Risk: a situation involving exposure to danger or loss. Perspective: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something.
You’ve heard it before, 90% of startups fail, while that isn’t totally accurate many startups do fail and it takes optimism, self-confidence, resilience and a whole lot of hard work not to fail. For more accurate failure rate figures visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What people that start businesses have is a different risk-perspective, they see the data, they know the risk but they are either willing to lose or feel confident that they won’t. This changes the risk calculation, it doesn’t mean that entrepreneurs are daredevils or brash bulls in china shops. Having a different risk-perspective makes starting a business more likely.
I’m going to take this opportunity to put risk-perspective to the test here.
"The median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.2 years in January 2018, unchanged from the median in January 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Sep 2018."
When an entrepreneur fails at a business they generally go on to start another or to seek employment. Realistically this implies that entrepreneurship and employment last about the same amount of time. (Ok, maybe that’s a stretch but I thought it may be fun to put these two numbers on the same page.)
We found 15 reasons why people start businesses.
For a look at the 15 reasons as well as the personality traits that are most commonly found in entrepreneurs please visit the full study here: Why people start businesses.
What did entrepreneurs have to say about their risk-perspective?
In order to be a start-up or entrepreneur you have to have eternal optimism, your risk meter is a little broken, in the sense that where everyone else looks at the risk you look at the opportunity. My risk meter is probably different than everybody else. I’m confident that I can do things, in my abilities. While others are thinking about failure, and most startups fail and it’s a hard slog; I’m saying: but yeah, but I can do this and here are all the benefits in that.
Devin Miller, Miller IP Law
It’s not that I wasn’t scared of taking risk. I just know what I’m capable to lose, so I lose a certain amount whether time money or whatnot I think that’s why I always made the push rather than a corporate job; which is good it’s safe and comfortable but I like pushing limits and looking for something new. In the beginning it was the curiosity and drive to be an entrepreneur, the image of that was mesmerizing, I guess. (CJ asked: Why was it mesmerizing?) The freedom and being able to be in control of your life and your work. This is true when you’re successful but when you’re not, that struggle part really makes you think, maybe I should have gone into a corporate career. For struggling entrepreneurs that happens a lot, so a lot of success stories you only see the good parts.
Mikey Wu, MIKOL
We built our company on love and scholarship and taking crazy risks for the sake of the vision of spreading life coaching concepts. I started my career as a high school Latin teacher when I stumbled upon life coaching and thought coaching concepts are going to be the future of education. I crafted an Academic Life Coaching Program, and 15 years later Coach Training EDU has trained over 3,000 people worldwide.
John Andrew Williams, Life Coach Training Institution