Trep Talk

What Separates Entrepreneurs From Mere Mortals: The Ability to Take Risk

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC
min read

Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. It takes a special breed.

“What separates entrepreneurs from the others is the ability to take risk,” said Raj Peter Bhakta, the founder of WhistlePig whiskey, when visited his farm in Shoreham, Vt., in March. “As you learn from your failures, you are better able to calculate what risks to take and when to really hold on.”

Bhakta had a handful of unsuccessful ventures before he started WhistlePig, which is now a multimillion-dollar venture and was profitable from the first month it started. He launched the company in 2007, just as the Great Recession was getting underway.

In some ways, launching during a slow economy was a good thing, as demand for services was low and prices were negotiable. But launching during a down economy was also a tough road to hoe, says Bhakta, though that’s all part of being an entrepreneur.

“Being an entrepreneur is based on a firm conviction that, ‘I can do it. I can make something happen. I can make something work,’” he says. There are times when you “stare at some dark, dark chasms. There are some cold, lonely nights when you’re alone [in your pursuit]. And yet there is something that says, go on. This will work.”

Watch this video to learn more about Bhakta’s entrepreneurship journey.


This Entrepreneur Almost Gave Up On Himself. Now, He Runs a Million-Dollar Brand.

Why This Entrepreneur Makes All New Hires Live With Him for a Month

All Successful Entrepreneurs Do These 3 Things


More from Entrepreneur

Grow Your Business at Entrepreneur LIVE! Join us on Nov. 16 in Brooklyn, NY, to learn from legends like Danica Patrick and Maria Sharapova, pitch our editors, meet with investors, and potentially walk away with funding!
Register here

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.