I think it is very possible to start, own, and operate a business without risk to one's personal finances. There are two keys to this: cash only, and sufficient structure/liability coverage.
Despite what some social media personalities claim, it is not really possible to borrow funds to start a business without pledging your own assets. You cannot simply default on loans and walk away with no liability.
The solution to this is to bootstrap a business. Lets say you desire to own a landscape company, and currently work as a graphic artist. One can simply buy the necessary for equipment out of savings. It need not be new, and it need not be carried around in a 40K truck. How many lawns can be mowed on nights and weekends? A whole lot.
Bootstrapping in this manner will allow you to make mistakes without much pain, and you will make mistakes. You might be able to pick up used equipment from others going out of business and can make good decisions on what to buy new/best and what can be bought on the cheap. When you have too many clients you can then make a decision. Do you hire someone? Do you quit your day job? Or do you fire some poor clients?
Additionally with limited funds and time you focus on what is important. Most successful business are both limited in time and funds. In the 90's Apple was really struggling. Steve Jobs returned and turned the company around. One of his changes was to limit his product line. A good book on this subject is "The Lean Startup". While it does not specially talk about bootstrapping a business, it does discuss how business put too much time and money into things that are unimportant.
Having liability insurance protects you in this litigious society. You need sufficient insurance to protect you from being sued.