Risk — A Four Letter Word, CEO Shoptalk

Today, we talk RISK, y’all. It is a four letter word and it can be profane, if you let it.

Big Red Car here on a sunny, Texas day which will give rise to a 103F temperature during which the BRC will be hanging in the pool, floating.

OK, so today we talk about risk. Risk is what drives startups. When you overcome a risk, you wander into the Winner’s Circle and collect your winnings at the mythical PAYWINDOW.

But, what is risk? Risk is different to different people. If you are a green, first time founder/CEO, then everything is risky after you have tied your shoes (the reason why new CEOs should wear slip-ons).

If you are a fifth time, serial entrepreneur, then your view of risk is different.

The Nature of Risk

Charlie Chaplin famously did his own stunts. When asked about it, he said, “They’re not stunts if you know what you’re doing.”

The same thing can be said about risk. Risk lives in the continuum of:

We know what we know.

We, sometimes, know what we don’t know.

We, always, don’t know what we don’t know.

It is the third one that kills us. But there is a solution and it is so easy, we overlook it.

Ask for help. Get help.

When, Big Red Car, when do we ask for help?

Do y’all remember this? Hyperlinked for YOU.

CEOs Doing Tough Things — Shoptalk 

Here is a list of 23 big things which CEOs have to make their bones on sooner or later. Some of them are company killers. Don’t let them be.

What does risk look like?

When you are a serial entrepreneur, you look at risk like this:

The serial entrepreneur, the King of the Jungle, does not fear risk because he has been there and done that. He eats risk for breakfast, lunch, dinner.

When you are a first time founder/entrepreneur/CEO, you look at risk like this:

The first time founders/entrepreneurs/CEOs are inexperienced and inquisitive. They are naive. Risk kills even lion cubs.

So, what you want to do is this:

The first time entrepreneur/founder/CEO seeking the counsel of the experienced mentor, coach, boardmember to offset their naivete. “OK, Big Cat, what do we do now?”

It is really not that hard as long as you have the wisdom to ask for assistance. When you are an entrepreneur and find yourself standing there at the end of the day with a rope in your hand, you have to be able to answer this question: “Did I find a rope or did I lose my horse?”

Get help to mitigate risk. Do not be afraid. Get help. Pro tip: RENT IT.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car and I’m going swimming, y’all. Be good to yourself. You’ve earned it and it you haven’t you will shortly. Be nice to someone who doesn’t expect it. And have a damn good weekend. Remember we have soldiers at war in at least two different places. Say a prayer for them. Out.