Management Tips

What a boyhood fear taught me about risk.

Have you ever asked yourself if it’s worth the risk?

What is risk to you? You can typically define risk as the chance for exposure or loss but it means something totally different to each of us. When I think back to when I was young, risk is that analogous monster under the bed or in the closet that you KNOW is there but in reality is just a figment of your imagination. When you were a kid that monster was REAL. Very real and it’s going to get you. As kids, we have all had that feeling at one time or another and the chance that we were going to get out of bed to take a look was slim, wasn’t it? That’s where it all starts. That risk thing. There is no way that I am going to risk it and look. No way. If I don’t look it’s not there. Naturally, our loving families helped us realize our fears are unfounded; parents who showed us that there is nothing to be afraid of and teasing siblings who described our demons in vivid detail when they realized our fear. Loving families. Yup.

What does risk feel like to you?

Now that you are in your adult life risk is anything considered different. It still elicits that same feeling. Think back. Take a minute. Can you feel it? The difference is that you feel alive; maybe even invigorated. Your heart is beating a mile a minute. Risk is trying something new not unlike entering uncharted territory. The downside, if you let it get a hold of you, is that risk inherently presents obstacles that inhibit your ability to be better at what you do. Risk can make you nervous, give you butterflies and wreak havoc on your choice of deodorant. Hey, the alternative is that you can always continue doing what you are doing to avoid those feelings but in our world today with the amount of competition and the vast amounts of information and connectivity it is too risky to remain part of the status quo. At times, we all feel comfort in safely buzzing along without challenging ourselves to think or do anything out of the norm. We all live it to a degree.

So, what does risk look like in today’s world?

Different. Different is a risk. Steve Jobs was a classic case of different. You all know HIS story. There are very few Steve Jobs out there but that doesn’t mean that you cannot be your own Steve Jobs. Steve took risks, he didn’t settle. Not even for a second. He slayed his monster very, very early in life. He was an intelligent person but then again, so are you. Maybe Steve Jobs was willing to risk failure and that, my friends, is that monster in the closet. He wasn’t afraid to make mistakes and ultimately learn from them. So, what does it take for you to challenge that scary entity lurking in the shadows?

It takes guts.

Formula One drivers, extreme skiers and mountain climbers. All different. Physical ability, the willingness to put themselves on the line for their sport and the danger of their endeavours give them all the perception of having that oh so sought after intestinal fortitude. They’ve got it, for sure! We understand what these people do and we have a clear sense of their risk in the sport. The sheer nature of the dangers involved in their pursuits gives them the respect of the spectator to say they have guts. Simply, what they DO sets them apart.

What does it take in your world?

What does it take to set you apart? Take a look around. You may be part of the service industry, you may be an entrepreneur or you may work with your hands, whatever. The thing that will set you on the way is opportunity. After all, isn’t seeking opportunity one of the keys to advancement? We all have the ability to create opportunity. It takes relatively little effort look for ways to improve what you do, to make it better and to follow the bell curve and align to the status quo but let me ask you this, “Can you see an opportunity that might seem a little scary to you?” If an idea scares you then you need to ask yourself why. Is it because it’s different? Different is really what scares us and different will produce something that most people have not or will not consider. And that, my friends, is what can really set you apart.

 Now that’s risky.

Grab you sword, rally your guts and go slay that monster. Risk it; you never know what could happen. Maybe it will simply set you free.

 Who knows?

I don’t but that’s the fun part, right?


About rdopping

interior design guy who loves other stuff; social media, photography, film, food and anything that is good for the growth of the self


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