Have you ever taken a leap of faith? I sure did, almost a year ago when I started my business. It was a leap to invest the money into starting a business. It was another leap to decide to quit my job two months later and focus on the business full-time. It was a leap to hire sub-contractors. It was also a leap to decide to rent office space. And, I am about to take another leap: hiring my first official employee.
It’s obvious I have taken leaps and that ended up working out for the better, but I have to admit that I am still scared every time I take a risk. I wonder if I am making the right decision. What if I fail? I am sure business owners have contemplated these risks since the dawn of entrepreneurialism. Yet, fear didn’t hold them back, even if they weren’t successful in their leap.
When you think about it, we take a risk every day. We take risks the second we get out of bed and continue taking those risks all day long. We risk our lives by getting in the car and driving somewhere. We risk the emotional insecurities associated with being liked and accepted as human beings. We risk our health by eating bad things, smoking, living a sedentary lifestyle and making poor decisions.
The fear of starting a business or quitting a job simply ‘ups the ante.’ The bigger the risk, the bigger the chance for failure. Sylvia Hepler, Executive Coach, says it’s important that we take “calculated risks.” That doesn’t mean selling your house and using the money to buy a lottery ticket for the evening jackpot. It does mean taking carefully thought out, planned risks that will be an investment in yourself or something you care about. We will likely still feel the twinge of fear – it would be almost unnatural that we didn’t. What’s important is that we continue to challenge ourselves for optimal benefit.
Sylvia also says it’s crucial to have passion for what you are doing. (See a recent post on this topic). If you’re considering an opportunity, be sure it’s something you truly believe in. Use the “gut check” to help outweigh the fear of taking a risk.
Let’s look at my recent leap of faith. What’s the worst case scenario? I could hire an employee, lose two or three clients, and be unable to afford to pay them. What’s the best case scenario? I streamline my workload by shifting it to an employee and focus on growing my business, which in turn, generates more revenue. Sounds like a risk worth taking!
Tell me about a time you took a leap of faith. How did you know it was a worthy risk?