Are you Willing to Take Risks in Your Business?

quiet the inner critic
creativity is all about taking risks

Sea shells and seaweed on the beach in Santa Barbara, CA

Are you Willing to Take Risks?

Business & Creativity Require Us to Take Risks

Are you willing to take risks in some areas of your life but not in others? Or are you afraid of putting yourself out there? The more willing we are to take creative risks, the more this can lead to success in our business. At the end of the day, building a profitable business is all about expressing our creativity. Success stems from our willingness to try something new, something different, to try, test and try again to find the perfect method and means to connect with our ideal clients.

I find that creative entrepreneurs often feel challenged to make their talents fit into a traditional business model – linear thinking doesn’t work for us when it comes to creating marketing plans and business structure. Entrepreneurs who don’t see themselves as creative may struggle to tap into their creative spirit in order to create a successful business but would benefit from some non-linear dreaming. I propose that tapping into our creative genius is crucial for building a business that truly is a match for all of who we are.

 One of the key traits of creative people is that they’re risk takers. They’re not afraid to put something new out into the world that might be laughed at. They don’t mind being dismissed as crazy. If you want to be a more creative person, this is a personality trait that you need to foster in yourself, and it’s easy to do although I can hear your Inner Critic beginning to revolt already.

Learning to take creative risks in your business

taking risksFirst, take a second to consider that without risks there are no rewards. You may have a few failures but if you can keep your failures from discouraging you, the next time you try might be a raging success. If you have what you think are good ideas but you’re afraid to take the plunge and put them out into the world, here are some ideas for changing your mindset.

Mindset is our worst enemy and our best friend! I have learned that shifting my mindset and quieting that mean Inner Critic voice means letting go of outcomes. Throughout this post you can see some examples of my artwork. I make art because it fills me up. I don’t make art to sell which means I don’t always share what I create, especially if I don’t love it.

I am taking a creative risk today to show you that making art and marketing are both a part of who I am. My creative expression constantly fuels my ideas for my business – from new blog posts, to special offers or products. Creative expression is where I get to dream about success first and then from that dreamy, idea stage I can begin to plan one step at a time towards success.


The Worst That Can Happen

What’s the worst that could happen? You might face criticism or doubts, but that’s all. In fact, you might face constructive feedback that leads you to a better idea. Perhaps some part of your idea can be used. You’re not going to be ridiculed or discredited.

My creative ideas don’t always work out – courses that don’t fill, programs that don’t sell, posts that don’t get any comments… It happens, heavy sigh. Try, test, try is the secret to my success in the craft room and in the office.

Rewards Matter More than Risks

On the other hand, what if your idea is the one that gets attention? This is the great reward for taking that risk. One way to nurture your inner risk taker is to focus on success rather than failure. If you focus on all the great things your idea could bring, it’s impossible to not put it out there.

I am often surprised by what gets the most attention. I have found that the more I am willing to take risks, be authentic and share all of who I am, the more I attract the people who want to work with me.

Risk-Taking Takes Practice

Like everything else that you want to be good at, risk-taking takes practice. You have to put your ideas out there over and over again, and eventually it feels like a regular everyday thing. It’s just like getting up on stage. You can tame the worst stage fright if you have enough stage time.

I remember the first time, over 15 years ago, when I had to stand up at my first Chamber of Commerce of meeting and share a 30-second commercial about my business. I didn’t know what to say; I had no forewarning that I would have to speak in front of 100 people. I turned beet red and my knees were shaking but I did it. Now I regularly give presentations to 100s of people and I love it! But it was a process, I was not an overnight success.

quiet the inner critic

I have found that asking for feedback and being open to it has helped me to push past my fears. People want to be helpful more than hurtful. If you can release your need to be perfect and invite others to give you feedback, you will grow and get stronger!

Making Peace with Your Inner Critic

If your Inner Critic is particularly strong, I would encourage you to do one or both of the following activities. Now is the time to make peace and start taking more creative risks in your business. Business success is an inside-out proposition and often we don’t realize that our inner critic is holding us back from achieving our dreams.

1. Create a SoulCollage© card that represents your Inner Critic.

Read my article here on What is SoulCollage©? to learn more about this amazing process. In a nutshell, you are going to create a visual representation of your Inner Critic. You could do this on a large index card or on a page in your journal. Do not use any words in your collage. Grab a magazine, National Geographic is great for this but any magazine you have around the house will work. Look for images that have the same feeling or visual look that you imagine your inner critic would have. Here is a SoulCollage© card that I created titled, “Under the Gun.”

soulcollage card

2. Either once you have created the collage or just using your imagination, have a dialogue with your Inner Critic. I encourage you to do this in writing in your journal. Here are some writing prompts to encourage you:

  • Dear Inner Critic…
  • What are you afraid of?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What would help you be less afraid?
  • What would you like to say to me?
  • How can I support you?


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  1. Bethany M. on September 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    I love the encouragement to take creative risks! I am all too often a stick in the mud, and stay far away from all risks. Thanks for the little push to keep improving!

    • minette on September 2, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Bethany – baby steps is what it is all about. Taking small risks can help build our confidence and make us feel safe to take larger risks.

  2. Alana on September 2, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I find the SoulCollage technique interesting, because my creativity is expressed through photography and writing, not art. It would be a way to stretch myself.

    • minette on September 2, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      Alana, it is very fun and a very powerful tool for exploring your relationship with yourself.

  3. Amy on September 2, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    This is so thought-provoking. I am naturally pretty risk-adverse (except after lots of coffee) (wink) but I try to push myself to ignore that cautious nature, especially as I get older. I agree that really creative people aren’t generally afraid to take risks.

    • minette on September 2, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Coffee makes me feel like Super Woman, Super Mom… did I say I like coffee?? Totally get it, Amy and it’s interesting to see where in my life I am more cautious as I get older and where I have relaxed and stop worrying about the judgement of others and enjoying my life.

  4. […] yesterday’s post, I talked about how being willing to take risks is crucial to both our business and creative success. I have found that my clients who are new to […]

  5. Sheila Callaham on September 3, 2014 at 8:31 am

    When I was working in my first professional job at the age of 19, a vice president told me that if I were going to be successful in business I needed to hide my true thoughts and feelings because no one really wanted to know what I thought and felt. I remember looking him in the eye and telling him very directly that I wanted people to know exactly where I stood, regardless of how I was perceived. I am such a willy-nilly risk-taker, historically thumbing my nose at those who insist I conform. I’ve stopped thumbing my nose at this point and just smile, knowingly. Being me is so much more comfortable that being the me everyone else wants to see. Thanks for (another) great post, Minette. Your SoulCollage idea is awesome tho I have to admit that yours frightened me! I hope you’ve exercised that scary Inner Critic! 😉

    • minette on September 3, 2014 at 11:55 am

      Thanks Sheila for sharing this great story! And yes, that card was pretty scary when it came out but now I just giggle and remind myself that I don’t have to feel under the gun!

  6. Debra Oakland on September 3, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Life is about taking risks, in all areas of our life. Business is risky business! Sure we may fall, but getting up and moving on is how we learn. It’s how we learned to talk, walk, tie our shoes, drive a car. Yet look at us, we did it! Letting the fear go is freeing.

  7. Peggy on September 4, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Life is all about taking risks and making peace with the pieces and the glorious mess. As for my inner critic – she and I have a deal…and it works for us. I don’t ignore her early warning system and she doesn’t scream at me for not being perfect 🙂

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