"Who would like to be the first to have their picture taken with Whistler?" said the enthusiastic tour guide to our group of business professionals.
No one said anything for a few seconds- I didn't want to be rude and interrupt someone who was all excited to be first. But the ensuing silence let me know that everyone in our group was calculating the exact safety of such a move-
I mean, what do we know, if anything, about the 18,000 pound Whistler's sanity? He's awfully big. Those horns look pretty menacing... hmm.
"I will!" I said, breaking the awkward silence. But inwardly I was rather thinking if I might get hurt, or die, or at the very least, get hooked on one of his very long horns, cry desperately and ruin my makeup. Oh, well- I decided- so what?
After I had my picture made, and lived through the experience free of gross internal injuries; everyone else decided to do it too.
It occurred to me, that in business- I'm pretty much the same way. If I think it's a good shot- I'll take a risk. It's my very nature. I'd rather take a risk and lose, than to not take a risk and play it safe.
I suppose the reasons that make me more able to embrace a risk is because I know what it's like to play it safe and how high a cost that came with.
I also remember the exact moment in my life that I took my first risk. And it turned out quite badly.
George, my father, flatly said on a hot summer night in Oklahoma- "Lisa, don't touch that plant. That plant will sting you. Stay away from it."
Nonsense! I was about four years old. Up until that time in my life, in my vast experience, no plant had harmed me in any way. How could this plant be any different? He must be wrong. He must not understa.....
"Aaaaaaaaaah!" I screamed, after thrusting my whole hand smack down into bull nettle. Oh. He's right. What do you know about that? Hmmm.
But see, I had to find out myself if that was true or not.
Sometimes it's risky to be an entrepreneur. So what? It could never hurt as much as that bull nettle.
When I play poker with you- you're going to get extremely mad at me. Here's why.
I'll act like I really don't know much about what's going on. I'll act more preoccupied by sipping my drink and eating ChexMix, that you aren't any too threatened by me. I give you the illusion I'm easy prey.
"Gosh. Now tell me again what all those hearts mean?"
I let five to seven hands go like that. However, I'm watching you intently but you don't know it. I can tell the little mannerisms you throw off when you've got something, and that tell-tale squirm you have when you don't. I'm "learning" you.
When I see my opportunity, and I know for a fact I've got more than you do- (because of all the tips you just gave me) I'll go "all in" and buy the entire pot. All or none. I'm going to crush you. It's not personal. I just like to win.
In business, I'm the same way. I may look all nice- but I'm playing to win this thing. People who hire my companies are hiring because I'm going to deliver. If I can't deliver, why should they hire me? I make sure I can deliver. My clients aren't playing at owning a business either. There's a lot on the line. If you take a risk with me, I'll prove to you that's a great decision.