Lessons from the Edge

Article by:
EO Staff

“I think it would be an understatement to say that risk is an important part of being an entrepreneur. It is the most vital ingredient to entrepreneurship. The one risk that sticks out most for me was the recent decision to move into a high-growth state, even as we were hit by the global recession. There were continuous ‘doomsday’ warnings stressing the importance of cutting back and downsizing, but we made the conscious decision to do the opposite. We wanted to increase our spending on public-facing marketing, while at the same time focus on cost efficiency, rather than cost cutting. It’s a gamble, but that’s business.”

Glen Ansell
EO South Africa

“In Canada, there is a one-year maternity leave statute. That’s fabulous for families, but a nightmare to manage for business owners! In 2006, out of 16 staff members, five were pregnant, which meant they were going to be out on leave... at the same time. I couldn’t afford to lose a third of my staff! So, I re-engineered the company to grow by 40 percent, ensuring that the new people we hired (and heavily invested in training) were kept. What did this experience teach me? That risk is everywhere, even when it comes with good news. Still, I’d rather live on the edge doing what I’m passionate about, feeling truly alive, than rotting somewhere doing a ‘job.’ Self-employment is the only answer for a person like me.”

Diane Dufour
EO Ottawa

“We believe that no business is successful without facing risks and taking on challenges to overcome them. Risks and challenges are an integral part of any business, and to make the business profitable, you have to dive into the unknown, the unseen, and experience it firsthand. Without taking risks, one stagnates. I’ve learned that taking risks guarantees growth.”

Ankur Bhatia
EO New Delhi

“Every day I am facing risk in business. I can work an entire year developing a plan, and it can fall down in a single day! To overcome the loss you just have to keep on working because every day brings new challenges and you will never stop learning. I’ve found that if you want to succeed in life, you must take risks. Being the best always comes with the will to assume the possible risks; this is the same in all aspects of life.”

Miriam Herz
EO Colombia

“As with any great personal adventure, I’ve found that the best lessons seem to be revealed not as a direct result of the achievement, but as a by-product of the journey. For example, the Catalina Classic, a 32-mile, open-ocean paddleboard race I first completed in 2003, offered many great lessons I continue to apply to work and life. In fact, it was the preparation for that event that spawned my development of The Habit Factor®, a process I created to identify and track key, supporting behaviors that I could then make into a habit to help me reach my goals.

Preparing for and participating in this race taught me that you don’t get what you want, you get what you measure (track). It seems the best results come from tracking a few essential behaviors, which can help you create the most important and supportive habits, enabling the achievement of ANY goal.”

Martin Grunburg
EO San Diego

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