Being Blog

Does Risk = Reward?

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I have been listening to a podcast in the morning as I walk my dog, which means I am finally getting a chance to listen to all the shows that have been in my queue for way too long. I’ve found that it allows me to start my day both learning something new and on a positive and inspired note. If you are a podcast listener or aim to be one, I would suggest checking out Design Sponge‘s “After the Jump.” Grace Bonney, Design Sponge Founder, interviews different people within the design and entrepreneur worlds and it is just the right amount of time, clocking in at around 35 minutes.

Most recently Grace interviewed blogger Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking and Crista Freeman, co-founder of the ice cream company Phin & Phebes, on The Importance of Taking Risks. Grace, a business owner herself, points out that she spends a lot of time thinking about what it means to take risks and wanted to explore the whole idea further. I have to agree – since starting Chapter Be, I’ve spent more time thinking about what it means to take risks then I can ever remember. On top of that, whenever I am at a meet-up or conference of entrepreneurs the word “risk” is inevitably mentioned. The word holds so much meaning, and yet also means something different to everyone who uses it.

There was a comfort in listening to what Gaby and Crista had to say, because I was able to identify with many of their experiences. Even though their businesses are at a more advanced stage then mine, their stories of struggle and choice were an example that this is something that all entrepreneurs go through. Their experiences were not all that dissimilar from those who are interviewed for Chapter Be – which proves that risks, knowing when to take them and then dealing with the outcome is all a part of the process.

The interview also left me with more questions in regard to risk-taking and entrepreneurship, which is always proof that the conversation had me thinking and reflecting on a deeper level…

  • What is it that ultimately makes us take that leap? Is it perhaps that we take little risks every day that lead us to taking an even bigger risk? 
  • What is the difference between a calculated risk and a blind risk? Are there benefits to both?
  • Does your personality determine whether or not you are a risk-taker or can risk-taking be learned? Both women mentioned that they played sports when they were younger – Is risk taking something that we learn as children and then cultivate as adults or can we learn how to take risks even if we’ve never been a big risk-taker? 
  • Do you have to be a risk-taker to be an entrepreneur? 
  • Do all risks have a reward? Well, I suppose that all depends on how you define reward, as we learn something even when it isn’t the reward that we anticipate. So, could that learning experience be considered a type of reward?

Whenever you read about the big, famous entrepreneurs – the Richard Branson-s and Oprah Winfrey-s of the world – you learn about BIG risks that they took to get where they are. These risks can sometimes feel overwhelming and unattainable for the average person. Is it not as much about the size of the risk, but more about the relevance to your own life and what that risk means for you?

What has your experience been with/what are your thoughts on risk-taking? 

*Images via Design Sponge 

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