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Taking a Risk – by Brian Chernett

Brian Chernett

Brian Chernett

Once you have your outcomes and goals clear, you move to taking action to achieve them. The most desirable outcomes often involve risks. Successful people take action wherever they are, whenever the opportunity arises.

I can remember when I was about fourteen or fifteen years old and at a dance, sitting down but really wanting to ask a pretty girl across the room to dance. I could not bring myself to do it. I did not have the courage. I had a huge fear of her slapping me round the face or, even worse, ignoring me and then going to dance with someone else. All of my imagined outcomes were negative which totally destroyed the power within me to take action. Some of my friends seemed to have no problem asking girls to dance and they spent the night on the dance floor, not at a dusty table across the room. I believe that they may have also felt the fear of rejection but they acted despite this. They got the girls. Because I let fear take over, all I got was more and more miserable. I rejected myself! After a few times, I didn’t even go to the ‘stupid’ dances.

Today, I look at opportunities much more positively. When networking for new business, I will take a positive view of the opportunities that could arise if a person found what I had to say was interesting. To take action, you have to start loving yourself. You have to start to recognise that you have value; that your glass is half full and not half empty.

I remember the fear I had when I took a group of Chief Executives to experience ‘horse whispering’. This was a risky decision yet it still reverberates within my organisation as one of the most exciting events we undertook. By the end of the day we were all able to get a rapport with the horses to such a level that we could walk with them, run with them and trot with them at will. It became a metaphor for us all that we could go where angels fear to tread. Think of the greatest achievers you know. People who achieve take action in every part of their lives. They take responsibility and ownership for what they do. They share their goals, their challenges and their dreams with others. By taking small steps and believing they can achieve, they do achieve. By talking positively to yourself, you will start to achieve things totally beyond your expectations.

You might want to apply this to some aspect of your business where you know you could be doing so much more. Pretty much every business I’ve worked with has some areas that they would like to improve but nothing ever seems to happen. What is the worst thing that might happen if you were to take the risk? What might the benefit be if the risk pays off in full? Is the risk something that you are prepared to countenance in order to get the benefit? What about getting half the benefit? I’d strongly advise against ‘betting the company’ in one go, but making progressive moves, each with a risk that can be managed, could get you just as far.

Excerpt from The Entrepreneur Within – Brian Chernett (2010 – Ecademy Press)
Brian Chernett is founder of The Academy for Chief Executives (ACE) – He has 43 years’ experience as managing director of private and public companies, including subsidiaries of Booker Bros McConnell, the Landmark Group, and several other major companies. Find out more at
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