When setting goals for the New Year, how much risk are you willing to take to achieve them? If you're not taking risks, you're not stepping outside of your comfort zone. And if you're not expanding you're comfort zone, you're not learning anything new. If you can achieve your goals by playing it safe, set some new goals...
I've been called a risk-taker. I was snow-boarding when I was 6 years old (back when it was called snurfing.) I was racing BMX bikes by the time I was 8 (as the scars on my knees and elbows can attest.) As a teenager I drag-raced cars and motorcycles at the track (sorry, ma, I wasn't at the movies.) I kick-boxed my way to several concussions and then ran marathons when they wouldn't let me back in the ring.
I took two years off between high school and college to be a full-time musician, writing songs, and touring with my band, working three jobs to support myself. I was living in my mom's basement. [Sidebar: What do you call a guitar player without a girlfriend? -- Homeless...] :)
After completing college, I took over an independent record label and turned it around. In my 30's, I started a retained executive search firm. In my 40's, I started my coaching and training firm. And I currently run a consulting practice as a Certified Partner for The Predictive Index.
As a musician, I've had guitar-strings break in the middle of songs. As a trainer, I've had fire-alarms go off in the middle of a workshop. (We finished in the parking lot without the slide-deck while the firemen put out the flames.) You learn to prepare for the unexpected and you better know your stuff. A professional will improvise, adapt, and give people their money's worth.
Is it risky for me to speak to a room full of CEOs and Business Owners and tell them how terrible they are at attracting, hiring, and developing top talent, and then show them how to fix it? Not really. I have the data, case studies, and decades of experience. I know I can help them.
I've made tons of mistakes, bad decisions, poor judgment calls, and flat out errors. The word "sin" is an archery term for missing the mark. I've committed countless sins. But the more risks I take, the more I learn. My comfort zone is forever growing. Risk kinda excites me...
My friends and family have described me as a risk-taker and as someone that is also very successful. I am comfortable with risk. In fact, I tend to see risk as an opportunity. That trait has served me well and is partly why I am successful.
And maybe that's the point... taking risks is easier if you believe in yourself and your abilities. And the best way to develop those beliefs (just like muscles) is to exercise them as part of your New Year's resolutions. Give yourself permission to fail and shoot for the moon when setting goals.
You can't steal second base without leaving first. Make it the New Year you deserve. Take some risks. As George Michael said, "You gotta have faith..."
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About the Author:
David B. Nast owns Nast Partners based in the Greater Philadelphia area. David is an Award-Winning Certified Business Coach with over 25 years of experience in Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Talent Management, Training, Career Coaching, Executive Search, and Human Resources.
He has coached thousands of CEOs, Business Owners and Executives.