What are great businesses about?

An Idea? 

That’s how a summer intern at a company might think.

Unfortunately, that’s what our business schools teach to many students as well forgetting the key element.

People over-estimate the role of an idea in a successful business. While a genuinely interesting idea is a key essential to START a company, it is NOT the main thing in keeping the business afloat.

There are many more strategic decisions along the way which include hiring a great team, finding supportive investors and clever marketing practices. 

Out of all of the above, the one that I regard crucial is the clearly not on the list. Because it can’t be taught orally. Nor in writing. 

It is called risk-taking.

A great businessman knows that every once in a while, you will hit a hurdle, and then there is not trotting. You will have to take a leap and he doesn’t hesitate doing that.

While every other WISE souls advice you to not be risky, and to keep your boat stable all the time, it simply is not possible at times to make progress. 

Why can’t your product or service be revolutionary? Why can’t your motto be to change the world? Why can’t your business delight customers like no one else can? 

The answer is not in a cool idea. It is in the ruthless execution. And for that you need to take risks.

Ray Kroc, who took over McDonalds from the founders, summed this up in one sharp sentence:

“If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.”