Let’s face it, starting a business is a risky endeavor. This is one reason so many people hesitate to do it. It takes guts to give up the security of a steady paycheck to go out and borrow money that you may not be able to pay back or to max out your credit cards and mortgage your house for a business that might not ever get off the ground. It takes guts to be a risk taker. It’s human nature to want to avoid risk. It usually means venturing out of your comfort zone. Most people like staying their comfort zone. Entrepreneurs can’t stay there. They have to take some risks.
A person’s risk-taking potential is influenced by several factors, including their environment, genetics, and their past experiences. What gives one person a thrill might make another run for cover. Some adrenaline junkies out there are hard-wired to take risks. You see them climbing up the sides of tall buildings or jumping out of airplanes. But most people are able to manage their risk and are comfortable taking small risks with steady gains to get a nice return on investment.
We all have an enzyme in our brains called monoamine oxidase (MAO). This is what keeps our impulses in check. People who have a shortage of it are more likely to be risk takers.
So, to answer the question about whether entrepreneurs are risk takers… it depends. Are you someone who always chases after the “get rich quick” schemes? Or do you take calculated risks while seeing into the future and what your business could be if handled correctly? If you don’t take some risks, you’ll never know your true potential. In that sense, all entrepreneurs are risk-takers. It just depends on the degree.
Some people get stuck in the fear of making any kind of decision because they feel they’ll make the wrong one. That can be equally bad because you might just miss that one great opportunity in life.
Entrepreneurs have to make decisions every day. Make the right decision and you could become very wealthy. Make the wrong one and you could become bankrupt. It’s enough to stress out the calmest of us. It’s always going to have some uncertainty associated with it. If we could predict the future we would all be rich.
A good entrepreneur will learn from the bad decisions and correct them quickly. They will also be less likely to repeat the bad decisions. And they will learn to trust their gut to figure out the right path.