Starting a business is always risky. For those of us who’ve
started successful businesses we’ve had to balance risks and the promise of
rewards. Sometimes you feel the fear but do it anyway, because if you don’t do
it, there will be a part of your life that never gets lived.
There are other risks that we take that seem to have nothing
to do with our work life but the risks we take in our personal lives are
intertwined with the risks we take in our business.
I got to experience what I considered to be a risk, and move
through my fear at a water park in Biot, France with my fifteen-year-old son.
My son has always loved amusement parks and water parks; the scarier the ride,
the better. I’ve developed an intense dislike for both. The bottom line is that
I hate not being in control, and being spun around like a top by an exterior
force that I can’t stop. Just being in a theme park was enough to feel like my
stomach was in my throat.
During our recent trip to France, my son went online and
discovered a water park thirty minutes away. As hard as I tried I couldn’t get
out of taking him there. I warned him that I wouldn’t go on any of the water
rides with him. I went with him knowing I would be bored. I even took a book to
Once we got there, I was impressed at how different this
water park was from ones I’d experienced here in California. It was very clean;
it didn’t feel overcrowded and rushed. I imagined myself going on some of the
slides. I decided I would try going down one and felt comfortable enough
knowing that it would be okay if I changed my mind if it felt too out of
I got my son to go on the slide with me. I summoned all of
my courage, visualized the ride down, turned off my negative thoughts, climbed
the stairs and slid down into the water. I proceeded to several more slides
that were higher and steeper, and each time it got easier and more fun.
I felt like this was a great achievement. I had broken
through a fear barrier and was successful.
I realized that there was a business corollary to this “magnificent
accomplishment.” Having a successful business, creating a new product and
getting it to market means taking a risk but we can control when we launch our
new products, who we involve and knowing that if we fail we can use it as a
learning opportunity and do it differently next time.