Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Richard Branson Advice On Entrepreneurship - Taking Risks

I read this article the other day on entrepreneur.com about taking risks which was written by British business magnate Richard Branson himself. The article was focused on the idea of stepping out of your comfort zone and getting out of your regular routine to take on new challenges as a great way of reaching success.

This article was very interesting and inspiring considering that it was written by one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs.

It is well known that taking risks is one of the forefront aspects of entrepreneurship so learning what Richard Branson had to say about risk-taking is something that every aspiring entrepreneur would want to pay attention to.

According to Richard Branson it's easy to get stuck in one particular way of doing things for a long time, but taking chances is a great way to test yourself and push boundaries which could also be a lot of fun.

Branson said that one of his early experiences of taking risks was, when he was a child his Auntie bet him 10 shillings that he wouldn't learn to swim by the time they returned from a family vacation.

Determined to prove her wrong, when young Richard spotted a river on the drive back home, he asked his dad to stop the car, then ran out and jumped into the water in his underwear.

Branson said he first sank and swallowed water, but he kicked upward, and to his amazement began to swim downstream. At the end, Richard got his 10-shilling note which was the most money he ever had in his hand at that time.

Take Chances And Improve Upon The Results

Richard Branson learned from that experience and later challenges in life that it's important to try things that might possibly lead to loss or negative outcomes, then improvise solutions along the way.

This approach towards life is evident in Richard Branson's entrepreneurial ventures  because he started new highly risky companies such as a record label and an airline.

Branson said in his autobiography about his decision to start an airline "My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them ... from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it"

Figure Out The Odds Of Success Before You Take The Risks

Risk-taking always involves uncertain loss, but according to Richard Branson you should first calculate your risks to make the best judgement before hand.

"One of the great benefits of taking on challenges in your working life is that you and your team learn to confront risk together – and also to lose sometimes, because when you make a good wager, the odds are not going to be in your favor. 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" Branson said.

This is very important because you want to logically decide if the risk is worth taking by properly considering the possible success and the possible loss. If you can afford to deal with the consequences of failure posed by the targeted venture, then why not give it a shot, especially if success is highly profitable.

Richard Branson also wrote why taking risks is important for being competitive and enduring in business.

He said "You need to hone these skills, because you and your team are going to face adversity at some point. No matter what industry you work in, the nature of business is change, and so while you can prepare for every possibility, some new, unexpected circumstance is likely to thwart you. The only thing that's meaningful about such setbacks is whether you bounce back"

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