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All business decisions requires some kind of risk.

And there are many kinds of risks- foolish risks, calculated risks- and thoughtful risks.

I consider thoughtful risks to be the ones somewhere between foolish and calculated- where foolish means you have no idea if the risk is worthwhile or not, and calculated means you’re pretty sure the risk will turn out just fine.

Thoughtful risks, then, are the risks that you aren’t sure of.

They sometimes rise from some mix of intuitive prompting or a sense of “I don’t know how I know- but I know.” – coupled with a sense of “what’s the worst that can happen?”

I’m a fan of thoughtful risk taking.

I think it’s a way to keep work and business alive and fresh- a way to broaden and expand our sense of our own capabilities and what we can create and achieve.

Especially in the area of business coaching, I’m super careful about where I suggest my clients take thoughtful risks. I always want to be as sure as I can that their businesses won’t suffer unduly from any testing or ideas we discuss and they choose to implement.

In my own business, though, I’ve seen a rise in my own tolerance for thoughtful risk taking. I used to be the type of person who needed a solid plan and wouldn’t actually begin anything until I had some idea of how it would turn out.

Over time, and with experience, I find myself following my intuition much more, and being willing to invest a bit more into new opportunities. This flexibility comes, too, from having a more stabilized income base.

In fact, one change I made recently was to examine what level of income I needed to create recurring and what additional income I could create in the form of one-time projects or non-recurring work. This one change has brought a whole new level of interest to my business- it gives me a chance to work with more people, test out more ideas, and keep my thinking fresh.

It’s always good to have new kinds of challenges to solve- keeps your creativity high.

So when you’re looking at an idea or whether to pursue something you’re thinking about, consider setting it up so it’s a thoughtful risk. One where you have some idea of the general outcome, but with still enough unknown to make things interesting.