Today begins Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021. I’ve always loved the intense focus on innovation coupled with hundreds of events rife with networking opportunities that this week brings. Of course, as the GEW website outlines, as we look to emerge from the havoc of the COVID-19 pandemic, the important work of rebooting and rebuilding our communities must begin. By supporting and encouraging one another to think and act in an entrepreneurial manner, we can seize this moment to rebuild economies, create jobs and advance forward with strength, determination and optimism.
With that in mind, we all know that one thing that entrepreneurs share is a healthy acceptance of risk. While everyone has some risk tolerance, we each operate at a different level. In fact, creativity innovator, Roger von Oech, says we all have a “risk muscle” and we keep it in shape by trying new things. If we don’t, our risk muscle atrophies, and we become powerless to take chances.
This is not meant to encourage you to play roulette, purchase a lottery ticket, or go cliff diving… unless you want to! Instead, my hope is that you will wade into uncomfortable territory to see how it goes. It could be that you reach out to someone you don’t know to ask if they will join you for a cup of coffee… or approach your manager to ask for a “stretch” assignment or special project… or attend a networking reception on your own with a room full of people you haven’t met previously. Who knows… your new contact might say “yes” to coffee and become a friend for life… you may nail that assignment and get a promotion… you might attend that event and get three new clients. Or, of course, you may not. It’s risky, but you will never know unless you try. Von Oech reminds us that if we get a bull’s eye every time, we are probably standing too close to the target. Go on… flex your risk muscle… give it a go!