Have you reached a point in your business where everything either feels too familiar, with equally ho-hum results? Or are you burning the candle at both ends, overwhelmed and burned out from doing too much? Either way, the solution is the same. It’s time to change what you are doing, which inevitably means taking more chances and risks.
Oh no! Anything but that!
Taking chances and risks can certainly be intimidating – especially when our livelihood is on the line. What if you make things worse instead of better?
It’s true. Sometimes, taking a chance or risk can lead to a bad or negative outcome. However, it’s important to remember that a positive outcome can lie on the other side of chances and risks. Either way, trying a fresh approach, or staying where you are, you are actually taking a chance and risk. Why not choose the risk, instead of defaulting to the one in front of you?
This is how you grow your business, your leadership and your brand at once.
How does taking chances and risks help you seek new possibilities?
Taking a chance or risk by definition means you don’t (or can’t) have all the information you need to make a perfect decision. You are going to need a healthy dose of trust in yourself, your intuitive abilities, your adaptability and resiliency. You must be in the growth mindset from the first moment, which essentially means that you believe in your own ability to evolve and learn through experience. There are seven growth mindsets which believe that:
· Everything is possible
· Passion comes first
· We are connected (to everyone and everything)
· We must be 100% accountable
· An attitude of gratitude moves us forward
· Leaders live to give
· The time is now
This is where new possibilities occur. Taking a chance or risk can lead to many different pathways. Yes, you may find yourself on the bad end of a chance or risk, but the growth mindset embraces the lesson, assimilates it, and redirects efforts more effectively than before as a result. The possibilities are endless on the other side of a risk or chance, but if you never take them, then you never get to explore them.
If you struggle to take chances and risks, what can you do to get more comfortable with doing it?
Learning how to take risks and chances – and getting over the fear of the unknown that lies on the other side of them – can be tough, but it is possible to do. Consider the following strategies to squelch that fear for good so you can start using risk-taking to your advantage.
Start small with some low-stakes chances and risks first. Low-stakes risks and chances are still risky, but they offer little to no negative impact if the situation doesn’t turn out as desired. For example, you can order food from a new restaurant. It’s a risk since you don’t know if you’ll like it, but the payout will either be good (you enjoy the meal) or neutral (you don’t like the food, but you aren’t permanently affected by the bad outcome). Taking these kinds of low-stakes risks is an excellent way to ease yourself into feeling more comfortable with taking higher-stakes ones later.
Practice being more realistic. Sometimes, people catastrophize situations that end with an unknown. When looking at a risky situation, for example, your mind may wander straight to the worst-case outcome scenario. Many of us see this negative perspective as realism. However, it is no more realistic than ungrounded optimism, and it keeps us playing small. When you weigh that negative outcome your fear has run away with against reality, you’ll likely discover that it is highly unlikely. Practice weighing your anxieties about potential outcomes against reality – more often than not, you’ll discover that they don’t align closely with real life at all. A great mantra that has helped me take a more balanced and realistic approach is: My worst fears are rarely ever realized, and certainly no more often than my fondest hopes.
Take a chance or risk with a buddy. Entering the realm of the unknown is always easier with a trusted advisor, coach, or business affiliate, by your side. If you’re considering taking a chance or risk, see if you can find a friend to do it with you, or to help you clarify your steps and thinking as you take that leap. It’s easier to try new things, especially ones with some unknowns on the other side of them, with someone you trust with you.
Rut-busting Risks to Try
As a business owner there are endless small risks you can begin to build your appetite for risk in general. Here are a few you can consider:
Change the organizations you network in annually with an audit. Which ones are least productive? Drop those and try some others.
Outsource your least favorite tasks. Hire a virtual assistant, bookkeeper, social media strategist, content writer, or even a fractional CFO.
Try a fresh marketing message to a different niche. Be sure to give the approach at least 90 days.
Engage in a different social media platform.
Write a book. (Yeh, it takes time, but we said small risk, not small time investment!)
Take a long weekend or even an entire week off, and use it to create a strategy for your business.
Reach out to business acquaintances you have lost touch with and reconnect.
Hire a coach to challenge your thinking and help you consider things you have not been able to envision on your own.
There are many other things you could try. What risk are you ready to try today (remember: everything is possible and the time is now!)
If you would like help choosing, then give yourself the gift of a free strategy call. You’re worth it.