Riding in a plane doesn't seem risky to me, but for some, it feels too risky and they will forgo the convenience of quick air travel. The climber that scales a wall with her strength, a rope and anchors in the rock face seems too risky and keeps most on the ground, missing the spectacular views reserved for the willing. For those that trust the dynamics of lift and thrust that keep the plane in flight or inspected the climbing rope, there is little risk. The entrepreneur that sees an opportunity evaluates risk differently because she knows the details and is working through them as carefully as the climber. I still marvel at how a properly shaped wing can provide lift to maintain an entire plane in the sky and no matter how many times I stand on a precipice, I still maintain a safe distance from the edge. The reality is that I am safe in either case, but I struggle to believe the truth of physics. The risk of a catastrophic failure of the plane is minuscule, just as the odds of an rock face giving way the moment I am standing upon it are virtually incalculable. We carry these risk assessments with us everyday; what stranger can I say "hi" to, what opportunity can I explore or who can I lend a hand. These assumptions are at our operating system level of who we are, driving our decisions and will do so without us even thinking. This inquiry is to take a moment to understand how you personally evaluate risk in your life and business. Dr. Ben Carson explained that his process was to look at the best and worse case of taking the risk and not taking the risk. This evaluation would provide four boundaries to help override irrational thoughts. Regardless of political leaning, this was his process for important decisions about conducting tasks such as brain surgery. We are all thankful that I am not the guy with knife in hand, but we should be conscious about our own process for evaluating risk and not leave it to a default.
What is your risk evaluation process? Do you have different processes between personal and business? Who do you know that has an effective process you respect? Have you missed opportunities because you have erred on the side of caution? When did you take too much risk and paid consequences? How do you fear taking risks?