Success is surrounded by risk. Don’t just take any risk; take a calculated risk- Ayobami Abiodun
Most times, I hear people say “for you to be successful; you must be ready to take risks.” This statement has caused many problems such as hypertension, high blood pressure, trauma, insanity, heart failure and extreme cases of suicide/ death. Is there a problem with the statement? No, the problem is with the understanding of the statement. People do not understand the concept of Risk. They take any risk that comes their way just because they were told that “you have to take risks in life if you want to be successful; great and successful people took risks”.
In as much as the statement is true, the understanding of people about this statement is poor. I want to change your orientation and help you understand RISKS so that you can take risks that will unlock your success.
Take Risks in Your Life; If you Win, you Can Lead! If you Lose; You Can Guide! -Swami Vivekananda
Take ‘calculated risk’. If you win, you will lead and inspire others with your story and if you lose, you will direct and motivate others through your experience and lessons you learnt.
What do I mean by taking a calculated risk? The word ‘calculated’ means constructive. A constructive risk is a measured and built risk. There is enough danger in risk, so taking just any risk that comes could be very dangerous. At times, the person might not win or lose, the person may get disconnected (die in the process); unable to tell his/her risk story.
I remembered when MMM (Ponzi scheme) came to Nigeria around August 2016 or there about, many people started marketing MMM, so that they could earn more money as their network grows. There was news warning Nigerians about the scheme that MMM is not authentic, it is going to crash with their money. Then, I heard an MMM marketer quoting the statement that: “for you to be successful; you must be ready to take risks”. He went on to list great business men names like Bill gate, Mark Zuzerburg, Alico Dangote, Donald trump, Femi Otedola, Wale Adenuga etc. He said that they all took risks that is why they are where they are today and he ended his speech by saying “Be ready to take risks! Join MMM today”.
I laughed when I heard his speech. Obviously, He was misguiding the people about Risks, because of his own interest. Unfortunately, many people have fallen as a result of misconception of risk. The word ‘Risk’ has been manipulated by self-centered people and has been accepted by greedy people.
Someone came to our office when I was still working as a customer relations manager. He came to introduce our staffs to a business. He said it’s an investment business; you will invest a certain amount of money, they will invest it in a startup business that has registered with them, and you will get over 500% ROI (Return on investment) every month end.
Let’s do the calculation: if you invest 100,000 into their business, it means that every month you will collect 500,000 plus other benefits they promised. Seriously! Are you surprised? Oh, don’t tell me that you are thinking “what a cool business”. Yeah, it sounded so good, clean and smooth, but it is obviously not feasible in the business world. How can a startup business give me over 500% ROI considering other factors? A really good return on investment for an active investor is 15% annually, but here is a company promising over 500% ROI.
Many of my colleagues invested into the business. Anytime I ask them to explain how a startup business can give investors over 500% ROI on a monthly basis. They always tell me they don’t know, that they are only taking risks. Of which, It is not a risk, it is greediness; they want to be rich overnight. Risk does not deny procedures neither does it deny reasoning. The executives of the investment company understand that many people are greedy and that people won’t want to admit the fact they are greedy, so they disguise their greediness as Risk to be taken for them to become great.
The Executives capitalized on this understanding and built their business around it. The executives are obviously self-centered, they don’t care how people will feel when they lose their money. My colleagues invested in the business, they did not get any ROI at the end of the month. Some of them went to their office to complain, they were told to exercise patience that the business they invested their money into, kick-started late, so they should be expecting their money in the next 2 weeks. One week into the date promised by the organizers (executives), some other staffs went to their office again, only for them to discover that they weren’t there again. Many of my colleagues and others that invested into the business lost their money. That’s what happens if you are greedy; your greediness will block your sense of reasoning, exposes you to misfortune and pin you to failure. Cut off your greedy act disguised as a risk; greediness is totally different from risk.
Let’s get down to discussing risk and not greed. Great people don’t take risks as it comes their way, they take constructive risks. The MMM marketer that listed the names of successful businessmen, stating that they all took risks was actually right to an extent but none of them took all risks that came their way. They took constructive risks; this explains why they are successful.
Taking risks simply mean you are not sure if it will work out fine, so you give it a try. Take constructive risks; constructive risks have no defeat attached to it. Perhaps you lose; you will guide others. Meaning you are still successful because the ability to guide others (through experience) is also a Success (obtained from wisdom). This ability to guide others will bring you fulfilment and happiness as you see those you have coached doing great things. Your experience will empower you, and learning from your experience will make you wise (wisdom always learns). If you take constructive risks; you cannot be defeated even if you lose?
I have been saying that you should take constructive risks, so what is the attribute of constructive risk? Constructive risk doesn’t necessarily mean a well-thought decision. It only asks one question “Does it worth it“. Constructive risk will make you know if that risk worth it or not. Wisdom will always lead you to take risks that worth the try while foolishness will always lead you to take any risks that come.
Around January 2017 when the MMM Ponzi scheme finally crashed in Nigeria, I heard the news that a single mother of two committed suicide because her money crashed with the scheme. She had put in all she had into the scheme, believing that she will be 30% richer at the end of the month. What a sad news! I’m concerned about her 2 kids she left behind. Only if she had taken a constructive risk, she would have been well informed through reasoning that explains if a risk worth it. Most of the people that became the victim of MMM crash invested in the scheme out of greed while the few people that took risks in investing in the scheme did not take a constructive risk. Constructive risks will ask you If the risk worth it by giving you procedures and awakening your reasoning.
Note: Risk does not defile procedural action. If you are faced with any risk that can’t give an explanation of its procedure, that risk is a red flag, walk away from it.
Read Part 2 here