Success Linked to Risk Taking

What’s the difference between successful athletes, public figures, business leaders and regular folk like you and me? According to one man whose passion is learning the secrets of success, it’s the ability to “go out on the skinny branches” and take risks.

In a newly released book, Masters of Success, Ivan Misner, PH.D. identifies seven traits and trends common to some of the most successful people in the fields of sports, business and entertainment. Not surprisingly, the ability to put fear aside and take risks, even in the face of adversity, is among them.

“Reaching for more takes learning,” Misner writes, “and learning makes us feel like children again, with all the excitement, wonder, and fear that spiced our earliest years. And it’s not what we’re learning, it’s where we’re starting from and how far we’re trying to reach that makes the difference.”

Misner compiled hundreds of stories for Masters of Success, in an attempt to define success based on trends among hundreds of the “successful.” In the section defining risk taking as a determinant to success, Misner includes a story by Hall of Fame coach, Lou Holtz that advises that no matter what the situation, “when game time comes, take the field thinking you’re the best.”

“To improve,” Misner says, “we must weigh the desired end against the pain of getting there. No risk, no gain. If we opt for comfort and ease, we forgo the rewards of accomplishment. But if we take heart what professional athletes are taught and do something every day that scares you a little, we stretch our boundaries and move into new territory.”

According to Dr. Misner, other traits of our most successful are being passionate about what you’re doing, being systematic, and being known as someone willing to help others.


Ivan Misner, Ph.D. is founder & CEO of BNI (Business Network Int’l), a referral networking organization with Chapters in 19 countries around the world. He is also the author of several books including the NY Times best-seller, “Masters of Networking,” and the recently released #1 best-seller, “Masters of Success.”

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