Thursday, June 29, 2006

Risk, Failure and Wild Success

Just the sound of the word can conjure up feelings of nervousness.

Risk - The possibility of suffering harm or loss; danger. A factor, element or course involving uncertain danger. As much as we may wish to avoid it, succeeding in business, as well as in life, will almost always involve a certain amount of risk.

If you want to double your success rate, then double your failure rate. This can involve some risk. Look at the great leaders in history. At many points along their journey to success, each one took great risks. Whether it’s a business leader such as Bill Gates of Microsoft or investing magnet Warren Buffet; military leaders such as General MacArthur or General Colin Powell, or religious leaders such as Jesus Christ or the Dalai Lama.

Each of these individuals have faced tremendous challenges and taken great risks along their journey’s toward success. Taking risks in your home business can involve deciding when to go full time. It can be adding or reducing a product line or service that you offer, taking out a loan to expand your business or changing the direction of your business all together.

The biggest fear surrounding risk is that of failure. That word, also, sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? That’s because you have been conditioned to believe that failure IS bad. But, is that really true?
Let’s turn that around a little and consider the fact that basketball great Michael Jordan misses over 50 percent of the shots he takes.

The best batting season in baseball’s history meant that the batter didn’t even make first base 589 times out of 1000. That’s greater than 50 percent!
What about the richest people on Wall Street? They don’t always pick winning stocks. The great military leaders don’t win every battle, but they do win the war. And, Bill Gates? Well, he’s suffered his share of perceived failures lately, but you can hardly look at him and his company as anything but wildly successful.

So, how does this relate to you and your home business? Quite simply, you must be willing to take a few risks, although calculated, to experience the kind of success you most likely want.

When is the perfect time for you to go full time in your home based business endeavor? In my experience, there is never a “perfect time.” There is only a time that appears to be better than other times.
What about adding or reducing a product line? Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. And, if you are considering changing the direction of your business altogether, read on.

There are numerous “house-hold name” companies that look nothing like they did in the beginning. Two that immediately come to mind are Hewlett Packard and Nintendo. Both of these companies were smart enough to shift their direction as the times and market dictated.

Nintendo originally began as a playing card manufacturer, and, realizing that the company was actually in the entertainment business as opposed to a playing card business, shifted the company focus. Today, they are one of the most successful electronic and video game companies in the world. Know what your focus is, not just the product and service you are selling. Have a vision that is bigger.

Are you selling weight loss products or an enhanced self-image and better health? Are you offering Internet Service or an incredible system of communication, education and resources?
It’s important that you are clear on what your business is really about so that you can recognize when you may need to take some risks.

So how do you know whether or not to take a risk? Follow these steps to make it as calculated as you can.

1. Use your head, don’t just follow your emotions. Gut feelings are important, but you must also do your research carefully. Find as many resources as you can for information. Talk to people and don’t be afraid to ask direct questions.

2. Write out a list of best case scenarios and worst case scenarios. This exercise should provide you with a good measuring tool, if you are fair, reasonable and honest with yourself.

3. Test the waters if possible. Do a little market research. If you’re deciding whether or not to go fulltime, take a month leave of absence and see how it goes. If you are trying out a new product line, choose a few of your best customers and introduce it to them and ask for feedback. And, if you are considering changing the course of your business entirely, begin seeking out new customers or associates for your new endeavor.

4. Finally, have faith in yourself and your ability to make the decision that is right for you!
Every fortune that’s been made has involved some degree of risk, as have all great inventions, business ideas or revolutions.
At some point, assuming all else points in the right direction, you must close your eyes, trust your instincts and take a leap of faith!

- about the author: Jackie Ulmer, a veteran Home Business Owner, has coached thousands of men and women on starting a successful home business

  • Back To Home Page
  • 1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    thanks it will help