Books Open Doors Insights #16: The Hard Lessons Learned About Risk-Taking On My Entrepreneurial Journey with Ellen Violette

April 28, 2021

In this week’s podcast, Ellen Violette shares how she started out as a naive, overly optimistic entrepreneur in 2004 and what she learned about taking risks in her long career as a coach and multiple #1 bestselling book author that can help others avoid unnecessary risks and support personal and business growth.

Resources mentioned 

Bestseller Breakthrough Consultation

3 Key Points

Always assess the risk before taking action to decide if it is a risk worth taking.

If a risk is worth taking, have a plan for how to recover if it does not succeed.

There is no such thing as failure, you either get success or you get a lesson.


[00:01]: Hi, and welcome to Books Open Doors™ Insights. #16. A couple of days ago, I stood on the sidewalk, watching all the people going about their business as usual, except for they were wearing masks. As I waited for my husband, who’d gone into the market to get some over-the-counter medication,  and I have to say it was a bit of a culture shock. I hadn’t been out among the peeps, as I like to call it, since March 13th, 2020. That was the day we knew that the world was coming to an end as we had known it and we went into lockdown. Now, here it was a year later and the day had finally come when we felt safe enough to go out. And that got me thinking about risk-taking and how it’s affected our lives and some lessons I’ve learned along the way.

[00:52]: When I first got into business, I was very naive and overly optimistic. Everything I did would be successful since I was the one who always got good grades, who won awards, who got into the colleges and graduate schools of my choice and got the jobs I wanted, even when there were others who were more qualified than I was, I even got a Grammy nomination. And so, I was sure that whatever I did, I would be successful. And I really had no clue about life and entrepreneurship for sure.

I didn’t know that you had to fail to succeed. I thought that failing made you a failure and that caused a lot of depression over the years. But in truth, it just means that you’re learning the lessons that you need to learn in life and that in reality, there is no such thing as failure. You either get the lesson or you get the success.

And I didn’t understand that taking stupid risks or risks that are too big for where you are in the life cycle, it can take a huge toll and it can take years to repair. And sometimes, it’s not worth it. Sometimes, it is, but you really need to understand that; you need to assess the risk before you take it, especially as you get older. And that is what happened to us (We took too big risks sometimes and it took over a decade to fix it).

But here’s the thing, if you don’t take risks, you don’t grow. If you don’t take risks, you’ll never fulfill your dreams. It’s just knowing which risks to take. And so some people never take the risks because they want a guarantee that if they leave their cushy job, there’s going to be a payoff. And the truth is you never know that.

When I got into music;  music has always been a long shot.

[02:42]: There are very few people who become successful in music. I mean, to get a Grammy nomination is rare. So, I can’t say that I went into it expecting to get one. I always hoped I would get one. Everyone aspires to get to the highest level of whatever their expertise is, but you don’t know that going in. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. But how you approach it and the risks you decide to take or not take can make you or break you.

So here’s the thing, in my experience, if you love what you do and if you’re good at it and you just stay in the game long enough, chances are it’s going to pay off. You see, most people give up before they get to the payoff. So, just by staying in your chance of winning in the game of life goes up exponentially.

[03:32]: And the other thing that happens is the longer you stay in the better you get at what you do. And then, you bypass the other people. The flip side though is that the longer you’re in the game, the more failures you are going to have, and you have to learn to deal with the downside of risk.

But I’ve been in this game since 2004, and I have made certain observations about this. So one is that we always do a risk assessment in every situation, either consciously or unconsciously, before we make the decision. And when the risk of doing something is greater than not doing it, you’re not going to do it. When the risk of not doing something is greater than doing it, you’ll do it. That’s just human nature. So if you’re thinking of taking a risk, educate yourself about the risk before you take it and decide if you can afford to take it or not.

[04:27]: If you aren’t sure, you might want to consider hiring a risk assessment consultant, ask yourself, “What will you do if it doesn’t work out?”

“Will you be able to handle that?”

“How long will it take to recover?”

“Do you have a plan to recover?”

And once you decide to take that risk, then you have to stay in the now and you just have to go for it. You do not want to second guess yourself, and you don’t want to take a really long time to make decisions, because that is like self-abuse. It’s painful.

And you don’t want to dwell on the worst-case scenario about what could go wrong, which is what most people do. You want to focus on how great it’s going to feel as you succeed, and you want to visualize it. And that was really important for me.

[05:15] You know, we just moved to this new place. You can still see the boxes out over there, some of them. And I was pretty scared actually to make the decision because we had been evicted many years ago. And after that, I became really scared of having a contract-a lease. And we stayed in places where we didn’t have to have one. So, to get into a lease again was really scary to me. But what I did was I kept focusing on the things we were going to get by moving that I wanted versus the things that could scare me out of moving. And that’s how I was able to get through it and actually make the move.

[05:55]: And also, I want you to know that what you focus on expands. And so if you’re going to focus on what could go wrong all the time, chances are more things are going to go wrong. And it can feel overwhelming. And so, if you’re going to take the risk, you’ve got to break it down into baby steps, and then just do the one that’s in front of you one step at a time; you have to stay in the now.

And then another thing you can do is you can step into character. So in scary situations, you want to be the person that you want to project out in the world. It doesn’t mean that’s how you feel inside. I was really amazed when I started hearing on the backside, all the horror stories of how people were actually feeling about their businesses.

[06:40] And it was never anything that they were saying on Facebook on Facebook. You’d think they were just having the time of their lives. So, stepping into character means that you may not be feeling the way that you’re being perceived or the way that you’re projecting out in the world. But sometimes,  I think it’s the kind of like fake it till you make it.  You act like you’re that way , and then you can step into that character and become that.

And you just have to accept though that life is an experiment and not everything is going to succeed, but risks are the price that you pay for growth and for a fulfilling life.

So, that’s what I was thinking today about taking risks.

So, now I want to take it back to books.

If you haven’t written a book yet, I would suggest doing a risk assessment. So, what I’d like to do is invite you to look at what you think about writing a book. Do you see that as a risk? Do you think that you’re risking rejection? Or, ridicule? or Or, failure?

Or,  do you think of not writing a book as not getting the chance to open doors to more opportunities, bigger opportunities, bigger impact, more money, and leaving a lasting legacy? And if you see the risk of not writing a book is greater. I’d like to invite you to a Bestseller Breakthrough Consultation, where we can see if we’re a fit to work together and you can start writing your book NOW!

I currently have three spots open and you can get started by going to

If you think the risk of writing a book is too great,  I can tell you that my clients do not get rejected or ridiculed because I have a proven system that I’ve been using since 2004. And we make sure that our clients succeed! So if you’re ready to trust me and trust yourself and focus on seeing yourself succeeding and becoming that best-selling author that you’ve dreamed of becoming that I’d like to offer you a Bestseller Breakthrough Consultation as well. And again, it’s

You’re also welcome to grab a copy of Book Planner Secrets, a simple 4- Step Guide to Writing a Bestseller on the podcast page at That’s If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, be seen as an expert, have awesome credibility, reach and take your business to the next level,  I hate to say that but it’s true,  Books Open Doors™ to those bigger opportunities. My clients have worked on the stage with people like Kevin Harrington,  come before President Obama, hung out with Mary Williamson and more , so, as I said, I’ve been doing this since 2004. I have three slots. That’s it. If you want one of them reach out to me by going to, and we’ll see if we’re a fit and get you started.

So, that’s it for today. Till next time Bye-bye.


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About the Author

Ellen Violette

Ellen is an 3X award-winning book, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation. She's also a multiple #1 bestselling author, a 3-time eLit award winner, podcast host, and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been helping entrepreneurs increase their credibility and expert status, become #1 bestselling authors, and make a bigger impact in the world since 2004. Her mission is to make the world a better place one author and one book at a time!



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