Posts tagged: risk taking

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

“If You Don’t Like Change, You’re Going to Like Irrelevancy Even Less”

“If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more…”  Erica Jong

Last week I made a presentation to the Western NY chapter of the Product Development Management Association (PDMA)  on how Social Media is radically changing the world of product development.  I have been working on the ideas for this presentation and getting to know people in the group for nearly a year. When the time came for me to make this presentation, I believed I had something valuable to share.

But some little part of me thought, uh oh. What if they disagree? What if the material isn’t interesting? These are just my thoughts and ideas; maybe I’m wrong. In other words, I knew I was taking a risk and suddenly the reality of the risk hit home.  A few minutes later, I pushed these thoughts from my mind, knew that I was well prepared and then hoped for the best. You’ll be glad to know that everything went well.

In my mind, if I’m not taking a fair number of risks in my professional life, then I’m not learning and growing. The important thing is to take calculated risks; ones that I know from experience,  have a fairly high probability of turning out in my favor. Years ago I heard this quote and decided that I would embrace the philosophy…”The best way to cope with change is to create it.”

And here’s another very interesting way to look at it… “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevancy even less.” General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army

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