Risk-Taking: The Single Biggest Key To Entrepreneurship?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxXwRsjvl70?rel=0]

Honestly, I’m not sure there is a single biggest key to much of anything…especially business building or entrepreneurship.

• Connecting with people
• Gaining experience
• Knowing how to sell
• Good time management
• Having enough capital
• Blah, blah, blah

Some people think great “fill-in-the-blank” (i.e. business people, artists, singers and such) are born, not made. Others believe that hard work can accomplish most anything.

As is often the case, the truth may lie somewhere in between. I’d like to believe that all of life is what we make it, but I know much of life is beyond our control. Even so, I think we should tackle life with that perspective – life is what we make it.

If life knocks us down…we can decide to get up or stay down.

If life reveals an opportunity…we can decide to take it or let it slide by.

So it may be that if I were asked to single out one thing – one trait – that might likely serve as a key to successful business building, it might just have to be the willingness to venture into the unknown. To take a risk. To believe in what we’re doing, to have confidence that we can “make it” but to understand that failure is also possible.

Our culture is clogged with rhetoric likely based on this truth.

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

“No risk, no reward.”

Randy

Episode 157 – Act Like A Kid: Turning Dreams Into Reality Through Pilfering And Cleverness

Piney woods, a childhood haven for imagination
Piney woods, my childhood haven for imagination*

Pine needles still provoke calm and creativity. I spent hours laying on the floor of piney woods, clearly away the pine cones to make a soft spot where I could just lay on my back and gaze up into the trees. The trees were usually too thick to see the sky. I had another spot or two where the pine trees were enormous, but not nearly as close together. I’d go to those spots if I wanted to look at the clouds drift by.

As kids we were either working to build a fort, a cart to roll down the hill or some other medieval-inspired project or we were playing hard. It didn’t seem we spent much time doing anything else, but there was a third thing we often did. It was a vital part of doing those first two things. Thinking. Dreaming. Conjuring up ideas. Being creative.

Every fort I ever built, every cart I ever dared drive (after helping build it), every tree house…they all began in my head and in the heads of my friends.

Nobody talked to us about that stuff. Parents didn’t talk about it. Teachers sure didn’t. We didn’t read books.

Adults read books about creativity, passion and doing cool things. Kids just think them up, then do them. And if our ideas didn’t work, the fun was in figuring out how to make it work!

It’s sorta sad to think of how many books on creativity I’ve read since I’ve been grown. And you know what? I needed to read them, and that makes it even sadder. As adults we analyze things. As kids, we just do them.

Maybe it’s time for us to be more like kids. I’m going to take a drive to the east Texas piney woods and go lay down for awhile.

Randy

* Photo courtesy of Bruce Crooks via Flickr

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Episode 156 – If Business Was Easy, Everybody Would Do It (Increased Sales Won’t Fix Everything)

If Business Was Easy, Everybody Would Do It
If Business Was Easy, Everybody Would Do It

Increased sales won’t cure everything. It’s fool’s gold to think you can sell your way out of every problem.

My work focuses only on 3 things:

• helping my clients get new customers

• helping my clients serve customers better

• helping my clients not go crazy in the process

But…

Not every business problem can addressed by these 3 things. Business can be stressful.

Sometimes we encounter product or inventory problems. Sometimes we may encounter a legal problem, or an HR problem. We can have a major computer problem. Or an accounting problem. Businesses have lots of moving parts so there’s always something that can break.

When your computer system is down, increased sales won’t help. Well, it may help you throw more money at the problem to get it fixed, but you still have to get the computer system back up.

Many business stresses can be solved by correctly addressing the 3 things I focus on, but not all of them.

Randy

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