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What You Can Learn From My Dog

sasha-snowThis weekend I had the chance to take my dog out and really play around in the snow with her.  I love spending time with my dog, Sasha.  But unfortunately, my schedule over the past few months prevents me from doing some of the really fun things that we enjoy doing like going on hikes, swimming, and running around at the park.  Being part Australian Shepherd and part Siberian Husky she loves to zip around…especially in snow.  

So, on Saturday morning she came into the bedroom and woke me up waaay too early to go outside.  I suited up and went outside to start jumping through snow piles, rolling around, and throwing snowballs.  Sasha acts just like a kid in the snow.  She runs head first into the biggest piles of snow she can find.  She bites snowballs as they’re thrown at her.  She runs as fast as she can on the pavement then stops so she slides.  We repeated this every couple hours on Saturday and Sunday.  It was tons of fun.  But, then as I was watching her run around, something occurred to me.  Though she was having a lot of fun, everything she was doing was a calculated risk.  She never jumped into or off of anything that she didn’t know.  Sometimes she miscalculated and once she even hurt her paw for a brief minute.  She knew the general layout and then just had fun.

Going into 2009 we need to take calculated risks.  In order to take these risks, we need to know the general landscape of the area.  Once we assess the potential risk and determine that it presents a good opportunity then we need to jump in and have fun with it.  You must have fun.  There may be bumps along the way, there are always bumps.  Sasha tweaked her paw a couple times so then she slowed down for a little while but then jumped right back in not afraid.  We need to do the same when those bumps happen.  Slow down, assess, and then figure out how to overcome that issue but not be afraid to try another idea, grab another project or whatever the opportunity may be.

How am I doing this in 2009?  I am setting sail by taking a new position with a new company in a new state.  This includes my fiance having to find a new job, paying all of the relocation costs and diving into something uncertain.  Oh yeah, and we’re doing all of this 6 months before our wedding.  Why?  Because I know the landscape of the field that I work in and of where I want to get to.  I assessed the opportunity along with the potential risks and decided to jump in and have fun.  For me, 2009 is going to be a lot of work, a lot of change but it’s also going to be a lot of fun.  I’m capitalizing on an amazing opportunity and am looking forward to seeing that risk pay off.

What risks are you going to take in 2009 to make sure you succeed?

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  • http://TheOperationsGuy.com/ Apolinaras Sinkevicius

    Great observation! I have been using an analogy of a seasoned mountain climber versus an amateur cliff-diver to describe what successful entrepreneur is. There are “black swans” who got lucky and seems like those are the only people other entrepreneurs like to use for inspiration. That is RECKLESS!!! Mountain climbers take risk management very seriously and they spend great amount of time preparing, planning, and training. Most amateur cliff-divers count on luck. Do they bother surveying the depth of water? Rip tides? Other dangers? Nope! They just jump and scream “yahoo”. You see entrepreneurs like that – RUN, don’t walk. They will take you down with them.

    But again, I am business operations person to the core, I only take risks I have plan B,C, and D for and can recover if all fails. Your experience may differ.

    Apolinaras “Apollo” Sinkevicius
    http://www.leanstartups.com

    P.S. Justin, good luck in your new venture!

    Apolinaras Sinkevicius’s last blog post..Just say "NO" to ghost blogging!

  • http://leanstartups.com Apolinaras Sinkevicius

    Great observation! I have been using an analogy of a seasoned mountain climber versus an amateur cliff-diver to describe what successful entrepreneur is. There are “black swans” who got lucky and seems like those are the only people other entrepreneurs like to use for inspiration. That is RECKLESS!!! Mountain climbers take risk management very seriously and they spend great amount of time preparing, planning, and training. Most amateur cliff-divers count on luck. Do they bother surveying the depth of water? Rip tides? Other dangers? Nope! They just jump and scream “yahoo”. You see entrepreneurs like that – RUN, don’t walk. They will take you down with them.

    But again, I am business operations person to the core, I only take risks I have plan B,C, and D for and can recover if all fails. Your experience may differ.

    Apolinaras “Apollo” Sinkevicius
    http://www.leanstartups.com

    P.S. Justin, good luck in your new venture!

    Apolinaras Sinkevicius’s last blog post..Just say "NO" to ghost blogging!