This Week’s Focus Point: Are You Afraid of Yourself?
When was the last time you scared yourself? I mean really and purposefully scared yourself?
We’d better first define “scared” if you’re going to be able to answer this question. My definition for the purposes of this missive is intentionally taking a risk that has as one of its options failure that could risk your future stability, risk what people think of your perspicacity, or risk your own feelings of self-worth.
My colleague Betsy Jordyn and I just completed a teleconference for aspiring consultants. One of the themes was around the concept of risk taking. I used the example of when I started my own consulting practice 10 years ago. It was a big risk to leave a good job with benefits and security of a comfortable lifestyle for the uncertainty of a career with zero clients and only hope. I committed to the mindset that Hernán Cortéz reputedly held when the explorer landed in the new world. Legend says that he burned the boats so the thought of returning home would never enter the minds of his crew. I was burning the boat of ever being employed by someone else again.
I am not suggesting that you quit your job or be reckless with your financial security. What I am saying is that many people I meet choose to be “safe” rather than take the risk of looking “foolish,” or losing security. Money can always be made. What can’t be replaced is the time and experiences. I believe it’s riskier to waste your time than waste your money. Be bold; take risks; go places; seek what makes you passionate; and once in a while burn some boats.
Quote of the Week:
“A ship on harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
~ John A. Shedd
© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
This week’s focus point…Going Deep
Sometimes you just have to throw the ball deep…
In football, the offense focuses on “possessing” the football. That means avoiding costly interceptions and fumbles. Without the ball, you can’t score. Because of that, coaches teach ball security to their quarterbacks. But that doesn’t mean they won’t occasionally throw the ball deep.
Sometimes a coach and a quarterback need to take risks. Throwing the ball deep has a 75% negative possibility. The play can result in either a sack (loss of yardage when quarterback tackled); an incomplete pass; or an interception (bad). The one positive is a quick strike, home run play for a touchdown. It’s the ultimate risk-reward play.
I’ve met too many business owners and executives that play too conservatively in their “game.” Fear of losing their own proverbial football keeps them from taking risks like professional development; coaching or mentoring; hiring employees; and/or creating new products and services. For individuals that don’t own a business, that fear of the “interception” keeps them from seeking new careers; asking for a raise or promotion; seeking out internal opportunities; and/or accepting new challenges offered to them.
Ball security is important, but winning the game is more important. In order to maximize your potential and talent, you occasionally need to cast away fear and throw the ball deep. If it’s “intercepted,” then pick yourself up, go play defense, and get the ball back. If it’s complete for an exhilarating “touchdown,” you may have just catapulted yourself, your career, and your business to new heights. And that’s worthy of a touchdown dance!
© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
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