Sklover’s Monday Thought: “Take Risks, Sure . . . but with Caution.”

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If at first you don’t succeed . . . maybe skydiving isn’t for you.”

Steven Wright

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As an attorney, it is a good part of my job to identify risks, assess risks, and to help my clients minimize or eliminate risks. As a person I’m rather risk averse. I regularly advise that too many people don’t achieve their dreams due to needless fears. At the same time, though, I find that too many people fail to take heed of risks in their work lives and career transitions.

Sure, employees should answer the phone when a recruiter calls, but accepting a job offer without carefully reviewing the “details” is nothing less than foolhardy.

Sure, employees should probably accept a workplace bonus or stock grant, but careful review of the “strings” attached, and therefore the risks of accepting it – is a critical preliminary step.

And, too, I really enjoy counseling employees who feel strongly that they’d like to open their own businesses, but part of that counsel is to discuss not only the potential upsides of “being your own boss,” but also taking serious account of the necessary preparations, potential problems, and likely pitfalls, of doing so.

In my 40+ years in business and working with successful business people has taught me that potential rewards are very motivating, but potential risks – and who will have to “swallow” them – are what makes a deal happen or not happen, and to my mind rightly so. It’s important to learn from your mistakes, but it’s also important to avoid making them, too. So look . . . before you leap.

This quote – both insightful and funny – came to us from Rebecca H. of Sikeston, Missouri, who shared with us that she does, in fact, engage in skydiving, but always has a trusted and experienced friend fold her parachute before the plane leaves the ground. Smart woman. Thanks, Rebecca.

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