Throwing yourself off a cliff

Risk is relative. It’s whatever scares us.

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A comedian friend of mine performs at a variety of open mics around town, almost every night of the week.

His personal challenge for improving his comedy game is, he tries to throw himself off a cliff once a night.

Meaning, there has to be one joke, one moment, one movement or one expression that terrifies him. Because it’s risky. It’s dancing on the edge of danger. The bit might not work. It might alienate half of the room. It might bring light to an awkward truth. And the club owner might ask him never to come back.

But the reward is, the comic gets to feel like he’s creating in a risky way. The reward is, he’s learning how to risk in small doses. The reward is, he’s developing new ways of responding to things that scare him. And that’s where human aliveness comes from.

Funny enough, comedy clubs aren’t that different from company boardrooms. Because in the corporate world, there is no incentive to throw yourself off the cliff. It’s quite the opposite.

Most big organizations are so invested in minimizing risk, that truly disruptive ideas can never take hold. That’s why outside vendors and supplies and agencies and consultants know never to bring an innovation to someone whose main goal is to not get fired. Because those people are not in the bravery business. They’re not paid to take chances.

They’re the guardians of the status quo whose job is to keep word from getting to the top of the wall. Good luck getting that guy to risk making someone upset with their initiative.

The good news is, risk is relative. It’s whatever scares us. Failure doesn’t have to be expensive, it merely has to be embarrassing.

And so, continually ask yourself the question:

How can I put myself in a state of risk again?

Force yourself to try things that might now work. As my mentor used to say, you’re only as a good as you dare to be bad.

You can risk being cursed and denounced, or you can stay at home, take no risks and make no enemies.

Will you leave excuses you have made not to throw yourself off the cliff?

For the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2017–2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of

The Nametag Guy in action here!

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