Risk: It has been on my mind a good bit lately, as I’ve been playing with the 4-letter word quite often in recent weeks. But it all came to a serendipitous head Friday night as I was working out on an elliptical with my business partner Jason in the Sheraton hotel in Boston.
While working out, the TV was showing the Boston Red Sox vs. the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, an important series for two teams fighting for their playoff lives. Never in a million years did I think I’d be sitting at the game only a short time later.
But before I jump ahead, after our workout, Jason mentioned we should go for a walk and see what Fenway Park (where the Sox play) looked like. Always having wanted to see the magical facility (it has been on my bucket list to go to a Sox game for quite a few years now) I happily agreed and soon we were off.
Once at the stadium, the game was winding down, with the 8th inning getting ready to start. But as Jason and I circled the complex, we noticed just how many entry ways there were to get in the building, and suddenly we saw a particularly large entryway that was being watched over by a security guard who didn’t seemed terribly interested in his job at hand.
Just Keep Walking
What happened next is something I’ll be laughing about for a long time. Without saying a word to each other, much less making even the slightest visual motion to the other, Jason and I found ourselves walking right through the door, past the guard, and up the stairs to catch a view we wouldn’t soon forget.
Within seconds, we planted ourselves on the second deck, immediately off the left field foul line, and practically within an arm’s reach of the famous ‘Green Monster’. As soon as we sat down, and while Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ echoed throughout the stadium, for the first time we gave each other a look, and all we could do was laugh…and laugh…and laugh.
As the amazing Bostonian fans screamed and heckled away at the Devil Rays, Jason and I were able to take in a moment that just an hour before was nothing more than a ‘wouldn’t it be cool to be there right now’ feeling as we saw it on TV.
Within no time, Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon had struck out everyone in the 9th inning and the game had come to a close. A victory for the Sox, and a victory for two guys willing to take a simple risk.
The whole thing was surreal, just as the goofy photo above would indicate.
But as I thought about this event, the word risk kept returning to my mind. In fact, almost every great accomplishment of my life has been preceded by a risk.
- Living in Chile for two years was a risk.
- Starting a business without any ‘experience’ was a risk.
- Embracing inbound marketing when I couldn’t afford to pay attention was a risk.
- Spending hundreds of hours building a blog, knowing results would eventually come, was a risk.
And the list could go on and on.
Heck, just this last Wednesday, I flew to Michigan and spoke to a company of 60 people as to how to catch the vision of inbound marketing and become a content producing machine. This alone wasn’t too risky, but the fact that I tried to do it in one day, and spoke a total of 6 hours to the entire group, was a HUGE risk (most folks get sick of hearing me after about 30 minutes ;- ) ).
Notwithstanding, the results were exceptional. The company is ecstatic, and I know they are now commencing a new chapter in what will be a very, very successful period of growth and prosperity.
Risk is Good
My point in saying all of this is that risk is good. In fact, it’s imperative. It’s the only way we grow—individually or as a business. As we’ve all heard, there is no such thing as a ‘sure thing’, and so if we feel prompted to act, then sometimes we just need to trust our gut, despite what the rest of the world may be thinking or saying.
So that’s my simple message to you my friends on this day. If there is something you’ve been contemplating for some time, but just haven’t taken the plunge, stop waiting. Stop procrastinating. Don’t look left. Don’t look right. Just look forward and walk fast, as you never know what just might be waiting for you on the other side.
I’ve got a simple question today my fellow readers: Can you name a time when you experienced a huge reward after taking a chance and risking big? And what do you think is the key to learning how to overcome risk and trepidation? As always, I’d invited everyone to leave their thoughts below.
Have a wonderful week everyone!