Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life? Yes or No?


Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?

A great quote but I have a sneaking suspicion that it doesn’t just refer to people’s lives but also to their businesses.

We are all so careful lest we make a mistake. We are so hesitant in case something goes wrong.

And the same applies to our businesses. The downside seems so huge. If it all goes pear-shaped then we lose the staff, the customers, our reputation, the confidence of the bank. If it goes really badly then we might even lose our family homes or even our partner and family.

So we become risk averse for fear of losing everything. But that is bonkers. That ‘safety first’ thinking limits us and puts us into an even bigger dead end than when we were employed.

And the downside isn’t quite so grim as it first appears... Rarely is business life totally binary - rarely is it either make millions or bankruptcy – there are lots of shades in between and there are usually lots of opportunities to retreat before the going gets really tough.

So, is your business breathing just a little and you’re calling it a business? Or is it really living to fulfill its potential? Are you seeing the opportunities for what they are? Are you considering all the positive outcomes, seeing the possible upside? Or do you immediately say ‘no’, almost out of habit, and as a result pass up on all kinds of benefits.

‘Business as Usual’ is the safe option. But quite how dangerous is the alternative? I am not proposing that you go crazy and try anything. What I am thinking is that we limit ourselves by trying to never lose. It may not be possible to ‘never lose’. Maybe you will lose and maybe the loss won’t be quite so bad. Maybe you won’t lose. But you’ll never find out if you don’t take some risks!
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