If you stand in the business aisle at your local bookstore for ten minutes perusing the most popular titles, the theme of ‘risk taking’ is bound to crop up, motivating the reader to step outside their comfort zone/discover uncharted territory/dare to dream and other such turns of phrase. In today’s world, where things are changing so rapidly and the rules keep shifting, what does it mean to take risks?
One of the ten rules of Omnipreneurship is “No Risk, No Gain” and like all other components of the ecosystem, it is best considered as part of an interlocking approach. At the heart of Omnipreneurship lies the notion that we are invested in building a better world for future generations to inherit. I believe all of us are here to fulfill a divine purpose, whether it’s as small as making our families and communities stronger and happier, or as big as putting the whole world on a better footing. Making a difference in the world is inherently risky. Life itself is risky. Experience will help you. The best guidepost I can give you is to constantly return to your principles, your values, and your life plan. They will help show you the way to living a life of meaning.
When approaching risk, Omnipreneurship offers key strategies to ensure that risk is managed in bold and intelligent ways. The only real way to deal with risk is to do your very best to understand it, assess it, and build safety nets around it. As I write in the book, “Ultimately, intelligent risk is about navigating well.” You want to enjoy the voyage, but also ensure that all the equipment works beautifully. In applying the ten golden rules, you will be living your life out loud and in a bigger way than you might otherwise. This means that you will be taking on more risk, because you are moving into uncharted territory. But don’t be frightened. Just make sure the risks you take are intelligent ones. “Intelligent risk” means that you:
- Have a set of safety valves and safety nets in place
- Clearly communicate your values and your strategy
- Clearly define your own and others’ roles and responsibilities
- Establish a clear understanding with partners
- Design organically and manage the pace of growth
- Equip the people who are helping you with what they need to excel
- Are energetic and attentive
- Know when to stay the course, when to double down, and when to cut your losses
The above prescriptions are helpful in all avenues of life from organizational management to personal risk taking. They are also bolstered by certain personality traits and in particular that of resilience – the ability to whether the storm, embrace and learn from failure and understand that fear is not an option.
Over the course of my career and life, I have often found myself choosing a posture of risk time and time again because it corresponds with my vision for the future. Whether by proclaiming ambitious and seemingly impossible goals or ignoring the naysayers who say it can’t happen and even to accept the possibility of failure, the risk posture has helped me achieve my goals.
As the great T. S. Eliot once wrote, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.” So go out on that limb and see how far you can go.
Amr Al-Dabbagh is CEO of the Al-Dabbagh Group, which operates 62 companies in 60 countries employing over 15,000 men and women around the world. Follow him on Twitter at @theomnipreneur. For more information on The Greatest Among You and the other components of Omnipreneurship, you can buy the book, Omnipreneurship, now available for Kindle and in hardback on Amazon.