Assuming The Risks - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Kirk Charles .
Kirk Charles is a motivational speaker and writer based in Linden, New Jersey
You’re tired of spinning your wheels at a dead-end job and are ready to take control of your future. You’ve done the research, saved enough start-up capital and possess the necessary drive to start your own business. There’s just one little problem: you hate taking risks.

To you, diving headfirst into uncertain entrepreneurial waters goes against all sound reason. Although you dislike working for someone else, you’re reluctant to give up the security a job affords–a regular paycheck, health benefits and a vested pension plan. After all, statistics doom half of all new businesses to failure within four years. How can you beat those odds?
To be an entrepreneur, you must be willing to assume uncertainty and take sensible, calculated risks when necessary. The following tips can help you sharpen your risk-taking skills and get you on your way to self-sufficiency:

Master positive visualization. Most entrepreneurs have the unique, empowering ability to envision the future solely in positive terms. a power full-imagination disregards any self-doubt and makes it virtually impossible not to strive toward stated goals.

“Entrepreneurs use their mind’s eye to spur them to action,” says Barry Winston, senior primary therapist at Jersey City Medical Center in New Jersey. “They envision something positive pulling them towards the entrepreneurial path.”

Find time to visualize your business goals each day. Bring each step into focus, and imagine yourself succeeding at every stage.

Imagine how you’ll feel after accomplishing each task, but more importantly, visualize how you’ll feel if you don’t. Then, put those feelings to work for you.

Embrace uncertainty. Free yourself to prepare for worst-case scenarios instead of focusing on potential problems by embracing the possibility of a bad judgment call or wrong turn. Charles Joseph, president of Charles Joseph Traffic Services Inc. in Rockford, Illinois, knew he had to work twice as hard to support his family when he left his teaching job to try his hand at business.
“I possessed no business acumen whatsoever,” admits Joseph. “But, I needed to try to seek the opportunities my education career couldn’t afford me,” he says. Nearly 25 years later, Joseph’s company grosses $1.8 million a year.

Learn to live outside of your comfort zone. Seek out people whose opinions differ from yours. Read widely and expand your mental horizons.

Most importantly, work on your self-esteem. Personal and professional success is directly proportional to self-confidence. “An entrepreneur’s ability to generate income is based on his or her self-esteem,” says Winston. “Constructive self-esteem isn’t based on what others believe about you; it comes from within.”

Make it a point to consistently validate yourself and your abilities. Celebrate your uniqueness and the perspective it brings you. Choose to take control of your destiny and not to be manipulated by external forces.

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