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Feb 18, 201311:33 AMThe Gray Area

with Donna Gray

Going out on a limb

Going out on a limb

(page 1 of 2)

One day not too long ago, I watched a squirrel climbing a branch on a very tall tree, wind blowing, branch swaying, and squirrel hanging on for dear life. The squirrel had a mission. There was a bird feeder filled with sunflower seeds not too far away from the tree, and it was tempting the squirrel to enjoy the bounty, so he (or she) was determined to achieve that goal … no matter how precarious the ride on the branch.

That dedication to hanging on, no matter how hard the wind whipped that branch, reminded me of some entrepreneurs I know who have not been afraid go out on a limb, betting that the leap will propel them to more growth and success. The squirrel had an advantage that entrepreneurs don’t have: It could see exactly how far it had to leap before getting the prize.

Even during challenging economic times, some people don’t hesitate when opportunity knocks. They do their homework to make sure each risk has merit, and after getting satisfactory feedback, they jump on the limb and work to make the jump pay off. They risk capital on business ventures, but they gather all the information necessary before taking a chance on questionable ventures. These business wizards have a special thinking process that includes:

  • Looking for opportunities. While some were mourning the decline in business during the past few years, the stars were looking at their businesses with new eyes and inventing ways to reach new markets with their products and services. Those who go out on a limb usually keep an open mind and welcome and consider all new ideas.
  • Welcoming change. Any change, good or bad, can bring opportunities for better results.
  • Looking at failure as education. Thomas Edison admitted that he failed hundreds of times as part of learning how to invent the light bulb. Entrepreneurs don’t waste time worrying about yesterday’s mistakes. They just change their plan for the way they tackle the next opportunity.
  • Dreaming big. Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it!”
  • Getting more education. Most risk-takers are lovers of learning.
  • Playing. Entrepreneurs love to play with, and experiment with, new things. Most risk-takers think there’s a better way to do something.
  • Thinking optimistically and positively! They have great belief in their ability to make things happen. They are full of confidence and determined to succeed. They also have fun in the process.
  • Having enthusiasm for, and the courage to take, risks – to go out on a limb even when the outcome is uncertain.
  • Never allowing others to discourage or dissuade them from going for the gold. They don’t wait for approval.

Feb 25, 2013 06:42 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Always enjoy your column - and this one had good timing for me. Taking a big risk in a personal matter - I'm terrified, but I'm going to do it anyway because the time seems right. Risk-takers aren't always feeling bold, but the courage comes from doing it anyway and accepting the results and going from there.

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