Saving money is a critical step in practicing great financial habits but growing your wealth requires a few more actions and a comprehensive plan to calculate risks.
What are these additional steps?
In many cases, unless you are in line to get a massive inheritance in a tax advantaged way, or have a specific way to win the lottery, you will have to conduct actions to increase your wealth.
The next primary step after saving is to invest. But there are many different ways to invest, how should you invest, and where should you invest?
These questions boil down into one concept, in my view, taking calculated risks to earn a good return. A good return here is where you are able to keep up with and surpass the rate of inflation to preserve the value of your savings.
Now having said that, when we think about taking risks, we may hear the phrase, “go with your gut”. However, this phrase works for you as long as you know what you are doing; in terms of potential opportunities or risks, that means taking a calculated risk.
Taking calculated risks is not as intimidating as it sounds. There are several important tips that you need to keep in mind and you are good to go. These include doing research beforehand, anticipating mistakes, setting realistic goals and checkpoints, having courage, taking geography into account, and more.
Before we dig into the details of the aforementioned tips, let’s first get you acquainted with what actually a calculated risk is.
What is a Risk?
Risk means uncertainty of outcomes. We know that everything has a risk, even crossing the road has a certain element of risk. Whether you are eating some seafood, get engaged to a partner or conduct some other action, there is an element of risk.
But a certain level of risk is always necessary to move to the next level in life.
The level of success that you seek will related to amount of risk or the portion of uncertainty that you are willing to take on. Those who are willing to take more risks benefit from more earnings. But it is not only about taking more risks, it is about understanding how to take the risk and in pursuing the right opportunities.
This is where calculated risks come into the picture.
What is a Calculated Risk?
Risk is basically a choice that forces you to leave your comfort zone and results in personal, financial, or emotional vulnerability.
When it comes to calculated risk, unlike a foolish risk, it is carried out after a reasonable amount of research. It exposes you to a degree of financial and personal risk that is made up for by a fair possibility of benefit. In other words, if you weigh in the possibility of positive outcomes, they should outweigh the risk of negative outcomes.
In essence, in this approach, you would look at the world and note that the outcome can be controlled by risk management.
They look at it from a probability standpoint and take actions accordingly.
Why Should You Calculate Risks?
For your business to succeed, you would inevitably have to take calculated risks. Normally, to kickstart a business, as an entrepreneur, you would have to expend your personal assets.
However, once you get past the level of fear that comes with investing your personal assets, a plethora of benefits await you on the other side.
Tips for Taking Calculated Risks
In order to take calculated risks, you need to be absolutely mindful of what you are getting yourself into. That, and a bit of courage and you will see your business take off in no time. Here are the tips that you need to be aware of before you make your next important decision:
Carry Out a Thorough Research
A calculated risk means understanding every tiny detail about the risk you are taking. You should be aware of any possible issues or red flags beforehand so that you are ready for any setbacks.
For additional help as an entrepreneur, you can hire a trusted advisor, analyze the statistics, and negotiate the best possible deal.
Write Out a List
Look at the benefits of taking the action. Many people will suggest to write out a list that talks about everything that could go right after you make the decision to move forward.
Then write out what could go wrong after you make the decision.
Another list of what could you avoid to make sure that it does not go wrong and how can you minimize your chances of loss.
When you are able to look at these factors, you can go ahead and have more clarity. This clarity will provide a lot of peace of mind as you make your decisions.
Talk about it with Specific People
The more you can discuss your idea or decision that you are about to make with the right people, the more likely that you can obtain information and move fast. If you are able to find mentors who are in the field or who have done something similar, this can also help you to understand and enable you to make a decision faster.
The idea is to not sit with the decision but to act quickly to reach your goals.
Remember that time is slipping by and taking a while in making a decision by rolling it around in your head doesn’t usually help you in moving forward effectively and confidently.
If you want to be a smart risk-taker, you need to anticipate potential mistakes. Consider the possible outcomes as well but focus on the negative ones.
There can be a variety of financial, emotional, and mental situations that can arise. What if the partnership breaks? How would your business deal with lost money? If some of your team members are in a bad phase, how would you meet deadlines?
Asking yourself questions like the ones mentioned above would help you assess the negative outcomes and tackle them accordingly.
Note that, however, if there are too many red flags, it’s best to go in another direction.
Set Goals and Checkpoints
A calculated risk is marked by a number of checkpoints and goals. Set them in place before you take a risk so that you know what you are fighting for.
However, it is worth mentioning that the end goal of your business may be months, years, or even decades away. So, how do you stay on course when there is so much time between the start and finish? That is where setting short-term goals or checkpoints become particularly important.
Although these checkpoints are often neglected generally in conversations, these are what keep you on track.
Be Satisfied With Saying ‘No’
Having the skills, or rather, the guts to say ‘no’ is crucial not only in your business dealings but your personal life as well.
This is particularly relatable to risk-taking or potential opportunities. If you keep taking on every opportunity that happens to present itself to you, you won’t have any time and space to take on the ones that actually have a higher chance of success.
So, it is important to say ‘no’ when you don’t feel like it and be okay with it.
Be Ready to Improvise
No matter how calculated the risk is, you must always be ready for the worst-case scenario and improvise accordingly.
A business decision rarely goes as planned. Sometimes, it can go better than anticipated while on other occasions, it can be worse. Although you can’t control how it goes, you can control how you respond.
Embrace risk by taking small risks and increasing your confidence. Small risks are where you can jump in and actually do it without having to wait for a long time. This helps you push back against decision paralysis and helps you to become a leader.
If you are someone who has done his due diligence but is afraid to pull the trigger when an opportunity presents itself, then you need to break the shackles of fear and take the plunge.
There would never be an ideal situation. Just trust your instincts and research. Take on the opportunity now or you may never take it.
Take into account the Geography
As a businessman, when you perform risk analysis on your potential venture, it is important that you take into account where you’re located in relation to the markets that you’re trying to target and the partnerships you intend to form.
Otherwise, the mismatch between your location and your targets would hinder the growth of your business.
Utilize Free Publicity
Many novice entrepreneurs burn through their money right at the start of their businesses by relying on expensive promotions. Instead, what you should do is start small.
Make yourself available to be featured in a local newspaper or podcast and as you continue to gain an audience, work yourself up.
And that wraps our guide on how to take calculated risks.
To reiterate, taking calculated risks involves conducting thorough research, considering the possible outcomes (both positive and negative), setting goals, utilizing free publicity, taking into account the geography, being satisfied with saying ‘no’, and most importantly, having the courage to take on the presented opportunity.
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