When exploring a new idea you have to play devil’s advocate constantly. It’s too easy to fall in love with your concept and lose track of reality. A great way to challenge the business concept and question its feasibility is to ask, “Why won’t this work?” As optimistic as you may be about your chances, take an hour to brainstorm every possible reason that the business could fail. Write everything down, and then separate this list of reasons into primary (key) risks and secondary risks. Once you have a polished list of key risks, take it to your advisors and industry experts to see if they agree with your assessment. At the very least this will be a good opportunity to test how well you know the industry. The final list is a good gut check – do you feel comfortable with this level of risk? How do you plan to address the key risks? How much risk are you really taking on? A successful entrepreneur is not a risk seeker, she is a risk container. Is the risk contained enough to take the next step? If so, insert the risk list into your business plan, add to it when necessary, and always work to minimize your risk exposure.