Greetings Friends,

Great minds who have truly achieved genuine success have one great trait- they are risk takers. They know very well true success involves a lot of work and these work has ups and down which adds up to their success story when they break even. As rational beings, we are always cautious in life because we don’t want to make mistake, sometimes we are anxious what the future upholds for us and other times we tend to follow our instincts. Amongst all these thoughts, one thing is certain, we are all taking risks because we are not guaranteed anything even if we dot our I’s and cross our t’s. This is because nobody is guaranteed anything in life because anything can happen the next second.

Great people have always opined it makes no sense to think little if you must think, think big. According to Ben Carson in his book Think Big, he made us under to understand that our dreams are valid and can come true if we play by the rules and work smart and hard. Ben Carson is one of the greatest surgeons in the world. After he made history in the world by successfully separating two Siamese twins, the world literally stood up for him. It should be noted that performing that surgery wasn’t really easy. He had to put in so many hours of research and risk before he was able to reckon success.

Risk is a very important part of success in business and life generally. You need to take a reasonable risk to succeed. It will be right to say life itself is a gamble and if life is a gamble then we must take the risk (gamble) to succeed. It’s worthy to note that the fear of taking risk is risk itself. We all have taken risk in one way or the other. In business, we explore some path which might be unconventional; in a relationship, we relate and live with people we don’t really know. In health, we literally take pills and believe it will heal us in addition to putting our trust in doctors’ hands with the hope they will “heal” us. Even the food we eat is risk because we don’t know who prepared it and how it was prepared. You can literally see that life indeed, is a risk. In order to discuss the rationality of our risk, we shall be looking at various component part of the risk and how we can take advantage of risk to succeed. During the course of this article, we shall be focusing more on the advantages of risk and how risk can facilitate our success.

We are always inspired by people who go beyond the norm and push the boundaries of possibility. This is because they live in the realm of possibility and greatness. They are not afraid to live beyond their boundaries. To them, there is no such thing as failure; only experiments that didn’t work! Risk-takers are marked by a sense of adventure and passion. They care little for the accolades of the crowd. They are not afraid to “boldly go where no one has gone before.

You may have heard of terminology, take the risk and join the millionaires. If I may ask, what did you stand to gain if you don’t take risk? I guess you will literally be in the same position you were, so why not give it shot? Do you know that the fear of taking risk is risk itself? According to Mark Zuckerberg, “the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” If you refuse to take any risk in your life, you will pass up every opportunity in front of you in favor of a stable, certain future. That stability may be comforting, but it won’t provide you with growth or advancement in any dimension”.

Henry Ford would have never invented the automobile if he had paid attention to his critics. David would have never defeated Goliath if he had allowed his own family to discourage him. Personally, I took a risk in publishing my book without knowing what will be the outcome. I had fear of typographical errors, grammatical errors, layout, content, graphics and the general production of the book. To a great extent, I was thinking what will people think about my book? The list is endless, but guess what, it came out really good and it has become the biggest achievement in my life which has given me the biggest opportunity and fame.

There is no major success without risk. Many people have goals. Only a few ever achieve them. Very few people have the gut to take the risk to truly succeed. Every major breakthrough in history – in business, science, medicine, sports, etc. – is the result of an individual who took a risk and refused to play it safe. Their innovation is the result of their adventurous spirit. They invent, achieve, surpass, and succeed because they dare to live beyond the realm of normal. 

Let’s see some of the advantages of taking risk in life.

·         Great, otherwise unforeseen opportunities often come from risk-taking. You must truly dare to succeed.

·         Taking risks shows confidence and helps you stand out.

·          We learn from risks — and those lessons may lead us on an important, new experience. If you try something new and you didn’t succeed, don’t think you failed, rather see it like you had an experience.

·         Success won’t fall in your lap — you have to pursue it by stepping out of your comfort zone.  Moral: You don’t achieve your dreams by playing safe. Successful people thread uncommon paths many people dare to  take.

·         Embracing risk-taking helps you overcome a fear of failure. In life, you either succeed or fail. It’s either a yes or no answer. If you don’t take risk you might not succeed, if you take the risk you might succeed, so either way, it’s good to take the risk and experience the outcome.

The question now is, what kind of risk are you suppose to take? The major difference between great mind and ordinary people is that great minds take calculate risk. They explore so many options available to them by testing the waters with one foot by questioning their minds: What’s the best-case scenario? What’s the worst-case scenario; What’s the most likely scenario? These are what sets great and ordinary people apart. They don’t follow the bandwagon. They create their own path. One of my inspirational mentors who took a calculated risk is Tony Elumelu. He was the driving force behind the rise of the United Bank of Africa. He has proved his passion for risking by empowering successful applicants to this foundation program (Tony Elumelu Foundation) with $5,000 non-refundable seed capital to grow their entrepreneurial business. Great risk takers may act and sound silly in the eyes of men, but deep down their heart, they have an idea of what they are working on. Their strongest strength comes from the fact they are passionate about what they are doing and therefore they go the extra mile.  But what sets successful people apart from others is that after they have conducted their research, they ACT! They take the leap.

Financially, successful people are not afraid to invest in themselves. I once read an article of a great entrepreneur who took the risk to pay a huge sum of money to learn from an investor coach who is very big on marketing. Ordinary, that was a huge sum of money he paid because the organizers of the event would have disappeared or  package a program which might not have more to offer just the usual sweet talk from marketers to promote their business, but guess what, after three months of studying the product, his profit rose to about 200% every quarter of the year and in three years, he began to earn millions of dollars. This is another great example of the power of investors.

My question to you is, are you willing to take a risk to succeed?

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with New York City Department of Correction as the legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.

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Henry Ukazu is a graduate of New York Law School. He is Founder and President at Global Empowerment & Mentoring Initiative. A trained life coach, prolific writer, and passionate youth advocate, he is also a highly sought-after public speaker. He is author of the acclaimed book, “Design Your Destiny- Actualizing Your Birthright to Success.

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