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VIEWPOINT: Risk and return

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Most people try to live a risk-free life. You may view taking risks as reckless and irrational and to be avoided. But unfortunately, life is full of risk. Everything you do involves risk. There are dangers in every type of travel, eating, breathing, working, exercising, etc.

Risk is an unavoidable part of your everyday life.

What to do?

What can you do with regard to risk then? Two obvious options are to either avoid or manage it.

Avoiding risk is challenging as your actions would condense a life of fear and you may end up living a reclusive life like Mr Howard Hughes.

Managing and embracing it means that you challenge yourself and design your own risk appetite respecting your expected return.

Embrace and manage

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? You can so easily get stuck in a routine, especially at work. Taking on new challenges gets you out of the furrow and into new exciting spaces.

Taking chances tests you and pushes your own boundaries.

I love challenges. When I set out to start my own coaching practice cold turkey in the midst of a challenge in the world economy, everyone told me how crazy I was. Why would I want to walk away from financial stability as a Finance Executive in the then economic environment?

Careful risk management highlighted worst possible consequences and I designed potential solutions to outcomes from those risks. I accepted the risk for a (potential) high return and did it.

The challenge is to follow through on your dreams. And if you fall flat, pick yourself up and try again. Learn from your mistakes. And, remember, you’ve got to go make a real difference in people’s lives if you’re going to be successful.

Go for it

Don’t be afraid of taking risks. Perhaps you think you will never be disappointed or suffer like people who try and not reach their dreams. But when you look back – and everyone does – you will regret not facing those fears.

Don’t make that mistake.

Go for it while you can. I know you have it in you. I can’t promise you’ll get everything you want, but I can promise nothing will change if you don’t try. ❐

Author: Stanford Payne CA(SA)

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