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Entrepreneurs do not take wild uncalculated risks

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • November 17, 2015

entrepreneur risk


Some people will tell you to quit your job and follow your dreams.


“Jump off the cliff and build wings on the way down.”


These people have either never actually started a business, or they are unconscious of the luck they had when they started their first business.


I fell in the latter category.


My first business shot the lights out. Beginners luck, but I didn’t know it. So for many years I preached the dogma of “Roll the dice! Quit your job, burn your boats, take risk!”


Until I’d failed a couple times and spent time learning from some great entrepreneurs, and realised that “all in” bets are for fools.


True entrepreneurs are not fools. True entrepreneurs figure out a way to manage their risk, to have their cake and eat it.


Start your business on the side before taking the full-time plunge. When you’re making enough money to pay your kids school fees, then quit your job.


“But you must be 100% focused and committed to make a new business success”, I hear you say.


Yes, you must be focused, and yes, you must be committed. Focus and commitment are the most important factors for success in business.


But no matter how committed you are, you can’t focus if you’re worried about paying your kids school fees. Financial stress can be debilitating.


Believe me, your excel cashflow forecast is 4x overstated. It will take you twice as long to make 50% of what you anticipate.


So before plunging headlong into the life of an entrepreneur, lengthen your runway.


Save money. Lower your overheads. Keep your day-job whilst your venture picks up the steam it needs to support you (and your family).


Entrepreneurs take calculated risks.


Heads you win, tails someone else loses.



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