Saturday, March 1, 2008

Fear of Risk

Copyright © Lawren Smith

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Many people fear starting a business because they feel that there is too much risk associated with starting a business of their own. Often, I ask these individuals why they fear starting a business and why they don’t fear working at a job. After experiencing six downsizings, three within the past three years, I fear working at a job more then I fear having a business of my own. It is speculated by many economists that this will be a difficult year for many companies. Has anybody heard about the financial woes of Starbucks?

Many companies that are planning to downsize keep it a secret and then spring on their employees when they least expect it. I hate this. I have been downsized three times and each time I went through it, I cried. I remember the feelings of depression, sadness, and fear of not being able to pay my bills. These experiences have left me not trusting companies. I now watch for signs and have gotten very good at detecting upcoming problems within the company.

Because of my experiences in downsizing, I have decided that I don’t ever want to go through another one, so my plan is to get out of working for other people and just work for myself.

But, back to my original question, why do so many people fear starting a business of their own? Well the biggest reason is fear; fear of risk, fear of failure. While researching this topic, I came upon an article called “Take A Risk” by Kathleen Stebbins in

In this article, Kathleen Stebbins talks about a study that was conducted by UCLA in 2007 where the brain activity of volunteers was mapped. The volunteers were presented with a variety of risky gambles. What was discovered is that some people are quite sensitive to the possibility of loss relative to gain and hence avoid risk.

Risk takers, on the other hand, were less sensitive to loss as the stakes increased, suggesting the ability to shake off an unfavorable outcome is essential to taking a risk.

It is also stated in this article that finding passion in your dreams can help pull one forward. I believe that is my current situation. I absolutely hate working for other people. I also no longer enjoy my career field which is in the technical industry. I long to be working in my own home, doing something I enjoy, where I am in control of the events that take place in my life.

For many people, they have not found their purpose in life yet. They make money and pay their bills but they are not fulfilled; they continue on this path of being unfulfilled until they retire.

I can’t do this. Living a life where you are unfulfilled until retirement is too high of a price to pay and life is too short. I want to enjoy my life and the only way I can see to make this happen is to find a way to have my own business; doing something that I enjoy; that will allow me more freedom of time and a better quality of life. I also want to become debt free. I won’t accomplish any of this at a job. In fact, the same holds true for most people who continue to work at a job.

If you are interested in starting your own business, I suggest you get started. Find something you are passionate about and get out there. Do not let your fear paralyze you from moving forward. There is always risk in anything you do and yes, you will encounter ups and downs during the growth of your business.

There is no way to go through life risk free, but there are ways to reduce risk:

  1. Start by creating a business plan; one that includes marketing strategies.
  2. Hire an attorney and an accountant. Make sure that the business reputations of these individuals are astounding.
  3. Never stop studying your craft. Read and learn as much as you can about owning and managing a business. For most entrepreneurs, this is something that should be done for the remainder of the time that they are in business for themselves.
  4. Get more involved in personal development. Focus on things that motivate and inspire you.
There are very few problems that cannot be resolved. Often it is the way we view and handle problems that determines our success and failures in life. Keep moving forward.

Those who risk, win!


Lawren Smith is a member of $9.97MakeMoneyNow and writes on a variety of subjects. To learn more about this topic, Lawren recommends you visit:

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