I often find that I put myself in “no risk, no reward” situations. Through my travels and life experiences thus far, I’ve discovered the saying to remain true. If I have learned anything, it’s that you truly do not know what you are capable of if you do not push the boundaries and step outside of your comfort zone. I believe this same philosophy can be applied to business.
In business there are plenty of situations where you are going to have to make a tough call. It could be dealing with a difficult client, having to fire employees and down-size your business, trying a new marketing technique and taking a gamble if it’s going to work in your favor, using a new software, and the list goes on. All of these decisions require taking precautionary steps before taking the leap of faith. Here are a few tips of things to do before you make the big decision:
Weigh the Pros and Cons
When evaluating a risky decision, sometimes it’s best to write out all the pros and cons in a list format. If you start to notice that one side significantly outweighs the other, that might be your indication to re-evaluate what direction to go in. Sometimes mistakes can be linked to making a rash decision. It can be a scary thought to “do nothing” when it seems like everything around you is moving and changing. There is always risk in deciding not to act. This is also something to consider.
Confide In Someone Close
A stranger can tell you a thousand words of advice, but at the end of the day they might not have your best interests at heart. If your company goes plummeting downhill, they will have no emotional connection or remorse for your situation. If you are having a hard time deciding if you should take a risk, ask your close friends and family their honest opinion. Sometimes by talking out loud about why you want to take this risk or, why you think taking a risk isn’t the best for your company at this time, you may find new insights that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Envision the Worst-Case Scenario
“What’s the worst thing that could happen?” You’ve heard it said before, but have you really thought about it? If you can handle what would happen if everything went downhill, then maybe the risk isn’t as great as you thought? Then again, if the absolute worst-case scenario leaves you in ruins, you should probably walk away.
Most importantly, you need to remember that without taking a large risk, you aren’t enabling yourself to reap the benefits. The only way you can win big is by betting big, and often you can lose big. But with failure comes wisdom. You learn from your mistakes and can make a better judgment call next time. On the other hand, sometimes taking a risk is more about staying in one spot than it is doing something crazy. The “crazy” thing can be to stick it out through the hard times. How do you make a risky decision?