I’m going to take a wild guess that the majority of you included “exercise more” as one of your New Year’s resolutions. I’m going to take another wild guess that many of you haven’t done the best at sticking with this goal (good for you if you have!).
Either way, there’s one muscle group you might want to consider: your risk-tolerance muscles. Unless exercised regularly, these too could become weak. This group of muscles includes:
- Business experience
- Marketing advice
- Hiring and firing decisions
- Bookkeeping and accounting
- Healthy cash flow
- Customer satisfaction
- Operational effectiveness
Though you might already be exercising some of these muscles on a regular basis, there are additional ways to make sure you put even Arnold Schwarzenegger to shame.
An entrepreneur with bulging risk muscles usually has a higher capacity to be successful because he or she has experienced more success — and more failure.
As an entrepreneur, failure is often unavoidable. Now that you know this, set yourself apart from the pack. Instead of sulking when you’re faced with failure, bounce back. The faster you can get up after failing, the more you can succeed and learn from those mistakes. Entrepreneurs who are afraid of failure will take much longer to experience success and sustained profitability.
When they begin to move forward, successful entrepreneurs refine their business. In doing so, they discover more of their strengths and weaknesses. This is where outsourcing comes into play.
Play to Your Strengths
Some people view outsourcing as deeming themselves unfit to perform a specific task. In a sense this is true, but the ultimate truth is that no one is perfect at everything. We all have our weaknesses, and for those, we outsource.
My company excels at producing, launching, and marketing natural health products via video sales letters. We also excel at outsourcing. For instance, we outsource our customer service department, accounting, and even copywriting.
Two friends of mine tried to emulate my business, but they both failed after a year. Because they didn’t take the time to discover their own strengths, they tried to do things that they weren’t especially good at. What one person might outsource might be another person’s top strength. Take the time to discover your personal strengths and weaknesses before you start your business.
A Beginner’s Workout Plan
You might be asking yourself, “What’s a good risk to take as an entrepreneur?” Thankfully, I’ve already taken plenty of risks and can provide some insight on some I consider the best for exercising my risk muscles:
- Buy advertising. Advertising is a risk because you won’t know if it’s going to be profitable until you buy and measure it. But without it, you won’t drive visitors to see your offer. Without visitors, you won’t be able to test your offer to see if the market will buy your products.
- Hire good people. Some people make great first impressions — and then that’s it. Hiring is risky because while people can seem like the perfect fit, they may not actually be able to succeed in the position. This can cost your business time and money. Good employees are essential, and it is worth the risk to find the right person with strengths that are opposite from your own.
- Spend money for business coaching. Paying for someone else’s advice can seem like a bad investment, especially if the advice is worthless — or worse, detrimental to your business. Invest time in finding the right coach with the right type of experience — an expert who understands you and your business. I always say a good business coach is worth their weight in gold. Mine weighs 172 pounds, which is 2,752 ounces, which would be worth $4.63 million today. Not too shabby.
- Test constantly. This is constantly a risk because you could be sacrificing some profits by testing offers that are worse than your control offer. At the same time, if you never try to beat your control, you’ll be stuck with an offer that will eventually decline to the point of profitability.
Preparation is key when considering taking risks like the ones listed above. Before you take the leap, do some research. Learn from other successful entrepreneurs. Read their books. Watch their videos. Buy their products. Learn absolutely everything you can about their successes, their failures, and their own workout routines.
Conditioning Your Muscles
Just like every group of muscles, your risk-tolerance muscles require quite a bit of work and time. When you ditch the notion that failure and outsourcing are going to hurt your business, you’ll see your muscles begin to swell.
Set yourself one new resolution: become a risk taker and take risks often. While there is the chance for failure, there is also the high possibility of success. When you roll up your sleeves and dedicate yourself to becoming a stronger business leader through risk-taking exercises, the results will surprise even your trainer.
Joe Barton is the founder of Barton Publishing and other websites that promote natural health through teaching people how to cure themselves using alternative home remedies (using simple grocery store items, herbs, vitamins, exercises, and more), instead of expensive and harmful prescription drugs. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn and Google+.
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Category: Startup Advice