What Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us About Risk
The standard view of entrepreneurship is someone who starts businesses, taking on a higher level of the risk and therefore being entitled to more of the potential rewards. This idea of taking on the risks is interesting, because what is a risk to some people isn't true for others. Risk is like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder. I believe someone who is a small business owner probably takes on more risk than an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs look to fill a gap they see in the marketplace. The often aren't the inventors, they are the people who see different inventions and advancements and can apply them to different situations. An entrepreneur is able to take a set of processes and apply them to a wide variety of businesses. They often look at how they can start different ventures with the least amount of risk. They aren't risk takers, they see the risks and figure out how to mitigate them.
For some people the thought of opening their own business or being an entrepreneur seems risky. How is there any more risk though in comparison to working for an organization for years in our capitalist society only to be laid off because of a market turn? Even worse, to lose your job during a restructure that lands you with a new manager who is threatened by you so they fire you even though there are other openings in the organization. I guarantee that person is going to feel like working for another large corporation with lots of opportunities is more risky than working for a small company with great leaders throughout.
Risk is everywhere. Every time you drive your car there is a risk. If you get caught outside in a rainstorm there is a risk of getting struck by lightning. You are constantly faced with risks and you find ways to mitigate those risks and live your life. Whenever you feel like you the next step you want to take is too big of a risk, identify the ways you can reduce the risk. Noticing there are risks is a good thing, it alerts you to there being something you need to pay attention to. There is a difference between fear or avoidance and respect. Learning from the entrepreneurs, risk shouldn't be a show stopper, it just means you have a little more work to do before you go charging into a situation.