by Dianne J. Shaver, M.A.
Nothing to lose is a good place to be. Actually it's a great place to be. That's why a lot of very successful entrepreneurs have come up from nothing. Some have been homeless living in their car or a basement. Some have used their last dollars to get started. When you have nothing to lose you can take risks because it's the only thing you can do. You can go for it because there is no alternative. When you are too comfortable you try to keep from jeopardizing what you have. You pull back and are afraid to take a chance. Taking good chances are an essential part of being an entrepreneur. However, you don't know if it’s a good chance until you go for it. Sometimes it's not the best choice and it doesn't turn out well. That's the time you learn from what you chose and go along another path. It's the experience of testing, learning and changing that makes for success.
Along with the nothing to lose category sometimes having a lot of money to start a business is not the great thing you might think it is because you can afford to outsource tasks and you often don't know what's going on in your own company. You also don't learn how to be resourceful. If you don't have the funds you get to know every nuance of your company. You can see where things need to change and change them because you are right in there. It also robs you of being resourceful because you can pay to fix it.
Maybe rethinking what being comfortable really means would be in order. Does being comfortable mean desperately holding on to what we have? Does it mean being afraid all the time of losing where we are? Does it mean doing everything the same way. Perhaps, what we value isn't what's really valuable. The status quo is not necessarily a good thing. It stops growth and learning. It stops the sense of really being alive. It's only when we risk, when we do something differently, when we try what feels exciting for us that we are truly alive. Being fully alive does not equate with being comfortable.
If you are an entrepreneur or business owner you need to be able to take continuous risks, to continuously learn and grow so your business can grow. As your business grows you need to grow and you will.
Use every downturn, every glitch to learn, to make your business and yourself better. It is in the darkest times we learn the most. Take the worst of times and use them to make the best of yourself and your business.