As Business Owners, We Are Gamblers!

It’s true that as business owners, we are gamblers.  We are willing to take those mitigated risks that our employees are not willing to take.  We are willing to bet our savings and, oftentimes, our homes on a new second location, an expanded master franchise agreement, or new capital that allows us to enter a new market.  Whatever the reason for the risk, we are the ones who say; “Yes, I got this!”

Not always will those risks pay off, and sometimes it can cripple you and your company. That is when we need help.  But when do we, as risk-takers, feel we can no longer beat the odds and ask for help?  Often, it is when the pain we feel is extremely high and the initial risk has developed into a full-grown problem.  

As The Boss, you have grown to become pain tolerant.  The normal day-to-day issues cause you slight pain as you struggle to make payroll or look for funds to fix that old piece of equipment again.  The bigger pain points are the larger capital investments you chose to make.  It is as if you look over the cliff and say to yourself; “That doesn’t look that bad and I believe I can make this happen.”  Then you jump off the cliff and for a while, there is no pain.  You are falling and continue to pick up speed but so far you feel pretty good about your decisions.  Then the first round of financials comes through and you realize that second location was not cash flowing, the master franchise agreement caused you to expand too fast, or that new market has tougher competition from hometown businesses.  Now you begin to second guess yourself and think you should not have jumped.  You realized this a little late but better to realize it sooner than later.  

But as risk-takers and gamblers, we still believe we can make it work so we “double down” on our bet and invest more dollars into the problem.  We begin to feel anxious about the outcome as we continue to pick up speed and the ground is closing in fast.  We realize that if nothing changes only bad is going to happen.  Now we decide to reach out for help as a last resort.  Hopefully, it is not too late.

How can we avoid these types of situations?  We know that the real pain does not happen until we hit the ground, so we do not react until that fact is obvious.  Why, because we are the eternal optimists! We believe in our abilities to solve the problems and make good on our bets.  That’s the gambler in all business owners. 

Reach out earlier, in fact, reach out before you jump!  Ask for advice from people outside of your organization who have experiences that compliment your own.  You have the ultimate say, you have the final decision because you own the risk.  Make the best decision you can for you and your organization.  Don’t wait until you realize that “nothing but bad is going to happen”, often there is not enough resources left to work with to make it work if we wait too long to ask for help.  As The Boss you will always be that gambler, just be aware of the high stakes some of these bets carry and reach out for intel early and often.