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The Risks and Rewards of Being in Business

January 24, 2013

Entrepreneurial advice and inspiration

SarahBurke

Last year’s news about Canadian skier Sarah Burke’s tragic death triggered a memory from my teenage years that taught me about risk taking in business. Every weekend my mother, sister and I headed to the slopes of Snow Ridge, a ski resort in Turin, NY. As my mother taught ski lessons, my sister and I ventured to the hills for a fun day of skiing. Having always enjoyed skiing as a recreational sport, I never thought about racing until my sister and I were approached to join the junior racing team.

Knowing we were very good skiers, we accepted the invitation to join. I’ll never forget the apprehension that flooded over me when I lined up for my first race. All of a sudden the thought of “wiping out” during the race swept over me. I felt paralyzed by the fear more than the excitement of the challenge. It’s funny how fear can cause both adrenaline and the temporary feeling of not being able to move at the same time.

It was too late to back away as I approached the gates. All I could do was move forward through the fear using my knowledge of skiing to weave through the icy turns. The short racing run was probably the longest run of my life. At the bottom of the hill, my sister and I relished the experience but a couple weeks after being on the racing team we came to different decisions about our futures as skiers. My sister, with a little bit more bravado than me, continued to race. I decided to enjoy the unpressured joy skiing brought to my life. Racing wasn’t for me but I was extremely glad I tried it because I would have never known if it was something I should pursue if I didn’t test myself.

In business we freeze sometimes. We don’t have to be outside on a wintry day or at the top of a ski slope ready to race. We can freeze when we know must experience something new to see if it’s a right move for us. Whether it’s hiring an employee, taking out a loan, or expanding products, we can’t freeze as entrepreneurs. We have to give new adventures a try. It’s the only way to know what is next.

Today’s post is to remind you business is about risk. It’s also about reward. You won’t receive rewards without some type of risk. You don’t have to test your nerves on a ski slope but you need to test your nerves within your business. Moving forward and taking brave new steps is essential in business. What do you feel you are ready to tackle today?

Enjoy the risks and rewards of being an entrepreneur. Embrace the race at the top of the hill once in awhile and see if it triggers an unexpected knowledge about yourself and your future. “Thank you” to Sarah Burke for being a pioneer for women competing in the X Games.

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