Risk vs. Gamble

Recently, I was in Las Vegas and was thinking about gambling. This made me think about you. No, I don’t think you have a gambling problem but I did find a lot of value in the process of identifying whether you are taking risks or gambles as it pertains to your business. Although my thoughts in Vegas dealt with actual gambling it gave keen insight on how to identify whether you are taking a risk or gambling whether it be with a bet or in your case your business.

The term risk often gives off a negative connotation yet as businessmen and women we realize that without risk, there are no rewards. Matter of fact we NEED risk in order to make progress in our lives. A risk is something you are wholeheartedly willing to invest yourself, your time, and your resources to accomplish on the belief that giving up something in the present will lead to something far greater in the future. The issues come when people confuse a risk and a gamble. A gamble is essentially a shortcut to success where one expects quick returns with minimal efforts. The downside is simply this, there are no shortcuts to success. The following are three areas where business owners should look for the risk, rather than the gamble.

Your Business:

There is no such thing as easy money and if there is, it usually comes with consequences. Choose your business because you love it and because you have a talent for it. That is a risk worth taking because love and talent are motivators that will sustain you to push to the finish line when times get tough. Chasing a quick buck is a gamble that often comes with unseen challenges and without passion to back it up it will usually fizzle out.

Your Projects:

If one of your projects comes upon a challenge, take the risk of attacking it head on and finding the loose ends. Stop the project if you must. Talk to the people on the ground. Get involved. It might cost you time and money but you will surely get a better grasp of the issue and increase your chances of a successful project. Throwing money at the challenge, however, is a gamble. Even if you have the money now for the quick fix the problem will most likely arise again in the future, costing you more money long term. More importantly, you will not have the value of knowing where the problem originated.

Your People:

A risk is essentially an investment and there is no better investment than investing in your people. If you find someone with great character, great work ethic, but less experience, consider investing in that person and take a calculated risk on their future potential. Often as business owners we get excited over vast experience and earning potential and overlook past history and character issues. Gambling on the wrong people can be very costly. Take a risk on quality people, not just for you and your business, but for them. It will certainly pay dividends in the future.