While it’s understandable that many would be risk averse during a recovering economy, current trends suggest that, as a nation, we may be losing our historical spirit. Without risk, the American dream is unachievable; without gambling, we lose the entrepreneurs that made our country great.
Three things point to our growing caution as a nation:
Investors are putting less money towards new ventures
Companies are adding fewer jobs, even during good periods
Americans are less likely to seize new opportunities by starting a business
The last is probably the most worrying. We’re seeing fewer new businesses in a country that prides itself on being a place of opportunity. Starting a new business is never easy. There will be wins and there will be losses, but there will be neither if we don’t act. Of course, that’s not to say that entrepreneurs and investors shouldn’t exercise caution. If there’s no chance at all of success, there’s no reason to throw away money. But we also shouldn’t wait for life to come to us. People often forget that we take calculated risks every day. Getting out of bed is a risk. But if you don’t get out of bed, you won’t get anything done. The market is the same: if you don’t attempt to get your business off the ground, it’s never going to succeed.
The secret is to reduce your risk. The first step is to convince an investor that you’re a safe risk. Then, you create a plan that shows exactly how money invested turns into money returned. After that, you do everything in your power to make that plan work. It might not. The business might fail. But if your dreams involve launching a business, if you have something to add to the marketplace, it’s never going to happen if you continue to wait. Freedom is perhaps what we treasure most as Americans. This extends beyond personal freedoms and liberties: it’s part of our economic success. Anyone can be their own boss, open their own business, and take control of their financial success.
Any economist will tell you that America is where it is today because we took risks. We are constantly creating jobs, opening businesses, and seizing opportunities. This creates a thriving dynamism to our economy that keeps us strong. Studies have shown that when we take less risks, the economy slows. The only way for us to move from a recovering economy to a robust one is to move on and start embracing our heritage. Right now, there are more opportunities than ever thanks to the number of people playing it safe. If you want to start your own business, you can lower your risk by opening it now. Fewer entrepreneurs means less competition and a better return on investment.
There’s no question about it: starting your own business is hard and it may not work out. But the reward can be immense. Look at what you have to gain and what you have to lose. Then, ask yourself: is this a risk I want to embrace?
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