Risk, like the word failure, can recall a negative sentiment in the mind. But, this is all a matter of perspective. When you begin to understand that risk is a spectrum of outcomes that can take place, of which you have some control, then opportunities become something that you can create rather than have happened to you.
The decisions I make for my business, career, and life come from this premise. Predictably, we search for assurance in our choices. The challenge is how we reconcile our emotions in the decision-making process. It may feel like a leap of faith, but it shouldn't. Risk-taking should feel, to a certain degree, uncomfortable. That feeling is a signal to our brain that we are challenging our biases. Not coincidentally, it is the perfect incentive to learn as much as we are willing to learn about the "leap" before we approach the cliff. This is the advantage we have as entrepreneurs. We know the effectiveness of strategic planning, research, experimentation, and iteration. We trust these activities. We welcome the process.
On the other hand, when we allow the weight of risk to arrest our decision-making, we effectively confess to premature defeat. We’ve planned to fail. But these narratives of worst-case scenarios, that we invent and nurture in our minds, are just fodder for confirmation bias.
Instead, let us discover the productivity and reward in directing our attention to calculated and desired outcomes. This is the only direction that appropriately aligns our actions to the journey of our success.
I launched Social Mediums as an ethical digital marketing agency for mission-driven organizations and startups. As a former coffee shop owner, I was most connected to bringing life to our business & brand through creative and experiential marketing. But, I was also interested in the balancing act of addressing our double-bottom-line of sustainability and social impact.
While working with local community-grounded startups, organizations, and everyone in between, I developed a portfolio of experiences and real-world case studies that gave me a sense of where I felt I could further develop my skills. Social Mediums, is in a sense, my work-in-progress. As entrepreneurs, we make ourselves vulnerable through the products we create and the services we provide. To get used to this feeling, I purposefully marketed my business using my "failure" as a coffee shop owner to qualify my growth as an entrepreneur and role as an intrapreneur.
I knew that my message would resonate. And the reception I received further confirmed that a fail forward is the quickest way to...