An entrepreneur’s approach to risk

This is not to say that talent and hard work do not play a part. They do, and are in fact the minimum bar for entry. But if you think that just by giving your all and being smarter than others will guarantee success you are fooling yourself.

So how do you acknowledge this truth without being paralysed by fear of failure? As F. Scott Fitzgerald said:

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

In this case the ideas are that you have all it takes to succeed and you probably won’t. The key to making this work is to imagine both success and failure, think each scenario through with equal rigour and plan so that whichever outcome occurs you can progress in good order.

As CEO you have to be 100 per cent behind your strategy, providing the motivating force for you, your team and everyone who deals with your company. You also have to be fully prepared for everything to go wrong and able to pick up the pieces as you go.

Thomas Sweetman is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Stickyboard. You can reach him on Twitter @tomsweetman.