Calculated Risk Becomes Calculated Reality

Calculated Risk… is one of the principles I live by. With anything worth having comes risk. So how do you manage it?

On my “…Fear of Flying…” post, Ellen said “… I am intrigued by your notion that ‘Calculated risk becomes calculated reality.’ Would love to hear more.

I began answering in the comments, but because it’s an important concept, I thought it deserved its own post.

Calculated Risk

It’s defined as “A chance taken after careful estimation of the probable outcome…” A lot of people think entrepreneurs are thrill seekers and risk takers. To an extent that’s true. But the difference between a suicide attempt and a BASE jump is calculated risk.

Another analogy I use is blackjack versus roulette. Blackjack can be won, if you know what you’re doing and stick to a well planned system. Roulette is much more random.

Calculated Reality

We create our reality. Now I’m not talking about anything esoteric here, although that fits too. You can drive by the same tree every day and not see it. That tree essentially, is not part of your reality. Unless lightning hits it and it falls on your car.

Some call it the Law of Attraction, answered prayers, or subconscious manifestations. No matter what you call it – your focus and perception determines your reality.

The more calculated that focus, the better chance you have to craft your reality the way you want it.

Calculating Risk to Create Reality

With any new venture there will be risk. The goal is to determine how much risk and whether it’s worth it to pursue.

There also comes your vision of what the reality of the venture will be. Plans, projections, daydreams, stories – this is the calculated reality.

When you know what you want to achieve, and you know the risks involved, you can plan for them. Anticipate challenges and compensate.

You can’t plan for every contingency, but you can calculate your risk. If done right, those calculations become your reality.

Really that’s all entrepreneurship is – crafting your reality, and managing risk.

Thanks for asking Ellen. Was it everything you expected :) …?


  1. I like the sense of being present to the moment – seeing what’s worth going after – and then creating the trojectory toward the target! It takes motivation – and your post adds just that.

    Spoken like a pro and an inspiration to the rest of us – thanks!

  2. Great thoughts on calculating and managing risk! I’m learning that the more “clear” my plan is, the better I can manage any risks involved and with a clear-cut plan, the risks don’t seem near as great.

  3. The writer’s question is “What if…?”

    The entrepreneur’s question is “Why not…?”

    This question should be asked by many more people in their everyday lives. It is not so much a matter of taking risks – heck, life is a risky business – but rather dreaming dreams, using imagination to create new realities before they become real. And then go for it for all you are worth thus minimising (or managing) the risks.

  4. Tony, I’m intrigued by your references to “creating your own reality.” Have you ever seen the movie “What the Bleep?

    The movie talks about quantum mechanics and the literal manifestation of your reality by the power of your own thoughts. (The true power of positive thinking.)

    It is an interesting movie if you are able look past the (IMO) heavy-handed new age vibe to see the true essence of the film. I think it’s a good message.

    I’ve heard you encourage people to write down their dreams to “make them more real.” I was just curious how far your belief in that arena went.

    Great posts as usual.

    On a personal note, I’m one step closer to getting a business partnership off the ground. We have a few more pieces of paper to go before we’re legit.

    Thank you for the periodic doses of inspiration I get from the blog and podcast on a regular basis.

  5. Ellen – Thanks for the inspiration to elaborate. I never turn down an invitation to talk more about this stuff 🙂

    Anthony – Absolutely. The clearer you can focus your vision, the more real risk comes into focus. That allows you to work on real issues, as opposed to just “worrying about things.”

    Trevor – Great point. I define an entrepreneur as someone who puts the pursuit of a dream or idea above their own fears and doubts. Where most folks say “I wish…” an entrepreneur says “I will…”

  6. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before Tony, but a great book on entrepreneural endeavor is “MouseDriver Chronicles” Take a look next time you’re in a book store. Very inspirational.


  7. Dave – Movies like “What the Bleep?” and “The Secret” do a good job of making these ideas more accessible. I think the debate on the accuracy or the quackery of the films is irrelevant – IMHO.

    When I talk to folks, I stress making the ideas fit their own beliefs – by trying them on. You should never believe anything anyone says – you should try it out and see if it works.

    There are a lot of studies on mindset, focus, that sort of thing and how it manifests in our lives (check out The Power of Impossible Thinking one of my favorites). I spent years studying quantum theory, philosophy, and most of the major religions looking for “answers.” What I discovered it that it’s not as important “why” it works, just that it works.

    And congrats on your progress. That is awesome. I love hearing those stories.

    Shane – I actually have it in my cart on Amazon. I have to limit my orders to twice a month. I sort of have a book addition 🙂

    I’m looking forward to reading it.

  8. Tony, The Law of Attraction seems to be the theme of the week in our household. My wife and I spent hours on the subject just last night. Thanks for posting right into my life. Again!

  9. Tony, Ellen Weber asks questions like no one else. It was interesting to see where you took your answer. Ellen would call your focused reality a target — the end result you want to materialize.

    Just a quick note…I used to ask Ellen many questions. One day she suggested to me that I needed to get a doctorate and then I’d really begin to see some answers…My response…I’m not smart enough. I had been out of school a long time, too. But Ellen told me I was brilliant and encouraged me to go for it. I took some really big risks…quit my job, enrolled as a PhD student and kept this dream in my head all through the rough spots. And, as you can see…I kept on the path to make it a reality.

  10. Chris – It always seems to work that way doesn’t it? 🙂

    Robyn – Great story, that really illustrates what can be done when you decide and focus. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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