{WordTalk} RISK


Last week these signs started appearing on freeways around my home. And my clever friend Steve mentioned “Hmm what if you are on a business call that is going to make you $300? Is it worth it then?” I replied with “You would think DEATH should actually be the deterrent- because to a lot of people $159 is worth the risk”. And while I am not encouraging anyone to break the law…this did provoke some thought from me about the perception of RISK.

Risk is one of the many things in life that depend wholly on the vantage point of the decision maker. This is not a difficult concept to grasp. As we all can easily imagine the very wealthy gambler putting $1000 pocket change all on red at a Vegas roulette table, and the cowboy next to him doing the same. Only difference is that cowboy had to work for many months to save that $1000, and if he loses it-he will have lost his airfare home as well. Clearly the risks taken between these two are very different.

There are two obvious ways of assessing risk; What you have to lose and what you have to GAIN.  But it is the little discussed third factor, that I think about often. I ask myself : What can I LOSE by not risking anything at all? Looking at it with all of these elements in mind, make me a fairly significant risk taker.  My recent tweet “I like to bit off more than I can chew and hope I don’t choke” conveys this constant state of my ‘all in’ attitude.

What can be lost by NOT expanding your product line and NOT diversifying? What can be lost by NOT interviewing with the competitor? What can be lost by NOT buying that new piece of equipment for your manufacturing business? What can be lost by NOT asking for a raise?

 Risk is the ultimate opportunity for the sweetest success.

Like jumping off a cliff and making it to the other side- the win is far greater than had you cleared the distance on flat ground. It is sweeter because of what you risked.

In case you working thru a RISK OPPORTUNITY and want to be smart about it? Study these bullet points-

  • Risk: an event or series of events that might have a negative impact on the project baseline.
  • Opportunity: an event or series of events that might have a positive impact on the project baseline. 
  • Issue: Has or is inevitable that it will happen and negative impact is expected
  • Probability: the likelihood of the risk occurring
  • Impact:  The measurement of a risk effect, expressed quantitatively

….and then go do it anyway.

Remember “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” 

Always looking forward,


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