There is an element of risk in most things that you do everyday. It is a risky thing to drive to work in the morning. It is a risky thing to cook on your grill each weekend. And it’s a risky thing to pitch a creative idea to someone who can say “no”.
The odds of something bad happening to you during each of the risky events listed above aren’t that severe if you’ve prepared in advance and are paying attention during the activity.
If you know the route to work and prepared your directions in advance and obey the speed limits and traffic laws, chances are that you’ll make it to work without incident. But if you’re driving on unfamiliar roads at breakneck speeds with your eyes closed, well… not-so much.
There may be a risk of fire when cooking on your grill, but if you’ve maintained the grill and check the gas lines for leaks and keep flammable items away from the open flame, you’ll probably be able to prepare those hamburgers and hot dogs without any disastrous results. But if you’re wearing a crepe-paper apron and lighter fluid as cologne, perhaps you’ll want to keep your insurance card handy.
The same need for proper prior preparation applies to pitching your ideas to prospects
Conducting a Customer Needs Assessment in advance of making any sales pitch in order to determine if there is a problem they require help in solving, and that one of the products or services you offer is a potential solution to their challenge goes a long way towards eliminating the risky speculation that comes with just throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping some of it sticks.
You absolutely have to take risks everyday (or the result is that you risk losing everything), but risky undertakings can be mitigated and the exposure lessened by acknowledging the risks and taking proactive preventative actions designed to remove them from the equation and prevent you from risking physical or emotional harm (because nobody likes to look foolish).