I was fortunate enough to listen in on a round table discussion between 6 multi-millionaires who had come together to share their secrets. Each had achieved success multiple times and had also suffered huge loses in the process. They were all successful enough to have reached their life’s goals but each man came to the meeting eager to learn new things from the others.
As each man tossed out a question for the others to reflect on, one man asked the group; “‘what makes a person truly successful”? The answer was surprising. Three of the men spoke about the people who had mentored them at an early age but 1 man said it was his ability to deal with risk. This guy had started or turned around 17 businesses in his career and he attributed his fortune in this way. He said, “at an early age, I always knew I would be successful. The thought of failure never crossed my mind. I just assumed that I would reach the goals I had set for myself”.
The other men seemed to understand his comments but one asked him to elaborate. The man went on to say that he assumed that becoming successful would include taking risks and that sometimes he would fall short or possibly lose what he had invested. But he never attributed a shortfall to himself. He only considered the poor result as something he needed to learn from before he continued on in pursuit of his goals.
Being successful in business means being able to take risks. The risk should be investigated and considered against the reward that you want, but in the end deciding to move forward with your plan is the only way to achieve anything. Letting risk stop you from taking action will guarantee that you do not get want you want.
If you have difficulty taking risks, try to understand why you are unable to do so. If it’s the result of prior bad results, what did you learn that can improve your decision making ability going forward?
There’s risk in everything we do. Deciding what risks to take is as important as learning from the choices that don’t work out. Regardless of what happens, resist the temptation to internalize the loss. Eventually, everyone makes a bad decision. It’s the lessons you learn from these events that set you up for the truly great wins.
About the Author
After a stellar 29 year career in the consumer products manufacturing industry, Steve Smith converted his knowledge and experience into a successful business and executive coaching company. In 2008, he opened GrowthSource Coaching in Orange County, CA