09/26/2008

Entrepreneurs don’t take risks


What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?
We often hear that being an entrepreneur requires taking great risks. I would like to explore a different point of view.
Category: General
Posted by: vwodek

What if entrepreneurs don't take risks?

To be an entrepreneur means taking hold of an opportunity that others cannot see. The word is derived from the French ‘entre' meaning ‘between' and ‘prendre' meaning ‘to take.' It literally means "to take something in between something else." It is the ability to see what nobody else can see - but for the entrepreneur it is obvious.

In other words, whatever you take as an entrepreneur others cannot take, because they cannot see it's there for the taking. Entrepreneurship, simply put, is an exercise in awareness. The more aware you are of your environment, the more clarity you posses, and the better you will be at the game of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs take things and generate value where value already naturally exists but it just has not been tapped into. They provide what is needed and wanted.

So, where does the risk come into play?

The risk exists when awareness is missing. Let me explain. There was a time when the world held a belief that the earth was flat. There is nothing wrong with the belief in and of itself - except that the belief had consequences. If you go too far into the ocean, you will fall off the edge. Yikes! So it stopped people from venturing out too far. This is called conditioning.

Obviously, in the 21st Century, the proposition that the earth is flat sounds absurd - but why? Only because we have a different set of beliefs! We are no better. We are no different. There are just a different set of beliefs to select from. It's still conditioning, so what we need to face is that we have been conditioned to think that entrepreneurship is risky.

But if you had the information in 1000 AD that the earth was a sphere (FYI: This information was known to humanity since the time of Eratosthenes in 200 B.C.), where would the risk be? Naturally, it would exist in other domains. The prevailing "truth holders" of the age - the Catholic Church - would probably want to have a word with you. But, if you are aware, then you would operate differently. You would be like a stealth ship sailing the seas - invisible to Catholic Church. Maybe you would be a dolphin. It seems not much has changed in this regard. You still need to do the same - except, there are other groups that are the “truth holders” today. What has changed is that today we are global - and simultaneously living in six civilizations, alongside a myriad of other things. (more on that in another article).

So, what is the only thing that provides awareness at the end of the day?

It is the access to the right information at the right time.

With the right information the world is your playground - as an entrepreneur, or whatever you choose to be. You can take hold of opportunities in a whole new way. And, it appears, that we can hold a belief that being an entrepreneur is the antithesis of taking risks - because those daring, courageous souls that venture out to the sea discover there is no edge. You cannot fall off. You will laugh when you get there yourself. It is a universe onto itself with unlimited possibilities.

My advice to you is the following.

Before setting out to sea, make sure you know your current latitude and longitude, the direction that you are going in, and the co-ordinates where you want to end up. Chart your course and sail away!

Now, remember that you still need to account for the storms, pirates, ‘sea monsters' and have provisions for your journey but, those are all things that you know you may encounter - so be prepared. By the way, to be an entrepreneur means to be great in planning.

In Conclusion:

Since the world is yours for the taking, what opportunities do you see in it that others don't?

Sharpen your awareness kit and happy sailing.

By Vwodek Wojczynski