Some see risk as a reason not to try. Some see it as an obstacle to overcome. The risk is the same; to try or not depends upon on our perspective.
I could be using this statement to speak to those in our community who are opposing a variety of development projects; for now that is not the case, although it does apply.
I am talking to people who have an idea or a concept but who can’t quite take the step to move forward and turn that idea into a business.
Risk is a part of everyday life and we assess risk constantly. Is it safe to cross the road? Should I make a certain purchase now or wait? Do I need to pack a raincoat? These are all fairly easy decisions to make. Business decisions on the other hand are not as easy as there is usually more at stake, they still however boil down to an assessment of risk; a determination which depends on whether you see risk as a reason not to try or as an obstacle to be overcome.
There is no judgment in either position; we are all wired differently and without risk takers we would have no entrepreneurs and without those averse to risk taking we would have a very different labour force.
Risk assessment and management are two of the keys to successful business management and it applies to all areas of life.
I know personally that I am and always have been a risk taker, always the first one to jump off the cliff. Like jumping off a cliff, there is no safety net for entrepreneurs, no pension, no guaranteed wage, and no guarantee of work hours; there is however a great deal of satisfaction in creating these things for yourself over the life of your enterprise.
To all of the entrepreneurs in our community: I salute you and thank you for taking the risks that you do.
Kim Burden is the executive director of the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce and a regular columnist with The NEWS.