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If you’ve ever set out to solve people’s problems in the hope that they’ll pay you for doing so, you’re wagering on them recognizing that your solution is what they need and that they will value it enough to exchange some of their money for it.

Sometimes your solution will be lapped up by your target audience, and they will keep coming back for more of it. In that case, you have a business with the potential to thrive through time. But if their interest isn’t piqued by your offering, you don’t have a foundation on which you can build a sustainable enterprise.

Sure, there’s a lot of planning and smart execution that goes into all of this, and they could raise your chances of succeeding at your venture if they’re done properly. But because you can’t always be absolutely certain how things will turn out, you have some risks to contend with.

In fact, you’ll encounter risks at every other juncture of your entrepreneurial journey. It’s unavoidable. You just have to learn to live with the uncertainties that come with doing business if you’re going to stay in it for the long haul.

But how do you develop this tolerance for risk?

First, it’s worth pointing out that while entrepreneurs tend to be more comfortable with risk-taking, it’s not clear that they are less averse to risk than the general population. Research suggests that they don’t start out being more comfortable with taking chances than everyone else. It’s something they develop along the way.

This tells us that it’s possible to become more at ease with business uncertainty. So it’s something you can do.

Now, here’s how to pick up some daring for the high risk, high returns duels of entrepreneurship.

1. Accept that You’ll Never Be Totally Certain

The uncertainties associated with running a business is what freaks people out the most about becoming entrepreneurs.

But you can learn to lie with the uncertainty by seeing things a bit differently. You will have to confront risks, whether you’re staff at a giant company or a small-time trader. If you’re the former, you might you have a well-paid job but you don’t have the same freedom and decision making powers over your work as you would if you were the latter. And there’s the thing with job security; you can’t be absolutely certain that you’ll keep your job for as long as you’d want to.

Understand that nothing is really given, and see this fact as liberating, not imprisoning. It’s a tested and trusted way of making uncertainty work for you.

2. Study the Subject Before Tackling It

The more you know about an issue or niche, the better your chances at being able to interact with it effectively. We know this to be true. It’s why we’re more confident about dealing with tasks if we gain relevant knowledge about it.

This applies to business as well. If you’re uncertain about how you should approach a specific task or venture, you’re already exposed to risk- the risk that you won’t be able to do the job properly.

By learning about potential engagements before taking them on, you reduce the risk that you’ll fail at them. This works for starting a catering outfit as it does for handing client relationship issues at a media company. It’s relevant regardless of the type of company you run or work for.

3. Put Your Eggs in More than One Basket

The power of risk to terrify you is inversely related to the amount of backup resource you have at your disposal to soak up whatever losses might result from it materializing. If you know there’s enough for you to fall back on if your investment fails, you would be more inclined to take the risk.

This is one reason why you should develop a good saving habit, and spread your investment across multiple opportunities. If one or a couple of investments don’t turn out well, there will be others that at least make up for what you lose.

Featured Image Source: Industry week

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This article was first published on 22nd July 2019


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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