Entrepreneurs are often associated with risk-taking in their professional and personal lives in pursuit of success. While it is true many take huge risks that would make most people freeze in their tracks, there are a few traits that entrepreneurs have that allow them to be successful in what appear to be massively risky ventures.
How do they do it? Well, the simple truth is that many entrepreneurs are a bit obsessive. At least, they have ways of thinking and doing that others might perceive as being obsessive.
They become fixated on an idea and develop an incurable desire to learn everything possible about that idea. They might sink thousands of hours and dollars into this. As a result, they are acutely aware of what is involved in building a business around that idea: how much time, money and effort would be required, the likelihood of success or failure and what to do in either eventuality. This insatiable curiosity about ideas drives them to explore, try and fail in order to find the limits of what is possible.
Entrepreneurs understand that success is the result of an accumulation of failures and the lessons learned from them. One of the first, and most important, lessons learned is: failure is okay. Because failure is how you learn your limits, identify what you need to tweak and refine to reach the desired outcome and learn that you can survive just about anything to try again.
Another trait that most entrepreneurs have, and require, is an unsinkable drive to plan and execute. They perceive the myriad of possibilities, obstacles and paths to be taken to reach their goal. It is one of the reasons why some of the most successful entrepreneurs enjoy the goals they can visualize in their minds, like running marathons, climbing mountains or diving to shipwrecks. They enjoy the exploration of their own limits. With that comes the exhaustive preparation that allows them to follow through and accomplish their goals.
My favorite examples of knowing your capabilities and understanding the risks are wingsuit flyers. Most see these people jumping off the face of a mountain and think they are crazy, but they have spent a staggering amount of time mastering technique and knowledge of their own limits to pull it off.
Ask yourself, what would you need to master before doing a risky activity? Most importantly, how would you prepare yourself physically and emotionally for the challenge, knowing your own limits? To give you an idea of the level of detail required, some things you would need:
Once you have committed tens of thousands of hours and invested a large sum of money, you are ready. This is the reason you would not have any hesitation when it is time to jump. You know exactly what you are doing and the risks involved in how to “fly like a bird.”
Now apply a bit of that same focus and effort that you would use to reach the goal, "I want to fly like a bird," to a business idea. That is the beginning of understanding the mindset and obsession of successful entrepreneurs. This alone does not guarantee success, but the extensive preparation significantly increases the likelihood of you achieving your goal.
Founder & Start-Up Coach
I live to be creative and find inventive ways that we can change our world.