. Humans make a lot of decisions motivated by fear, it’s fear that keeps them from going into business ownership at times. Those who are successful don’t really love risking their house by taking a second mortgage or risking their kids’ college fund but they learned to control the fear and turn it into a driving force.No, you don’t have to love risk-taking. We love feeling safe. But when you realize that the fear is nothing but a distraction and that the payoff can be unimaginable, that’s when you get over that fear of risk-taking and consider it just a little part of the entire journey.

Thanks to Nika Wolf 


#2- You just need to embrace it

Photo Credit: Amie Thompson

Not in my experience. But you do need to embrace it. I am what many would call risk-averse. A true INTJ (Myers-Briggs) – I like data, sure things, and facts; I overthink and overanalyze decisions. Risk-taking is the opposite of that! As a leader and a relatively new CEO, I’ve had to learn to take more risks with business deals and with hiring. I’ve embraced this and am slowly understanding that I will never have all of the information to make a decision. Indecision can be a great Achilles heel for a leader. My advice is to quickly gather as much information as you can, then make a decision, take the risk. It will work or it won’t, and a good leader can assess that quickly and pivot as needed. I’ll never be a true, aggressive risk-taker based on my nature, but as I get more experience as a CEO, I’m learning to embrace risk for myself and my company.

Thanks to Amie Thompson, Creative Allies!


#3- It’s the belief that matters

Photo Credit: Ben Sloyan

As a business owner, I’d argue that we approach risk in the same way as anyone else – we just take a slightly more sophisticated view of what risk is. In my experience with fellow entrepreneurs, I’ve found that what unites us is a belief that there’s nothing more dangerous than playing it safe in the conventional sense. In the long run, what’s riskier – following your dreams, with the caveat that you might fail and have to start again, or festering in a soul-crushing office job, accumulating a mounting shelf of regret, and living with the nagging feeling that your life could have been more? The choice is between risking some capital and sometimes, or risking your soul. The rationale behind our efforts as business owners is that the latter is an infinitely greater price to pay than the former.

Thanks to Ben Sloyan, Alexa Marketing!


#4- Risk-taking is necessary for success

Photo Credit: Rafid Nassir

There is a difference between taking practical actions and craziness. If a person is jumping into a fire without taking any precautionary measures, then there is no risk but 100% surety that he will get burnt. I am a firm believer that risk-taking is necessary for a business to reach high-stations of success. However, it should be like a baby’s initial years. First, he learns to sit, after getting stable, he starts crawling, then walking for minimal distances and finally starts running confidently. The same is my philosophy for risk-taking. You should analyze the situation carefully and then take baby steps to achieve your targeted goals. By doing so, you will not be putting all eggs in one basket, will also have a chance to modify plans according to outcomes at every point and become unstoppable.

Thanks to Rafid Nassir, Veganliftz!


#5- It’s debatable

Photo Credit: Avinash Chandra

If the operative word here is ‘love’ then it’s debatable. Yes, running a business means inherently you have to be willing to take certain risks. But if it becomes a chronic occurrence- then it is difficult for a person to run a business sustainably. Remember- risks do no automatically translate to rewards. There’s a big chance that the risk does not pay off. History is full of stories of maverick businessmen who took risks out of habit and ended up damaging their reputation and harming their business. Life is not a fairy tale like we see in the movie. So, always look before you leap.

Thanks to Avinash Chandra, BrandLoom!


#6-Essentially, YES

Photo Credit: Beth Cloutier

I thrive on the strategic risk-taking as a business owner. I have been and entrepreneur for over 20 years and in business with Local Music Channel for two years. I have seen the ups and downs in the video entertainment and music industry. I have always known there is possible failure yet, I make sure to understand the risks involved and develop a plan to address them. The key here is to be strategic and as a business owner and plan for the rainy day. I prepare for the down times when business is slow focusing my energy on developing new business and contacts. When times are good, I make sure to maintain growth and show appreciation to those involved in the success of my company.

Thanks to Beth Cloutier, Local Music Channel!


#7- You have to love growth, not risks

Photo Credit: Jana Mowrer

I don’t love risk-taking, but I do love calculated risks. As a business owner, you have to be willing to fail. I can handle it because failure is just feedback on what worked and what didn’t work. You have to be willing to humble yourself because business is a process of always feeling like you know nothing at all, but also knowing exactly what you bring to the table. None of this is a risk. It’s going outside my comfort zone and it’s all about loving GROWTH.

Thanks to Jana Mowrer, HealthWins Coaching and Consulting!


#8- You need to be open to taking risks

Photo Credit: Vinay Amin

You might already know my story, and it’s a perfect example of an entrepreneur being open to taking a risk. I started in SEO and digital marketing. I was doing very well with it, too. And then, I started working in the health and wellness niche. I took a huge risk in developing my own line of natural, vegetarian health and wellness supplements. And now, Eu Natural is the go-to source for many for their herbal, all natural supplement needs. My gamble paid off in a big way, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to take the risk to pursue it.

Thanks to Vinay Amin, Eu Natural!


#9- It’s about the ability to take risks

Photo Credit: Julius Nasso

As producer you must be able to take a risk to as you are uniting a team of different talents and experience to work together to create content that is bigger as the sum of the parts. You have to multitask, delegate and have incredible attention to detail. When told that something is difficult or risky, that is the moment to not give up, target what you want to create and keep pursuing that goal.

Thanks to Julius Nasso, Julius Nasso Productions!


#10- No, just weigh the exposure vs. rewards

Photo Credit: Cynthia Delaria

I don’t believe you have to “love” risk-taking to want to be an entrepreneur, but you do have to weigh the exposure versus the rewards just like any other decision. Risk is inherent in just about anything we do, from getting in our car to drive to work in the morning to deciding which mutual funds are right for us. We’re always assessing and weighing risk versus reward. It may seem more dangerous to be an entrepreneur instead of having a steady, 9-to-5 job, but the reality is that the risks are still there, they’re just different. As an entrepreneur, no one can ever lay you off, and decisions about the business are almost entirely under your control. If an entrepreneur takes the time to assess whether the market wants what they need, it greatly reduces the amount of exposure they face by starting their own business.

Thanks to Cynthia Delaria, Raika Technologies!


#11- One must be prepared to take risks

Photo Credit: Liat Zarkiev-Feco

I would not say that a business owner must LOVE risk-taking however, one must be prepared, if not comfortable, to take them. Venture Capitalists are all about risking their funds as their regular practice and similarly, every entrepreneur risks their time and energy in every single case as well as their and other people’s money in most cases. The difference is in the extent of that risk which is a matter of perspective. The term ‘risk’ means ‘that which you feel uncomfortable or threatened by doing’. What one feels is a small risk could be huge for another. I challenge my clients regularly to take small risk so that they are comfortable with the occasional bigger one and can take it without spiraling down into self-doubt and lose their confidence.

Thanks to Yoram Baltinester


#12- Risk is part of the plan

Photo Credit: Yoann Bierling

Nobody succeeded on the first try. Being an entrepreneur means not only loving risk-taking but also being able to get out of your comfort zone in a professional environment. Try new projects. Invest in new collaborators. Do this thing that scares you, and that just might not work, but looks so exciting and promising. Risk-taking does not mean uncontrolled – but it should mean prepared, evaluated, thought through, and that failure is a well prepared scenario, even if you’re of course aiming for success!

Thanks to Yoann Bierling, International Consulting!


#13- True Entrepreneurs take risk

Photo Credit: Shawn Lockery

Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle in itself. A lifestyle that teaches you much more not just with respect to a professional journey, but personal as well. Taking risks is one significant part of the entrepreneurial journey. Significant because it can play a part in shaping your journey when you consider a longer period. And as you take these risks, just like any other risks, you end up learning, irrespective of whether it has worked or not. Risks are subjective for every individual. For a product guy, talking about their new product in an event filled with different entrepreneurs might be a risk, for a service-based guy, it might be associated with taking up a big project on credit and so on. As risk-taking is in the core concept of entrepreneurship, you can’t be an entrepreneur without encountering risk in your journey. As a business owner, I believe that all the risks ultimately end up shaping the journey and giving you learnings for a lifetime.

Thanks to Shawn Lockery, NemaMetrix Inc.!


#14- It is more about mitigating it

Photo Credit: Jared Weitz

Every entrepreneur and business owner must be comfortable to some level of risk. But it is more about knowing how to mitigate or reduce it. If you do the research, due diligence and evaluation of a potential “risk” upfront you will be able to make a smart decision based upon what you learn. Owning a business isn’t about blindly making choices that some view as risky. It is about closely evaluating opportunities and making decisions from an informed place. The more you do this, the less risk you will be taking.

Thanks to Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.!


#15- Yes, you need to love risk-taking

Photo Credit: Courtney Turk

Taking calculated risks in my mind is the number one ingredient to a successful business owner. Starting a business in itself is a huge risk, especially going in knowing that most businesses will fail within the first few years of operation. Finding ways to take risks with substantial positive upside while mitigating the negative impact of those risks is part of the thrill. The high that business owners receive after a risk pays large dividends is what keeps them chasing the next one. It is continuous and in my mind one of the only ways to progress your business and professional growth. Business owners need to love taking risks.

Thanks to Courtney Turk, Courtney Turk Interiors Inc.!


#16- You have to take risks

Photo Credit: Shiyang Gong

As a business owner of a legal software company, I believe that progress always involves risk, and you can’t be a successful entrepreneur unless you take the risk. With the advancement of technology, every business owner needs to take the risk because it allows them to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Risk is a significant factor to innovate business, and to take calculated risk is quite different from being rash. Whether you are introducing a new product or changing the existing one in both cases, risk will be considered. One of the most excellent perks to take a risk is a chance to learn because an entrepreneur will not experience failure and, therefore, will not learn from their mistakes.

Thanks to Shiyang Gong, AILaw.Inc!


#17- Not necessarily

Photo Credit: Chris Giarratana

Owning a business is like crossing the road. Sure, you are taking the risk that you will get hit by a car, but you can mitigate those risks by researching patterns, identifying the goal, and choosing the best time to take action. Owning a business is less risky in many ways than working for a company, and business owners know they can reduce the chances of negative outcomes if they are able to make smart moves to reach their goals.

Thanks to Chris Giarratana, StrategyBeam!


#18- You have to be happy with them

Photo Credit: Alison Johnson

As a small business owner, you have to be happy living with risk, owning risk, and you need to learn to love it. Walking away from a successful career was a risk, but it came with a reward of seeing passion project grow into a thriving business. In big corporate jobs like my previous career, you get to share risk management. The impacts of your decisions are diluted by scale. What’s more, you spread the result of choices – you’re supported by a team, process and procedure, and a management structure. As a business owner, you’ll own every decision. The consequences of those decisions will make or break your business. You’ve invested your time and money. Your family’s future rides on your success or failure. If that sounds frightening, it can be. But it is also exhilarating and more rewarding than any job I have ever done before. I own every outcome, for better or for worse. So yes, you need to love risk to be a small business owner. Identifying risks and managing those risks will be crucial to your success. Learning to enjoy it is easy when you understand that that risk is the flip side of what makes being a business owner so rewarding.

Thanks to Alison Johnson, Where Can I Live!


#19- Yes, face the risks

Photo Credit: Angolina Amores

I’m a firm believer that you have to embrace the art of risk-taking to build a successful business that stands out from competitors. If you just stick to what is safe and don’t take certain actions because of the fear of failure, you’re stopping your business from standing out from competitors and from driving innovation. Lastly, there’s a big difference in taking impulsive risks vs. calculated and informed risks.

Thanks to Angolina Amores, The Alpha Femme!


#20- Start small

Photo Credit: Simon Hansen

Most people think that sports experts like me love to take risks when running a business and although I do love the thrill of trying out something new, it doesn’t mean that I’d go car racing with my eyes closed. The thing about businesses is that it requires so much time and money to get it running that you don’t want to let it all go to waste simply because you feel like you should. If you ever want to try something, start small. Trying something out for the short term, allows you to closely examine its progress without spending a lot of money on it. Afterward, assess its success rate. Don’t be afraid to consult with business experts if you need to, it’s better than foolishly trying something out. Extensive research minimizes risk and might just save you from a huge business mistake.

Thanks to Simon Hansen, Best Sports Lounge!


 Do you have to love risk-taking to be a business owner? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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This is a post from a CEO Blog Nation writer. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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