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Taking the Plunge

December 26, 2011

How long have you been waiting to take the plunge?  And I don’t mean the plunge off a diving board of a crystal blue pool at a seaside resort.  I mean the plunge of taking a big, new entrepreneurial risk?

For some entrepreneurs nerve-racking risk is created when they think about accepting a public speaking opportunity, borrowing money for expansion, or adding a new product. As seen in an old time cartoon, the decision to take a risk can be worsened when an angel appears on our right shoulder and the devil appears on our left shoulder whispering the pros and cons of each decision in our ears.

Instead of depending on heavenly or devilish advice to help with decision making, I’ve used the following three factors to guide me:

  • The length of time the decision has been brewing

Sometimes the concept has been bubbling and resurfacing for years. Significant developments in my business have always taken one to three years to come to fruition. The new concept presents itself internally at first, but outside factors such as meeting the right people, having more money, seeing a demand in the marketplace or learning new information ultimately prompts final action.  

  • The reasons and people to support the decision

I’ve heard goal setting experts say the “why” and the “who” of setting new goals and taking big risks are integral to success or failure.  The reason (or the “why”) behind taking a new business risk is the most important part of setting and achieving the goal. When the “why” is understood, it’s imperative to have the right people (or the “who”) to support the entrepreneur and concept.

  • The downside to not making the decision

Many times I have taken a risk because I didn’t want to live with regret. I refused to let fear replace hope especially if I had the “why” and “who” in place.  So asking the question, “What will happen if I don’t take the risk now,” usually provides the answer.

So take the plunge after considering these factors. The decision might be so perfect you end up celebrating your success a year from now by jumping into a crystal clear blue pool at the seaside resort of your dreams.  

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