Are entrepreneurs big risk takers?

In this series of 19 short articles, StratPad’s founder discusses the fundamentals of starting and running a small business.

Today he discusses the idea that entrepreneurs need to be risk-takers.

Q: Friends of mine have said they’ve shied away from entrepreneurship because they don’t want all the risk. Is it true that entrepreneurs have to be big risk-takers?

A: When I do live workshops, one of the first things I do is I ask the people in the room to characterize what an entrepreneur is. It’s true that one of the most frequent suggestions is that an entrepreneur is a risk taker and that the perception that entrepreneurs are taking risk puts people off entrepreneurship.

I would say that in today’s day and age, the amount of risk that you need to take when you are starting a new project or a new business is the lowest it has ever been. Intuit, the people who build accounting software for small businesses, say that most small businesses are started on $5,000 or less. I think that with the advent of some of the new approaches, you should be able to figure out whether you’ve got a viable business model for even much less than $5,000. You want to be an entrepreneur, look to ways to reduce that risk. Don’t automatically assume that you are taking a big one.

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