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A Risk Discussion, Anyone?

This week has been the week of risk discussions around here. Some are taking place in meetings, some are taking place in the form of emails and questions, and I’ve coincidentally been reading a great deal about it.

The gentleman for whom I worked from 1994-2002 was a race fan. He loved watching them and reading about them. Then one year, his wife purchased a race car driving experience gift for him and he was in heaven. But what he told me when he returned from the trip was the most interesting thing. He told me that 90% of the people there were entrepreneurs.

That makes sense, doesn’t it? Who else understands risk better than entrepreneurs?

Right now, within our client base, we have the following:

  • Clients discussing merging with other entrepreneurs to form new businesses;
  • Clients looking for outside venture funding to continue growing their established businesses, as well as clients looking for funding just to get things moving;
  • Clients who just started a new business, looking for that first month of profitability to propel them forward;
  • Clients with side-businesses looking to move out of full-time jobs so they can pursue their side-business full-time, or with a little more vigor;
  • Clients awaiting large contracts to come through, fully aware that they may NOT come through….all the while, quoting new engagements and meeting new prospects to keep the bills paid.

Nobody understands risk better than the entrepreneur. For most small businesses in the first year or so of business, profitability isn’t guaranteed. It’s a day to day grind, with eyes on the horizon for new opportunities and lots of sweat. There are great days, full of highs….what Ron Baker calls an HSD (high satisfaction day). Then there are crushing days where NOTHING is going the way you want. The trick here is to string together more days like the former and less like the latter. Entrepreneurship is lonely for just this reason. No one else, except for another entrepreneur, gets it. Your spouse may try to understand, but he or she probably doesn’t get it completely. Your friends nod and offer support, but they don’t get it either. It’s like being a parent….you can read all you want about it, but until you are one, you don’t understand it.

There’s no way to get around the element of risk in our entrepreneurial journeys. The best thing we can do is talk through it and make sure we don’t get tunnel vision. When we’re stressed, additional opportunities aren’t as visible. When you feel stressed about your company or the level of risk you’ve accepted, let us know. Let’s get together and talk about it. You’re not alone in how you feel, I promise.

Have a good day, guys! Let us know if you need anything.

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