“Pole dancing? Pole dancing would be considered fun! Where’s the risk in pole dancing?” Nelly cries. Nelly’s the CTO of Webgrrls International and the TechSpeak Bootcamp. We’re sipping hot mint tea in a cozy Upper West Side café. Two women business leaders, finally meeting face-to-face after months of email exchange.
“W-w-w-ell, it would totally challenge my comfort zones,” I stammer.
“Yeah … but just because you challenge a comfort zone doesn’t mean you’re taking a risk. It’s only a risk if you confront a real fear,” she says, sweeping her thick black hair off her shoulders.
Is Nelly right?
My mind races. Trying to buy time to respond, I scoop out a sprig of fresh mint and pop it in my mouth.
I shrink inside, suddenly feeling like a wimp. Was my New Year’s plan to push my boundaries just another way I deluded myself and played small?
I thought it was a good idea at the time. I know where I’ve held myself back and what it cost me.
Now, I want more from my business. To get that, I have to take greater risks. Hold a bigger vision. So I came up with a short list of activities I thought could stretch me. Challenge some of my limiting beliefs. Like karaoke. Alpine tower climbs. Pole dancing.
What would be a big stretch for you?
In all fairness, Nelly developed a different set of risk muscles. She immigrated to the U.S. from Tajikistan when she was 13. Competed in martial arts. Went rock climbing to conquer her fear of heights.
I’m a 3rd generation U.S. citizen and an intermarried Jew. Competed in Moot Court. Performed stand-up comedy to conquer my fear of public speaking.
Does it matter what risks we take as long as we keep pushing past our own boundaries? Do comfort zone challenges count? Or is it only a risk when you have something major on the line—like your life or your livelihood?
This year, I’m stepping into greater things. New ways to expand and scale my revenue—and my business overall. Using law as only one of the tools in my arsenal to help small businesses embrace growth and manage risk. It took me nearly three years to get comfortable saying “law ain’t everything.” And to act on it.
Building risk muscles is tough to do on your own. But your success depends on it. That’s why I’m offering complimentary 20-minute From Risk to Riches calls for a limited time, so that you can, too. If this resonates with you, e-mail me at connect@AskTheBusinessLawyer.com with RISK TO RICHES in the subject line. Let’s do it together!