Game of Risk

Practice Your Peril

There is no right way to take a risk, contends Bette Price, co-author of True Leaders: How Exceptional CEOs and Presidents Make a Difference by Building People and Profits (Dearborn Trade Press). "Entrepreneurs are risk-prone in a variety of styles. Some will plunge forward into risk, and some will tip-toe into it cautiously. Neither approach is right or wrong." But if you tip-toe at a glacier's speed, you could be missing out on a great opportunity, acknowledges Price.

If you're still nervous about jumping off that proverbial cliff, you could always practice first in a way that won't necessarily affect your business. Kamfar did, when he was a 21-year-old spending a year in England between college and graduate school. He went fire-walking.

Feel like keeping your socks and shoes on? Then forego the fire-walking and instead sign up for flight training to better your business skills.

"One of the first things you had to do was sign a waiver acknowledging that you understood you might catch on fire and burn off a limb or die," says Kamfar, who describes walking on hot coals as "very liberating."

But you should never fire-walk-or take a giant risk when your company is at stake-if you're truly frightened. "If you're afraid to take a risk, that fear is trying to tell you something," says Kamfar.

That's because risk-taking is indeed something of an art form, and it requires practice. And the more successful you become, the more complicated it gets to take a risk. "Here's what I've lost, and it bugs me," says McFarlane. "When we were small and confined, I could self-indulge more. Now I have to put on the 'Todd, the CEO' hat and ask if what 'Todd, the artist,' likes is prudent for the well-being of the company? Sometimes, the answer is no."

Take our risk quiz now!

That may be something that gives you pause. Take an unnecessary chance, and your company could end up the size of a continent. Next, you'll be trying to decide how to market a comic book called Creech 2: Out for Blood, and you may lie awake at night, wondering what sort of lighting you should put on your $2.7 million baseball.

But isn't it worth the risk?

Every day, as a freelance journalist in Loveland, Ohio, Geoff Williams is risking his life in a world of danger and intrigue. Why, just last week, he dropped a stapler on his foot. "This office is a deathtrap," he says.

Contact Source

  • New World Coffee-Manhattan Bagel Inc.
    (732) 544-0155,
« Previous 1 2 3 4 Page 5

Geoff Williams has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, LIFE and Entertainment Weekly. He also is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit.

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the April 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Game of Risk.

Loading the player ...

3 Keys to Getting Better, More Restful Sleep

Ads by Google

Share Your Thoughts

Connect with Entrepreneur

Most Shared Stories