Tim Ferris wants you to think twice before you take the plunge into entrepreneurship.

The best-selling author and host of The Tim Ferris Show tells Inc. that people too often believe romanticized tales of entrepreneurs who took a huge risk--and ultimately reaped great rewards--by launching their businesses. In reality, Ferriss explains, most successful founders are more likely to be "expert risk mitigators" than daredevils.

As an example he cites Richard Branson, who struck a deal with Boeing that allowed him to return the planes he bought if his airline venture, Virgin Atlantic, wasn't successful. He took a risk, but he first made sure he had a safety net.

This doesn't mean you have to hold on to your day job forever, but you must continue to develop your company during evenings and weekends before making the leap. "If you're not willing to do that," he cautions, "you shouldn't be an entrepreneur."