Go Big or Go Home
Don't let risk mitigation turn you lukewarm!
Security and safety are very important. I am hip to that. No need to "lead with your chin" in business. In love, that philosophy is even more stupid.
But, damn it, you have to take a risk to make progress. The guy or gal who first captured and contained fire didn't say, "Golly, that fire stuff is hot. We'd better not mess with it!" They took a calculated risk. I like to think of fire as first having been tamed by some brave young man who ran out into a forest fire with a stick or something, but it was probably a bunch of people who put their heads together and figured out how to turn sparks into flame, then executed a plan. Either way, it was a mighty bold move.
The first fire tamers didn't make that great advancement by sitting around a big walnut table and talking about it. They said, "You know, heck, fire is hot but hot can be good. We notice how fire changes the nature of things, turning green things black, turning sand to glass. If that could be controlled, I bet we could make some cool stuff. And wouldn't it be nice to have a warm cave?"
At one time, a warm cave probably seemed like putting a man on the moon.
It's the people who go out on a limb and approach things with an attitude of calculated risk who move us forward. It's always been those people. Capitalism is all about rewarding the Thomas Edisons of this world for their long nights in the laboratory. In that sense, it really is the perfect system. Edison's great contribution wasn't the jobs he created. He made our lives richer by lighting our nights.
So I hate it when people are weak and scared in business. What's the worst thing that can happen? You lose your job? You go bankrupt? Those aren't good outcomes, but they are worst-case scenarios, and people have come back from more dire setbacks. Focus on the good outcomes. If you succeed, you get a promotion or make a shitload of money or just build something really cool and ride in like a conquering hero, ignoring as always the once-naysayers now scrambling over each other to take credit for your work.
Take a risk. Think it through, of course. Choose your stick carefully and gauge the wind if you're going to run up to the edge of a forest fire to get a flame. Make sure you generate those sparks in a controlled environment. But damn it, don't be afraid of the fire. Recognize its power and control it. Consider all the things that can go wrong and prepare for those contingencies, but don't let them dissuade you from your mission. Chances are you're not going to burn your face off.
This applies not only to business.