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Asymmetrical Risk Beats B-Plan

Trevor O'Hara
1 min read
Asymmetrical Risk Beats B-Plan

The entrepreneurial world is the world of unknowns—a random, complicated, nonlinear world that conceals many opportunities and setbacks at every turn. In the world of uncertainty, simplistic seesaws of equilibrium don't exist.

I came across the concept of asymmetrical risk over a decade ago when it was featured in a 2010 New Yorker article by Malcolm Gladwell. The basis of the idea is to methodically formulate a strategy to tip the scales in favor of reward rather than diving headfirst into a pool of potential dangers.

It goes on to argue that entrepreneurs who perfect this method aren't just daring risk-takers but also smart engineers who can meticulously calculate the risk-reward ratio such that there is more upside than downside. Then, they diligently look for chances where the potential rewards vastly outweigh the dangers, seize upon them, and then take advantage of the imbalance.

As an entrepreneur running several businesses, coming to grips with the idea of asymmetrical risk can be a game-changer. It's an entirely different mindset, even. It's not about diligently pursuing hidden opportunities but knowing how to spot them as they arise. This requires us to be flexible enough to plot our business journey, mindful of these unbalanced opportunities that allow us to amplify the rewards and minimize the potential losses.

We must all handle our entrepreneurial journeys with a keen eye, constantly looking for these asymmetrical opportunities—those that disproportionately favor profit over risk. This strategy involves more than just taking risks; it also entails continuous risk management, aiming to maximize rewards while minimizing losses.

The "high risk, high reward" mantra doesn't exist in the nonlinear world. We must learn to see beyond surface appearances and acknowledge the deceptive allure of high-risk ventures.

Ignore asymmetrical risk at your peril. Overlooking its importance could steer you towards ventures that appear attractive on the surface but are fraught with hidden challenges and disproportionate danger.

You can't get back time!