The risky business of taking risks

Few weeks back, I got into a long conversation with a friend. At some point, we spoke about the kinds of businesses and investments I’ve been involved in since I began my entrepreneurship journey. Instead of telling her the rosy part, I told her about the losses I’ve had, since that was where the discussion was leading to. The investments that went bad and the times my money got trapped in shady money-making schemes. The losses I made after opening my first office and many more. “OMG!”, she screamed like something bad happened. She confessed she couldn’t have been the one losing that much money in business. “Me, I cannot allow my money go like that o”. Her point became clearer when she said she can never put her money in anything she’s isn’t SURE of.

That conversation was sort of an eye opener for me about why only few brave the storm and decide to become an entrepreneur/investor. Especially young people. Only few can take the pain of putting aside the pleasure of today and throw their hard earned money on an opportunity or idea they believe in. All is talk talk talk. I have too many friends who believe they ideas that can make the next big thing, but fear is daily crippling many of them. Quite a few of them have a few bucks enough to serve as their seed investment, but they can’t just take the risk. Then I wonder if they really believe in the idea, or if the idea is even great in the first place.

Since age 16 when I started my entrepreneurship journey, I’ve had very bad times as much as I’ve had the good times. Many words describe my experience so far of which risk taking ranks high. From doing business for 4 years in an environment where business was highly prohibited to opening my first office, starting an investment club, hiring my first employee (with nothing in my pocket) and many more I can’t let out now. Risks all the way. High ones for the size of  my pocket and the depth of my business acumen. BUT, I took them, in their highs and lows.

This is just one skill you must posses as an entrepreneur. It’s what keeps the business world going. Irrespective of how deep your feasibility studies are, it can only do little in reducing the risk factor. Essentially, it only identifies the risks and probably open up ways to combat the risks. Entrepreneurs face the risk. Risk taking is our cup of tea. There are only few high yielding opportunities without a corresponding high risk factor attached to it. So, unless you master the art of taking risks, entrepreneurship ain’t for you.

So, you think you have that idea that can make the world spin? Oh, but you ain’t sure if it really will. OR is it that business you’ve been planning to start but you’ve been scared of the odds and risks associated with it. One advise. One statement. Take the risk!

You will may fail. If you do, you’ll become wiser. Take it as a lesson and take the next risk as quickly as you can. If you succeed, don’t forget to thank me for this piece :). The latter is likely to happen.

Entrepreneurship is the act of getting involved in the risky business of taking risks.

May your road be rough.

Technopreneur. Chief Hustler at 1Plify. PhD scholar [Technology entrepreneurship]

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