Every entrepreneur is faced with a choice, every day of their lives. Take a chance or play it safe. It is a familiar dilemma that different founders have differing opinions on. It is never an easy choice, especially when it has been repeatedly drilled into your head by the media and famous success stories that the way to make it big is through taking risks and thinking out of the box. On the other hand, you also know all about the pitfalls with starting out on your own. How does one pick the correct approach?
The problem is that no one, not even you, can predict what is going to happen tomorrow. The ones who advocate playing it safe are actually safe in case of a storm. They have kept their bets small so their pockets are large enough to take a hit. While this may seem like a better idea, it is riddled with problems too. When you play it safe, you take one step forward and three steps back. This is often too safe. Sometimes to make it to where you want, a risk is necessary. If you play big, you win big. It’s that simple.
There are investors who will tell you to play it safe. They will tell you to take small risks and make small jumps. ‘Patience is the key’, they will say with a benevolent smile. Then, there are those investors who will tell you to take the risks. ‘Take a jump, who knows you might learn from it’ will be their advice. There will definitely be one side that you lean towards, based on your own personality. A person who lives for the thrill of the chase will want to take the risk. They believe that they will thrive with challenges. A worrier would not take the risk. They will think of every possible thing that could go wrong and tread carefully. Both perspectives have their pros and cons.
As the saying goes, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ The entrepreneur is in a position to achieve his/her dreams or crash and burn. While they know their own frailties, they are attracted by the idea of getting to where they have always dreamt of going. And this is where the responsibility comes into play. They have employees whose lives will be affected by a crash and investors who will be none too pleased if their money is suddenly gone one morning. Are you willing to face the angry glares and recriminations if your risk doesn’t pay off?
You should know when to hold back and when to run free. Instead of having a single approach to everything based on your own personality, it is always better to adapt to situations. Assess the situation, the risk that you are considering and the benefits of the risk if you pull it off. Don’t forget to think of the fall that you face if you fail. When everything has been considered, decide on your approach. It is simpler when said and much harder to achieve but it is definitely better than approaching a decision with a one track mind. The final choice is yours.
Rajh is a serial entrepreneur with ventures in knowledge process outsourcing, hospitality, retail, IT and e-commerce. He has over 25 years of corporate experience and expertise in key roles of leadership, strategy, planning & management. Rajh is especially skilled at developing new profit centers within scheduled timelines and costs while ensuring operational efficiencies through long-term strategic planning. His core expertise includes delivering customized and cost-effective solutions to meet the operational and financial goals of the organization and its stakeholders. Rajh holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Mumbai.