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Risk, Failure and Wild Success
Just the sound of the word can conjure up feelings of nervousness.
Risk - The possibility of suffering harm or loss; danger.
A factor, element or course involving uncertain danger.
As much as we may wish to avoid it, succeeding in business, as
well as in life, will almost always involve a certain amount
If you want to double your success rate, then double your
failure rate. This can involve some risk.
Look at the great leaders in history. At many points along
their journey to success, each one took great risks. Whether
it's a business leader such as Bill Gates of Microsoft or
investing magnet Warren Buffet; military leaders such as
General MacArthur or General Colin Powell, or religious leaders
such as Jesus Christ or the Dalai Lama.
Each of these individuals have faced tremendous challenges and
taken great risks along their journey's toward success.
Taking risks in your home business can involve deciding when to
go full time. It can be adding or reducing a product line or
service that you offer, taking out a loan to expand your business
or changing the direction of your business all together.
The biggest fear surrounding risk is that of failure. That
word, also, sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? That's because you
have been conditioned to believe that failure IS bad. But, is
that really true?
Let's turn that around a little and consider the fact that
basketball great Michael Jordan misses over 50 percent of the
shots he takes.
The best batting season in baseball's history meant that the
batter didn't even make first base 589 times out of 1000.
That's greater than 50 percent!
What about the richest people on Wall Street? They don't
always pick winning stocks. The great military leaders don't
win every battle, but they do win the war.
And, Bill Gates? Well, he's suffered his share of perceived
failures lately, but you can hardly look at him and his company
as anything but wildly successful.
So, how does this relate to you and your home business?
Quite simply, you must be willing to take a few risks,
although calculated, to experience the kind of success you most
When is the perfect time for you to go full time in your home
based business endeavor? In my experience, there is never a
"perfect time." There is only a time that appears to be better
than other times.
What about adding or reducing a product line? Well, nothing
ventured, nothing gained.
And, if you are considering changing the direction of your
business altogether, read on.
There are numerous "house-hold name" companies that look nothing
like they did in the beginning. Two that immediately come to
mind are Hewlett Packard and Nintendo. Both of these companies
were smart enough to shift their direction as the times and
Nintendo originally began as a playing card manufacturer, and,
realizing that the company was actually in the entertainment
business as opposed to a playing card business, shifted the
Today, they are one of the most successful electronic and video
game companies in the world.
Know what your focus is, not just the product and service you
are selling. Have a vision that is bigger.
Are you selling weight loss products or an enhanced self-image
and better health? Are you offering Internet Service or an
incredible system of communication, education and resources?
It's important that you are clear on what your business is
really about so that you can recognize when you may need to take
So how do you know whether or not to take a risk? Follow these
steps to make it as calculated as you can.
1. Use your head, don't just follow your emotions. Gut feelings
are important, but you must also do your research carefully.
Find as many resources as you can for information. Talk to
people and don't be afraid to ask direct questions.
2. Write out a list of best case scenarios and worst case
scenarios. This exercise should provide you with a good
measuring tool, if you are fair, reasonable and honest with
3. Test the waters if possible. Do a little market research.
If you're deciding whether or not to go fulltime, take a month
leave of absence and see how it goes. If you are trying out
a new product line, choose a few of your best customers and
introduce it to them and ask for feedback. And, if you are
considering changing the course of your business entirely,
begin seeking out new customers or associates for your new
4. Finally, have faith in yourself and your ability to make
the decision that is right for you!
Every fortune that's been made has involved some degree of
risk, as have all great inventions, business ideas or
At some point, assuming all else points in the right direction,
you must close your eyes, trust your instincts and take a leap
Remember, you can't steal second with your foot on first base!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jackie Ulmer, a veteran Home Business Owner, has coached
thousands of men and women on starting a successful home
business. Her free newsletter provides ongoing tips, resources
and options for home businesses. Subscribe by email to
She can be reached through her web site at