That’s a big, bold scary word. Insert “risk” into any sentence and you’re certain to raise an executive’s eyebrows.
But, you know what? Never forget this formula: Risk = Reward.
It’s not just a saying, it’s true. Want to know an even better piece of news? We’re already adept to taking risks, it’s part of our lifestyle.
You take risks every morning. Whether it’s driving to work next to Mr. Aloof (yes, I’m talking to you mister – remove the iPod headphones and stop intermittently looking up at the road whilst firing off a 500-word email on your iPhone) or pushing back on a client because you’re confident that your insight is going to help achieve desired goals in the long run.
With any risk comes the opportunity for payoff. Earlier this month, the L.A. Times ran a story about how Southwest is generating huge revenue through their “bags-fly-free” program. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly knew he was running a risk with the program but it has proved to be a huge revenue generator:
By Kelly’s calculations, Southwest has grabbed nearly $1 billion in annual market share — thanks in large part to people avoiding bag fees.
“We’re beating the pants off everybody in terms of our revenue production,” Kelly said. “We have fewer seats offered every day, and we’re carrying more passengers. We’re defying gravity.”
Risk = Reward.
On the same token, risk doesn’t always have to equate to potentially devastating revenue loss. Take the example of Alec Brownstein. Alec came up with the grand idea of running a Google AdWords campaign to help land his dream ad agency job. Alec decided to target ads to creative directors who would see the ads when they Googled themselves.
Sure, a bold move by some considerations but in the end, Alec spent a total of $6 and now works at an agency he loves.
Risk = Reward.
You can sit back and be content with the status quo or you can embrace the moment and get bold.
Go ahead, propose that alternative social media strategy that’s been swirling around your head, meet your boss for coffee to chat about a business development idea that may or may not pan out, reach out to connect with that digital guru that you’re assuming is too busy to respond to you, step away from that gig that makes you 75% happy when another opportunity has the potential for greater happiness.
What risk are you going to take next?