It’s Time to Take a Risk…or Two…or Ten!

I was watching “Ace of Cakes” the other night! The cakes these folks make are amazing. From a Hans Solo frozen in carbonite to the chocolate likeness of the Civil War statue `Moment of Mercy’. Bottom line, if you can imagine it they can make it! I catch the show occasionally but mostly keep up with them on Facebook. The other night when I was watching the show something really stood out to me. These folks make mistakes and those mistakes are right there on camera. In the episode I was watching as they were attempting to create hands for the Hans Solo piece. This task may appear minor, but it was a HUGE challenge. This particular cake creator didn’t throw in the towel or even get upset when the hands she was sculpting weren’t coming out right. She picked up some new chocolate to mold and got back to work. Not being able to create the right hands the first time was not a requirement. The focus wasn’t on being perfect the first time, but ultimately creating a cake that went above and beyond the customers’ expectations – and this cake definitely did that!

I don’t know about you but I really like to get things right the first time. As a wife, mother, small business owner (and too many other hats to count) I am guilty of throwing in the towel sometimes when things don’t go right the first time. Why? Because it’s the easy way!

In 2002 I was laid off from my media planning job. I had already been laying the groundwork (so I thought) to start my own organizing business in Albuquerque, NM. But after 8 months and not getting the response I needed/wanted I threw in the towel and went out and obtained a traditional office job. Why didn’t my business take off? Oh there’s a laundry list of reasons, but the biggest of all? I wasn’t willing to take risks! When things didn’t work out like I thought they should I decided to throw in the towel rather then try again or even try a different approach.

Fast forward to 2008, I found myself being laid off again (the 2nd time was easier). I was actually excited. My second son was 7 months old and I could be home with him more. And hey, this would be a great time to start my organizing business here in San Antonio. But, like they say, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink!” Again, I found myself not willing to take risks. I sat back and waited for the phone to ring, yet I hadn’t laid the ground-work for that to even happen.

By late 2009 I found myself ready to make some changes. Scratch that, I was ready to make A LOT of changes, starting with myself and my own fears. Many of us small business owners don’t realize (or are just in denial) that our fears in our business actually stem from our fears as an individual. By no means am I where I want to be , but after a few months of coaching (thank you Alicia), eye-opening experiences and most importantly not just knowing about taking risks, but actually taking them, I’m on my way!

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of taking the easy way. It’s time to get uncomfortable. To push ourselves a little more – heck, a lot more – and actually make things happen! Take a risk…or two…or ten! When something doesn’t turn out the first time the way you want, try again!

What’s holding you back?



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6 responses to “It’s Time to Take a Risk…or Two…or Ten!

  1. It’s great that you post this today. I had a great idea for a related post yesterday that I plan to work on in the next day or two. The gist of it was “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” In other words, what if there weren’t any risks? How would it change what you do?

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for the comment Ben! I love you idea for a post. Send me the info where I can read it when it’s up! Just think of what we could accomplish if we stopped focusing on the scariness of the risk and just doing!

  2. Love this post Michelle! The sooner we can reject perfectionism and walk forward despite the risks, the sooner we will find our success. Thank you for the reminder!

    • Thanks Alicia! We just get so focused on all the bad that can happen when we take risks. We even focus on what “others” will think of us if we do take that risk! It’s our time to just go for it! Glad we are “going for it” together!

  3. Nice post! I can relate. I’m guilty of the same thing. Before we even moved to Chattanooga, my husband was working here and went around to some stores and galleries and obtained business cards for me to follow up with in order to get my jewelry in the public’s eye. It wasn’t until someone actually contacted me, did I have the gall to go in! He said to me, “Why did you wait so long?”. I said, “Honestly, I was scared.” And the funny thing is, if you were to meet me personally, you would never believe that could be true.

    • Dawn! Thanks so much for sharing that! We are not alone in that we have let our fears hold us back. For me? It’s been the fear of rejection. Who likes to be told “no” a million times? But now…I “go for no”! Then, I’m not setting myself up and when I least expect it get that awesome YES! Amazing what can happen when we face our fears head on and just go for it! It’s been such a treat getting to know you online! What out Chattanooga – Dawn’s making things happen!

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