4 Ways to Increase Your Tolerance for Ambiguity

4 Ways to Increase Your Tolerance for Ambiguity

As we've mentioned before, an important part of being an entrepreneur is having a tolerance for ambiguity. What does this mean? It means a person is able to handle stress even if they don't know what's going to happen in the near future. This is highlighted in Unit 3 of our Entrepreneur Journey curricula.

What Are The Traits Of An Entrepreneur? Part 2

This is one part of an ongoing series on

Our curricula, Entrepreneur Journey, focuses on teaching high school students how to become entrepreneurs. One part of the curricula is devoted to the traits of an entrepreneur. Whether they are embedded at birth or developed as a young adult, you will find entrepreneurs who have specific traits helping them succeed at what they do. 

What are some traits entrepreneurs have in common? 

Tolerance For Ambiguity

A person’s tolerance for ambiguity is determined by the amount of stress they feel when they don’t know what is happening in the near future. Entrepreneurs don’t always have a consistent paycheck, or they may not even know how they will pay those who work for them. Sometimes entrepreneurs don’t know if they’ll have enough customers in the future to keep a business going.

If a person doesn’t have tolerance for ambiguity, they will struggle to deal with these stressors. But if a person is confident and comfortable in these positions, they probably have a high tolerance for ambiguity.

Part of entrepreneurship is knowing you may need to shift or pivot your product, business model, or company makeup on the basis of customer feedback. Entrepreneurs adapt to uncertainty, and don’t need to have all future steps and details identified.

Calculated Risk Takers

A calculated risk taker is different from a risk taker.

Entrepreneurs assess the relationship between risk and rewards, and calculate the probability of success. If favorable, they will pursue.

Think of gambling. Gambling is risk taking with little calculation. It’s hoping the dice will land where you want, or the cards are dealt with luck.

With entrepreneurship, what many see as high risk may actually be low risk. The entrepreneur will look at an opportunity and design a business model others might not see, where risk goes down.

Entrepreneurs are not gamblers. They assess risk. They do not hope. They plan. Just like everyone else, entrepreneurs don’t want to lose money. But they are willing to seize an opportunity when it presents itself.

If you are willing to spend your hard-earned money on an investment that is somewhat certain to give you a decent return, you may be a calculated risk taker. If you have ever done things others see as risky – when you simply see a challenge – you may be a calculated risk taker.

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