Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘taking risks

Failure Averse

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It was a radio exposé about a successful yogurt entreprise. I wasn’t really listening to it, but the interview droned on and on as I wandered around the house doing a variety of other things. I noticed the initial comments about how difficult the early days of the business were and figured it was just a typical worst-to-first tale that one would expect to hear on the radio or television.

When I came by the kitchen again later, I was surprised they were even still talking to this same guy, but then I realized they were still drilling through the worst years before the big victory in the end. Not having listened closely, I didn’t grasp how he was even still in business at that point where he was describing the level of debt that had amassed and scope of his scrounging for cash to get by each successive day.

That’s when it struck me. When Cyndie and I dipped our toes in the world of starting a business venture, we weren’t willing to go into debt to see if it was possible to eventually come up with a financially sustainable operation in the end.

It seems that most stories of wild success include a fair amount of previous failures that came first. I expect there are more tales of failure in the world than there are ultimate successes, but it occurred to me that energy spent avoiding failure probably inhibits overall outcomes.

Obviously, it doesn’t make sense that one should then plan to fail, but I think it does point to the importance of willingness to dance with increasing levels of risk and endure the challenges associated with it, long enough to eventually reach the dreams envisioned.

In our case, neither of us are comfortable with shaky finances. We signed documents of commitment to pay our mortgage every month, and we hold it a priority to be able to do that.

We have accomplished that financial stability throughout our lives thus far, but with that as our primary priority, there wasn’t much additional risk-space available for two non-celebrities launching a new-age horse assisted health and wellness learning venture an hour out of town to have much of a chance.

Honestly, I don’t know how people like the yogurt guy on the radio pull off their rags to riches accomplishments, but I’m glad they do. I’m too failure averse.

I wish I would have listened close enough to find out the name of his company. I’d like to go buy some of his yogurt as a hat-tip to his feat.

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Written by johnwhays

October 6, 2019 at 10:20 am

Flirting Disaster

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You’d think I would know better. Well, I hope you would. I think I should know better, …than to take ill-advised risks around the poison ivy on our property.

On Saturday, I knew the time to put a large effort into work around the property was limited. I would need to have a couple hours to clean up and drive to my high school reunion, so I wanted to avoid wasting any time. I held myself to a tight schedule and moved from one thing to the next based on time, not on completing the job.

I figured getting multiple things partially done was the best goal for the day.

After moving some compost, I grabbed the power trimmer and headed up to the north pasture to put some finishing touches on that bad haircut of a mowing job. Mostly, I needed to knock down the grass around each of the many evergreen trees.

It was hot, and I was lathered in a soaking sweat before I even started. As the spinning nylon line shredded every growing thing in its path, the plant shrapnel started to stick to my exposed skin.

Can you see where this is headed?

Oh yeah, I came upon poison ivy mixed in with the grass under the trees. A smarter person might have stopped right there and taken precautions.

My neck began to itch, and I knew it was too soon to be a reaction to poison ivy, but it got my attention. Just sweat alone is a trigger to scratch, but the addition of innocuous debris would cause an itch. Still, I was hesitant about reaching up to touch it, lest I rub a possible exposure into my sweating pores.

Since I was already covered and sweating, I decided to just forge ahead and be as careful as possible. When it was time to stop, I carefully made my way inside, peeled off the soaked work clothes and scrubbed in the shower with oil-busting soaps.

By last night it was apparent disaster had not been averted. Arms and neck are showing signs of what I would classify as a significant reaction.

Why didn’t I stop as soon as I realized the situation I was in? I wish I knew.

Maybe I’m trying to teach myself a lesson. I’ll let you know if, as the rash runs its course for the next couple of weeks or so, I experience any insight from this disaster with which it appears I’ve done way too much flirting.

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Written by johnwhays

July 17, 2017 at 6:00 am