The 5 Steps of Intelligent Risk Taking

By Myra Daniels

These are what I call the five steps of intelligent risk taking: 

  1. Ask yourself: “Why am I going to do this?” An intelligent risk is, first and foremost, something you feel passionately about. Be honest with yourself when you pose this question. 

  2. Do your homework. Feeling passionate isn’t, alone, enough to justify taking an intelligent risk. Make sure your passion is supported by facts. 

  3. Write out a Creative Rationale: a philosophy and a strategy to examine how your plan will make you stand out from others. Formulate your Creative Rationale and write it out - don’t just keep it in your head. Write it, review it, and rewrite it if necessary. 

  4. Have a sounding board or two (but not many more than that). One reason that people take unintelligent risks is that they didn’t listen to the right people. Learn to listen to yourself - and trust yourself - but also seek the perspective of a select few people who can help you see your plan in fresh light. 

  5. Take Action. Transform you Creative Rationale into behavior, and be prepared to adapt and improvise. 

What are you working on now?