Today was the first day of school for my kids. It was not an ordinary first day since it was my daughter's first time going to her brother's "big kid" elementary school as a kindergartner. Her confidence, excitement, and no-holding-me-back attitude resonated with me. Shouldn't she have been a little nervous or scared? (I was!) Nope, not at all. So this has given me pause because it is a great reminder to remember to be brave, to take chances, and to try something new. Isn't this the only way we can truly achieve long-term success in our businesses?
It's so easy to not take any risks and to instead be inactive since that's safe, easier, and familiar to us. Venturing into the unknown can be daunting and scary, but if we don't take chances, we are limiting our success. The most successful individuals will tell you that they got where they are because they were willing to take risks, probably when others weren't willing to. So let's let my daughter inspire us—let's choose to do something new and take some chances. Some tips for you regarding risk-taking:
1. Know the size of your risk. Some risks are small, while some are quite large. Don't blindly decide to go after something without knowing all factors that could be influenced. Know, to the best of your ability, how much the chance will cost, the amount of time it will take, and how it will influence your business. There will most certainly be knowns and unknowns, but the more you know ahead of time, the more you will know about how "risky" your risk will be. This will help you to make a smart decision on how to proceed depending upon where you are in your business.
2. Know that you will fail. It's not always rainbows and butterflies, but we do appreciate an optimistic attitude. Not all risks are good risks, and not all of them will pay off. Even carefully calculated risks will fail, so accept the possibility for failure. And when you do fail, learn from your mistakes and what went wrong, and move on. Your best lessons can be learned when you fail.
3. Know that you will become more comfortable with risk. With more practice and making more decisions to take chances, you will start to develop new habits, which will result in your comfort level with risk taking increasing. Also, the more times you say "yes" to taking chances, the more you will understand where you're comfortable and not comfortable. Then, you will be likely to push your own boundaries into additional risks. The key is to decide to start taking chances.
You feeling excited? No risk, no reward—right? Make it a goal to build your tolerance for taking chances. Hold your head high, be confident, and conquer something new. Just like my daughter did today. Her day may not have been perfect, but she took a chance, grew in many ways, and got another experience under her belt that will most certainly be helpful in the future.
So what can you do that's new? Do you have a new product/service idea for your company? Is there a new customer service standard that you think could set your business apart? Do you have a desire to speak and teach in front of hundreds for the first time? There's no better time than now to make these ideas a reality.