No Risk, No Reward

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

Everywhere you can find pubs and cafes that are filled with self-promoted experts that have a piece of advice about anything and everyone. They know exactly what their boss should do and they speak with authority as they bark out their wisdom about business and finance.

The problem with this group of people is that they have earned a degree in speaking, but have never passed the exam of doing. The reason why is that their afraid to take risks. Their preference will always be to converse rather than conquer.

However, the least amount of risk that is taken, the less of a chance there will be for success. To succeed in any business you must willing to take risks. For you to be successful as a risk taker you must:

Not be too critical of yourself…
Perfectionism can kill your willingness to take a risk. Let’s face it, as much as we want every piece of the puzzle to be put together, it’s not going to happen. Often times as you “go for it” things happen that only happen because you decided to take a risk.

Not be driven by fear…
Fear can be real, but it must never way into your decision to take a risk. Fear in itself can often times be an illusion that sends false signals that can keep you from taking a risk. The more calculated the risk you take, the less fear you’ll find yourself dealing with.

Go for broke!
Risk takers that see their initiatives bring major success have never been governed by options. The only option that they have is a willingness to do EVERYTHING it takes to see their idea work. If that takes selling the house, getting creative to find funding, it doesn’t matter. They’ll do what it takes.

If you are struggling to take a risk, what are the things that concern you? If you’ve been successful because of a risk you’ve taken, what are the things that kept you going?

Leave a comment and be a part of the conversation.

Written by Jeff Springer

Jeff Spring is the Finance & Markets Editor at He's currently spending his days backpacking across Europe. While he may be living outside of the United States, he stays connected to American financial markets and M&A's more than is probably healthy for any single person. His love of a good book and a Bloomberg terminal can't be understated.