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What Kind of Risk Do You Love?
The best entrepreneurs I know love risk and are willing to take it. At the same time, they are paranoid about risk avoidance. How so? The term "risk" can encompass a wide range of meanings, and the distinction between them is crucial. Agree that it is very different to cold call a potential client or to borrow from a mob.
The former can be intimidating and uncomfortable, particularly for introverted entrepreneurs. But even a rude rejection can be forgotten in a matter of days and even come to be loved through repetition. A loan from a criminal, however, welcomes the founder to hell. Now any misfortune or misstep will be ruthlessly used against him by masters of all violence.
The difference between these risks lies in the magnitude of the consequences. The first is similar to a minor cut - unpleasant, but easily treatable. The second is like a punch from Mike Tyson - if it lands, it can be fatal. Figuratively speaking, the body of an experienced entrepreneur is marked by scars. But knowing Mike, they would never step in the ring against him. The rest of the people, on the other hand, lose sleep over of speaking at a conference. Then they get in a fight with a stranger in a queue for no reason, or get on a motorbike without a helmet. Then they get into a fight with a stranger in a queue for no reason, or get on a motorbike without a helmet.
As Nassim Taleb has written, "One can be risk-loving yet completely averse to ruin... In a strategy that entails ruin, benefits never offset the risks of ruin...Rationality is avoidance of systemic ruin.