Take The Best Opportunities And Keep Energy High

It is so easy to fall back on an apparent safe and risk-free course. We know that we all do it. Whether it is just following the same food or travelling habits, or sticking to a trusted operating formula, in a work context, that creates safe and valuable output and earnings. So how do we nurture courage? How do we step away from that comfort zone? How do we judge when an opportunity is certainly worth exploiting? Or when it is approriate to let it go.

First of all, you have to believe in your own courage. Can you accept that it really is a positive quality, to facilitate your innovation, energy, passion and resilience? For sure, a courageous mentality means more brave and risky efforts. It means more steps into the relative unknown. And, as a consequence, that means more pitfalls and potentially more failure. Either from random misfortune or your unforeseen mistakes. It will happen. So your courage and resilience comes from accepting that sometimes not everything will go your way. Sometimes you will be successful. But sometimes you will need deep courage to carry on. Then you have to trust your own judgment. To judge when you decide to still doggedly hang on in there, regardless. Or to trust when your instinct tells you that it really is better to cut your losses and get out fast.

Checklist for the Master Entrepreneur?

1. Will I learn from this relative leap into the unknown, whether I succeed or fail?

2. Is this opportunity new, innovative and differentiated enough, to have great upside potential if I put my full energy and skill into it?

3. What are my exit criteria and my stop-loss position if things start to go wrong?

Checklist for a Cautious Optimist?

1. Do I currently have the time, energy and available cash resources to make this opportunity work?

2. Should I wait for something even more compelling?

3. Is my safety net strong enough right now – and worth deploying against the downside risk of this opportunity failing?

Let’s recognize that there are few of us who go around consciously seeking continual courageous acts. Quite often, they arise as a result of another event that prompts you to act in response. This may be a confrontation that you are not prepared to accept. Or alternatively a threat to your current business, or your pride, or your livelihood, that means that you just have no alternative, other than to respond. In that situation doing nothing is not an option.

However, these acts of courage to take an opportunity do need a really conscious effort and a state of mind that reflects a hunger for more. This is often driven by internalized needs to prove something to yourself. And these needs offset any doubts or aversion to risk.

So with enough passion, focus, drive and energy, the doubts fall away and courage comes naturally, to the Master Entrepreneur. Nurturing courage for the Cautious Optimist is often not so easy, because there will always be a stack of reasons not to take the opportunity. With real confidence in yourself and an understanding of the balance of reward versus risk, you still just have to give it a go. To learn much more about yourself, whether the venture works or not.

Alan Taylor has been a serial entrepreneur in e-commerce, as well as driving value through technology-led change as a director of leading companies. He now consults to clients of the world’s leading enterprise software company, on performance optimization. Get his insights to and learn from his experience on Web Profits Masters Internet Marketing Strategies

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