Are You a Risk-Taking, Risk-Tolerant or Risk-Averse Person?

Most of us would agree that surfing can be a dangerous sport, yet lots of people — all over the world– surf. Why? The reasons are complex but the psychology boils down to — how much risk are we willing to take in our daily life? Some of it is related to our personality and upbringing, some of it is our drive and competitive spirit.  To learn more about our own risk acceptance or aversion —  answer the following question:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how willing are you to take risks?

— If your first thought is to ask questions like.. under what circumstances… then count yourself in the 1-5 bracket.

— If you immediately thought… yeah, I’m willing to take a risk… but not a stupid one; then count yourself in the 6-8 bracket.

— If you helicopter ski or big wave surf… then count yourself in the 9-10’s.

Understanding your risk profile is important because as you go through life’s up and downs, you may need to either increase or decrease the level of risk you’re taking depending on the situation.

In a difficult economy, more risk is required. We see more women and 20 something’s starting businesses than ever before. Is this because women today are better risk takers than previous generations? I don’t think so. I think it’s because the times require us to be inventive.

Many people are doom and gloom about the economy and I will grant you, there are many issues to be concerned about. I would also suggest that, as Americans, we rise to the challenges in surprising and wonderful ways.

Are you taking appropriate risks for the circumstances of your life? If not, check out, “It’s Takes Guts to Start A Company,” from Fast Company magazine.  I particularly like these 2 quotes,

  • “Guts-driven entrepreneurs aren’t fearless; they just know how to cope with, and maybe even thrive in, uncomfortable environments”
  • “The guts to endure lets us recognize that failure is not an option but rather a reality”

Look deep into your risk portfolio. Are you taking the right risks? If not, what are you going to do about it?

Photo credit: mikebaird Father and son surf lesson

9 Deadly Sins of Job Hunting

Ok, these may not be deadly but they can slow down your search. Take care of these and your search will go smoothly because you’ll be building relationships and learning during your entire search.

You may not want to address these issues… but you’ll be glad you did.

I borrowed some of these from 7 Deadly Sales Sins.

1. You don’t know who you are so you can’t concisely tell others. Seems simple enough but trust me, if it’s been a while since you’ve looked for a job… you probably don’t know yourself as well as you need to. Look into those dark corners, root out your foibles and shortcomings and learn to say great things about yourself and your capabilities.

2. You don’t know what you want. If you don’t know where you’re going; any road will take you there. How can others help you if you don’t know what you need or want. I know it’s easier to define what you don’t want. Start there.

3. You don’t know how to easily help others (or worse you don’t understand why it’s important.) Being of service, listening, making referrals, introducing like-minded folks, etc. it’s not hard but you do have to stop thinking about yourself long enough to consider what to do.

4. You don’t understand what recruiters, hiring managers or human resource people need. If you put yourself in their shoes for a minute, you’ll be much more effective at getting their attention.

5. You’re afraid. We all are, you are not alone. Some of us just “fake it ’til we make it.” Take a page from that book.

6. You stay in your house and tell people you can’t network because you’re: shy, introverted, technical, a geek, blah, blah, blah. Get over it. Most of us don’t want to meet a bunch of strangers, but we do it.

7. You don’t follow up. You know, thank you notes you talk yourself out of.

8. You don’t have a process for your search. Do you have a spreadsheet of your contacts, companies and connections? Do you have a plan to meet 7-10 new people a week? Do you have a job search ‘buddy’ who can help you? Are you learning new skills?

9. You don’t ask for the job or you ask for every job. Be clear about what you want, who you are and when the time is right, be sure to be clear that you believe this is the job for you and why.

Bonus: You don’t have a complete LinkedIn profile with at least 200 contacts. sigh… what are you waiting for?

I believe in you. Go!








Photo Credit: MelB Handovermouth


Everything I Know About Life… I (Re)learned from My Puppy

People close to me… ok, my husband and my daughter specifically… told me I should get a dog.

“You love dogs… you’ll really enjoy having a the unconditional love…. they’re so much fun!” They said it to me often enough and I finally relented and here she is. Her name is Gildie (means ‘celebration’ in Icelandic) and she’s an Australian Terrier.

I call her a terrior’ist’ because she attacks the world with a quiet ferocity. She doesn’t bark a lot… she just waits until the time is right… sizes up her opponent..(right now that’s often a two liter soda bottle rolling around on the kitchen floor) and then in she goes for fun and exercise.

I’m exhausted from all the up and down and in and out. It’s a relentless schedule of training, positive reinforcement and the occasional distraction/accident/discipline.

I can see why my family wanted me to have a little companion. She reminds me of the basics of life…

— Don’t sweat the small stuff.. and it’s all small stuff

— Be here now. Wherever Gildie is… that’s where life is best. Be in the moment

— Love is the answer

— Curiosity is a wonderful thing

— Remember to play, rest and make friends

There will likely be more updates from the puppy front. In the meantime.. what does your pet teach you? I’d love to hear.

The Beauty of Portion Control…In All Parts of Our Lives

I’m a fan of old movies, particularly black and whites. I love the acting, the clothes and the funny old telephones, no computers etc. But one thing really stands out…

When they’re eating and drinking… the plates and glasses are really SMALL. Compared to what we use now, they look like toys. I’m struck by how we complain about being overweight but we don’t realize how much more (of everything) we consume.

I moved about a year ago and just got around to finally unpacking the last of the boxes. I have a set of family china and when I look at it, it seems so old fashioned. And yet I think if could return to drinking 6 ounces of coffee and one slice of toast instead of 20 ounces and 2 pieces… It would be better for me.

This idea that  “smaller is better” can translate well to the rest of our lives. Can I work out for just 10 minutes a day? Can I get by with two new pairs of shoes this year? Can I be happy with one new suit not three?

Our expectations have swelled along with the size of our plates, cups and waistlines. Simple doesn’t do it anymore. Less isn’t enough. How can we get off this treadmill?

Awareness.. not just of what we eat but how we live. Eat dinner off a small plate instead of a big one. Use a small fork instead of a large one. Drink out of a small glass. And most of all, think of taking small steps towards our goals. You can do it. I believe in you.

Photo credit: Saucy Salad, The china survived the move