- So, as you're thinking about taking risks, and they can be a big risk, like becoming an entrepreneur, or it can be a small risk, like asking for the raise or the next promotion. As you're thinking about it, there are a couple things I want you to do for me. First of all, I want you to practice. Practice makes perfect. And this comes in different forms. This can be sitting down with someone you trust to practice asking for the money or asking for the order. For me, before I can became an entrepreneur, this was my sort of practicing being an entrepreneur. I spent time with entrepreneurs, I thought about it as almost trying on entrepreneur clothing.
And I really practiced it, I thought, could I do this? Is this the way I could spend my day? So first I want you to practice. The second thing I want you to do is as you're thinking through this risk, I want you to ask for feedback. Now, this is particularly important for us women because the research tells us that the gentlemen get more feedback at work than we do. And so we have to ask for it. That's asking for feedback on everything. It's asking for feedback on your pitch document. It's asking for feedback on your presentation.
It's asking for feedback on how you're going to approach a meeting. I would do this all the time anyway from day one of your career, but really as you're thinking about taking a risk asking for feedback. The third thing I want you to do, I mentioned it earlier, is have that board of directors. Now, obviously, you can't just form it the moment before you take a risk, but through the course of your career, having that group of folks, probably folks from whom you asked for feedback some time ago, who become, buzz word, catch phrase, mentors.
Who become your sponsors. Those individuals you can call on. Some of them might be in your place of work. Others might be at the non-profit you work at. Others might be at the school you went to. Others might be just a friend you've come across along the way. Who can be there as a sounding board for you. As you're thinking about having a career transition, making a change. Having that group that you could bounce it off of. So, practice, ask for feedback, board of directors, number four, Network.
Network has been called the number one unwritten rule of success in business. It's been called the number one determinant of an entrepreneur's success or failure. So regardless of where you are in your career, building that strong network. Your next business opportunity is likely, indeed, much more likely, to come from a loose connection than from a close connection. Because you and your close connections know the same things, and so networking can mitigate all kinds of risk because someone in your network is telling you about the piece of research you should read.
About the other startup doing what you're doing. About the person who's looking for an advisory or board position. I could go on and on. But those are the four things I want you to keep in mind as you're looking at thinking about approaching taking a risk, you do this, you do these four things, practice, ask for feedback, have a personal board of directors, and network, and I promise you you're going to mitigate your risk. Now for all of you, what I'm really looking for, too, as you're putting this into practice, beginning to take risk, and I can't wait to hear about the success that follows.
What's holding you back? How can you gain the confidence necessary to take risks and chance failing? Sallie Krawcheck is a LinkedIn Influencer and one of the most successful and influential executives in financial services. She has built her career and reputation on thoughtful risk-taking. Here she shares an approach that will help you to take chances while mitigating risk—and keep you on the track to growth and continued opportunity.