Fortune favors the bold

This past year had a lot of business leaders wringing their hands. So much was unknown. But that was last year.

This year, the playing field is laid out in front of us. The boundaries are clear, and the dust has largely settled. This year, it’s time to act. There are positive trends in the market, and that means there are chances for the bold to benefit. Your competition may still be hesitant, and their unwillingness to act could mean they’re missing opportunities.

Surely there are business leaders reading this who’ve been burned before, and those wounds might still feel fresh. But this may be the time to rip off the bandage and launch an idea that, in any other scenario, might have little chance to succeed.

Consider the Columbus, Ohio-based startup ootbox. At the start of 2020, before COVID was a word we all understood, the two founders were planning to launch temporary workspace pods — portable, one-room boxes with the capacity to fit three to four people — that could be leased. When the pandemic hit, they pivoted to address the audience that had a need because of the circumstances.

The founders not only discovered a market demand from households looking for more room for school and business activities, they also addressed the health care industry. Doctors who were working from home used the pods as private offices to discuss their patients’ health information, and some hospitals used them to conduct COVID-19 testing and perform other lab services.

There are new needs, new demands, new challenges seeking solutions. You might have an idea that solves someone else’s critical problem, but you won’t know unless you try. Fortune favors the bold. It might not be wise to bet the house, but there’s no return without risk.

While others in your industry play it safe, take your shot. Now is the time to capitalize by taking calculated risks. Keep up your confidence as you work through unforeseen challenges. Believe in yourself and act with conviction.

Fred Koury is president and CEO of Smart Business Network Inc.