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Take a risk — but do it intelligently

Know the Score

Posted: October 17, 2008 8:57 p.m.
Updated: December 19, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 

Taking risks is difficult, whether for an individual or a company, because it involves uncertainty.

Fear of the unknown tends to hold us back. But because risk is one of the main paths to success, taking intelligent, calculating risk is worthwhile.

Here are a few tips to bear in mind:

n Don’t focus only on the negative. Consider the possible benefits you’ll never reach the top of the mountain if you’re always looking down.

n Welcome fear, but don’t let it immobilize you. Use it to increase your alertness and further the chances that your risk taking will meet with success. Fear should act as a helpful warning, not a barrier.

n Weigh up the odds. It doesn’t make sense to risk a lot for a small potential gain. Ask yourself the following, “Exactly how much am I likely to gain? What are the realistic chances of success? What could I lose, either by going ahead or standing still?”

n Get the facts. The more you know about a situation, the better you can evaluate the risks involved. Taking a risk does not mean making a blind leap. Intelligent risk taking is based on thorough market analysis, planning and research.

n Examine the worst case scenario. Often you’ll find that it’s not as bad as first thought. For example, if you’re hesitant about trying a potentially better way of doing your job, because you feel your job will be at risk if it backfires, sit down and reconsider. Talk it over with a trusted colleague, friend or employer.
They may be able to give you a differing, more realistic perspective.

n Bet on yourself. Risk in business should not be like going to the race track and betting on a horse. In most of the risks you take, your own hard work, initiative and sheer determination will naturally play a crucial role in the outcome.

Here are some thoughts for success:

n Decide what you really want.

n Take one step at a time. Each accomplishment builds confidence, enthusiasm, and power.

n Expect good things to happen.

n Enjoy life! You are free and your potential is unlimited.

n Release your hidden talents. Create the person you conceive yourself to be.

n Your new self-image acts like a magnet, attracting opportunities, resources and people you need.

n Intensify desire to grow, expand, mature and achieve. Imagine, plan, act.
n The power of enthusiasm has no limits.

n Delays and frustrations are natural. Be proud of your achievements. Have faith in your destiny.

n Believe in yourself so strongly that nothing can shake your inner self. You are a unique individual in a remarkable universe.

Maureen Stephenson is a local author and owner of Santa Clarita-based REMS Publishing & Publicity. Her column represents her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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