The Wise Entrepreneur

Top Lessons about Risk for an Entrepreneur – Part 1

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Welcome back to the Wise Entrepreneur’s blog.

It has been a three months lull in our blog – but now we are back with a bang. You must be wondering why the lull – but I prefer to keep mum for now. However, we are going to be discussing new insights in the world of entrepreneurship. We are going to be exploring other ways of making our enterprises more successful. We are going to be discovering new things that add value to businesses, and I welcome you back once again to come and be a part of our progress as we promote entrepreneurship globally. I can promise you, we are going to recover all the lost time in value, and we will come out stronger and better after all.

I want to resume our blog posts this year with the topic ‘risk’. A long time back I posted a brief write-up on the issue of risk. The topic of that blog was What an Entrepreneur Must Know About Business Risks. This was way back on 18th March 2016, so it’s three years ago – almost exactly three years as today is 17th March 2019. Time flies. In that article, in case you are too lazy to go to it and read or refresh your mind, I wrote about the fact that risk could be psychological and not real sometimes, the need to focus on certain aspects of risks, eliminating and managing risk through knowledge and then risk as a trade-off. Fantabulous!

We are going back to risk today but from other perspectives. In addition to my points about risk above, I would like to share the following: –

1. Entrepreneurship is risk itself. If you are the type of person who does not want to touch risk even with a long spoon, then probably entrepreneurship is not your field of endeavor. In entrepreneurship you are a direct bearer of risk. Sometimes you need the courage of a sea voyager – to lose sight of land for some days and weeks, yet having faith that you will catch up with land mass again. You need to have the courage of an airline pilot who revs up the plane engine to get into the heights and be there for many hours, with utmost confidence that you will bring that mighty machine back to earth again.

2. Doing things differently involves risk, yet you need a Unique Value Proposition to make your mark in the entrepreneurial world. I naturally like guys (and ladies of course) that opt to stand out rather than fit in. I like people who can go against the grain sometimes, not just for the sake of it, but with substance. Do you understand me? Your enterprise should be unique as much as you can, but this is risk in itself simply because you are going into uncharted territories. Doing things differently is risk, but before you know it, you will be having followers with you into those unknown territories.

3. To be an original you have to take radical risks sometimes. Entrepreneurs that have made indelible marks on humanity with their enterprises are people who have oftentimes taken radical risks in their originality. Take Steve Jobs (RIP – Apple founder) for example, whose impact on humanity will remain forever. Take Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook co-founder) as another example. You might not be another Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg but being an original with great impact involves a lot of radical risk. Trust me!!

4. Entrepreneurship risk does not mean that you have to be a freewheeler gambler. Come on, you need to get me right. Ok? When I’m encouraging you to take some risk in the name of entrepreneurship I’m not telling you to be an outright gambler. Ok? Be smart! If you are a gambler, moving blindly and knocking silly against all obstacles around you, you certainly don’t deserve the title of entrepreneur. Do you? I candidly don’t think so. Entrepreneurship is not about throwing coins and taking chances about the side that shows up first. Don’t you agree with me? Come on!

5. Real and smart entrepreneurs learn to hedge their bet and balance their risk portfolios. Am I communicating to someone out there? Ok. You can be aggressive in one area and yet conservative in another. Creating a sense of security in one area allows you to freely explore other areas. It is vital to note that balancing your risks does not mean that you take moderate risks, but rather it means being extreme on one end with caution in another. Do you understand me? If you don’t please speak out (write) through this blog website.

6. Avoid dangerous risks. You can as well replace the word dangerous in this subtitle with stupid or silly. There are certain types of risk taking that borders more on idiots’ games. Entrepreneurial nincompoops! Probably too powerful words in use today, but I simply want to create some sanity in the entrepreneurial world. Entrepreneurs are generally smart people, even if you come across one who cannot write but he knows how to calculate profit in his mind – and he makes it. I’ve seen entrepreneurs who have never gone to school build enterprises that employ MBA holders. They may circumstantially fail, but you will find that the ideas make a lot of sense most times but some other factors led to their failures. Don’t ask me for examples today, but I will be willing to elucidate this at some point later. I repeat. Be smart!

7. Never leap before you look. Entrepreneurs take calculated risks. This calculated risk is akin to looking behind the corner, using your sixth sense, smelling the coffee even before they have started brewing it. Entrepreneurship requires you to look before you leap; otherwise you could easily quality for the powerful words I have used in point number six above. Peering into the future is an approach that many suave entrepreneurs use, and in most cases they get it right by the way. They may look a bit dense when they are moving ahead in grey areas and spending money like the world is about to end. But with time, they smile to the bank while the rest of the folks are still calculating risks without ever leaping forward. Do you get what I mean? Be balanced. Never leap before you look, but never fail to leap because you are overlooking. When you leap too late you might find the feast is over or is near-ending.

I simply leave it right here. Till then,

The Wise Entrepreneur

Picture of Clayton W. L. Mwaka

Clayton W. L. Mwaka

Clayton W. L. Mwaka, a Ugandan chartered accountant and motivational speaker with 24 years of diverse experience, specializes in business administration, international consultancy, and lecturing. He advocates for personal empowerment through balanced living, qualitative leadership, and paradigm shifts, aiming to unlock individual potential globally.

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