When we make decisions, we often don’t have enough information to guarantee favourable outcomes.
In this sense, you could call them bets.
We make bets on things all the time — which course to study, which job to apply for, which partner to pursue.
But some bets lead to disproportionate outcomes, depending on which way they go.
These… are asymmetrical bets.
For example, betting on a small company’s share value to increase exponentially is an asymmetrical one. Sure, you could lose all your money if the company doesn’t succeed but the upside, if things go well, is exponential.
Compare this with a safe bet (a well-performing company) and the upside is probably proportional to the downside.
Similarly, creating things online (content, products or services) may cost you time and money, but this could be negligible relative to the scale of things if they were to go well.
For most people, the immediate cost of these bets is almost guaranteed. Sadly, they’d rather avoid experiencing the pain of a small loss than take a chance on a big win.
Some people are luckier than others, they have less risk if things go wrong (think wealthy teens) so they can afford to place more bets.
But for those without such a safety net, you have to be a bit smarter:
Sometimes in life, if you want to win big, you have to feel comfortable with losing. Make more asymmetrical bets.