It seems like the best success stories usually involve a daring underdog going out on a limb for an unlikely dream. Everybody loves a story about an entrepreneur who burnt through her last $5,000 in a last-ditch effort that ultimately catapulted her business into fame. Or an extreme athlete who pushed the boundaries of his body to break records, overcome obstacles and defy odds. Groundbreakers like this capture the world’s imagination with their courage and willingness to embrace extreme risk.
It’s easy to imagine that the world’s most successful people are all risk-takers. Legendary leaders like Walt Disney or Steve Jobs needed to be forceful enough to make the bold decisions that lead to innovation and discovery.
However, studies also find that entrepreneurs are even more risk-averse than the general population. When you really think about it, these findings make sense. Entrepreneurship may require ingenuity, but average business owners also needs to be extremely pragmatic and calculated in their approach to risk; otherwise, they run the risk of losing everything.
The fact is, there are pros and cons to being a big risk-taker, just as there are to being risk-averse. We also know that some people are more prone to taking risks than others. Some studies find that risk-aversion can be swayed greatly by our circumstances and our hormones, while other studies indicate that risky behavior may be due in part to your genes.
Which direction do you tend towards: Risk-taking? Or risk aversion? Take this quick quiz to find out.
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