How to Grow Your Business – Top Tip #3 – Take Risks

Posted by Bennie Groenewald on 06 March 2018.

Bennie Groenewald

LLM Tax Law, B.Proc, HDip Tax

The Tax Shop Head Office

More about Bennie Groenewald

After having qualified and practiced as a Commercial lawyer Bennie worked in the Banking and Financial services industry for 25 years across multiple market segments in South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, the last 14 years of which in senior and executive leadership positions. During this time, he dealt extensively with cross-border banking and finance including project finance, asset finance, debt capital markets and derivatives, including the legal aspects thereof. In recent years, Bennie has played an active leading role in investment, credit and risk management as well as sound corporate governance.

As business people often say, “There is no perfect road or one less travelled on.” Take a chance and push those boundaries, it is the best way to learn about your capabilities or limits. You may just surprise yourself.

Have the courage to take some risks and if you fail, learn from your mistakes. The most important thing is to never make the same mistake twice. It is said that the difference between successful people and those that aren’t, is the time it takes them to get back up after being knocked down.

An important lesson to learn when you’re just starting out is that if you tell someone you are going to do something, then do it. Make sure you follow through on your promises. It is known that the real killer is the public aspect and it may be a fear for the unknown, fear of letting others down or a fear of being wrong.

It is human nature to not wanting to fail. It is so comfortable to be passive, make no effort, and stick to the familiar. However, by doing so, we allow external influences to shape your life. You may think that your business won’t work - not enough customers, not enough funding, or you won’t be able to pay your bills, whatever the reason.

When you start a new business, you’re really sticking your neck out. You don’t want people to think of you as a failure. Fear is a powerful and primitive human reaction and creates that “fight or flight” response. In business it is said that fear is just your pride.

Don’t worry about what other people sitting on the side-line, will think if you fail.

Exceed the limits of how things are normally done and always try to “push the envelope”!

Follow the next steps to overcome that fear that stops you from taking risks:

Step 1:  Start by accepting the fact that when something is difficult and unfamiliar, you will need some time to really get hold of it.  You may make some mistakes, and that’s ok.

Step 2:  Be confident in yourself, accepting yourself for who you are and accepting your imperfections.

Step 3:  Remember to ask for help when you run into trouble.  Needing help doesn’t mean you are weak – in fact, the opposite is true.  Only the very foolish believe they can do everything on their own.

Step 4: Try not to compare yourself to other people – instead, compare your performance today to your performance yesterday.  Focusing on getting better means always thinking in terms of progress, not perfection.

Step 5:  Work hard and expect nothing. A lot of the things we plan and expect to happen, never happen. The potential for failure hurts our egos and keeps us from trying new things.

Step 6:  When the unforeseen happens, take action, trust your ability knowing you can handle whatever comes your way.