12 Tips for Taking Smart, Calculated Risks

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Most of us know we should take more risks. But the "no-guarantee" component of risk-taking makes it a scary proposition in many instances.

Try these 12 smart and simple ideas to identify the risks worth pursuing -- and the ones worth letting pass by.

1. Think of someone you admire. Would they take this risk?

2. Never risk more than you can afford to lose.

3. If you have everything to gain and nothing to lose, take the risk.

4. Risk taking is like any positive quality -- it's a habit that gets better with practice. Learn from the risks with "bad' outcomes, and increase your confidence from reflecting on the ones with good outcomes.

5. Timing is vital to good risk taking. No matter how much you deserve a raise, for example, your chance of getting it will go down if you discuss it with your boss when he or she is in a bad mood.

And don't take the risk if:

1. There's a good chance you could lose EVERYTHING.

2. You're risking a lot just to get a little.

3. You are not comfortable with the odds that the outcome will be positive.

4. There are too many factors outside of your influence.

5. There is no way to fix or remedy the situation if the outcome is not positive.

6. You have to jump into it before you've had the chance to evaluate it & prepare.

7. Your intuition tells you not to (remember: fear & intuition are not the same!).

Shari Peace is an international speaker, an author, and the president of Peace Talks, a professional speaking firm that helps organizations and people to get more done. Her book, Crank It Out! How to Get More Done ? At Work & In Your Life, features tips for smart time management and improved productivity. Reach her at

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