Meeting with the sales whiz, Melissa could see that he had valuable connections in the tech industry, lots of hustle and could connect her media services firm with important new clients. Still, she decided to hold off on hiring him. Six months later, she heard that he’d gone to work for another firm, bringing them two nearly seven-figure accounts. Meantime, Melissa had to downsize her office space and lay off an employee. Instead of being positioned to charge ahead, she’s now scrambling to make payroll.
Are you playing it safe? If so, you’re not alone. In a 2013 survey by The Hartford of 1,000 U.S. small business owners, 80 percent rated themselves as conservative instead of risky, compared with 49 percent just a year ago.
Trouble is, sticking to your comfort zone brings its own risk: if you’re playing not to lose, you’ll miss out on key opportunities to grow your business. Create more certainty around the decision-making process itself, and you’ll move forward with confidence.
Make decisions from where you want to be, not from where you are. To create a seven-figure company, you have to act as if you’re leading one now, even while you’re still generating low six figures. To start thinking bigger, adopt a role model — someone whose achievements or behavior you admire. When you’re faced with a scary decision, ask yourself: “What would my role model do?”
Understand and evaluate the risks. Richard Branson, who knows that making daring moves is not about reckless optimism, told Entrepreneur magazine: “The calculated risks you and your team take should be strategic judgments, not just blind gambles: Protect the downside by figuring out the odds of success, working out what the worst possible consequences would be, then deciding whether to accept.”