The Importance of Taking Risks

The Importance of Taking Risks

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”
T.S. Elliot

It’s one of my favorite quotes and so perfect for any small business owner. Take a minute and just think about it. We’re an industry of artists and we all have our heroes. I’m not talking about the icons that pack a room at a convention with a standing room only crowd, but our personal favorites. People who have come into our life, motivated us, helped spark an idea and supported us when we fell, helping us to get up and start all over again.

In 2009 I made a decision that a lot of people suggested was a “risk going too far”. I gave up a great job as President of WPPI and Rangefinder Magazine and decided to start my own company. I remember having serious second thoughts and my best friend, now my wife Sheila, said to me, “What are you afraid of?”  My answer couldn’t have come out quicker, “I’m afraid of failing!”

There’s no such thing as a sure thing in any business. We all have our hopes and aspirations and if you’re lucky enough you’ve got a good buddy or two in your life to help you through the fog of business, technology and the ups and downs of the economy.  Like a lighthouse for a sailor, they’re beacons that help us stay focused on our passion and protect us from the negativity around us. They help us dream.

This is a business of risk and if you hold back on your potential you’ll be looking back the rest of your life wondering what you might have accomplished. That means you have to give your best every day with no compromises on the quest to achieve your goals.

“Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it!”
George Halas


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This article was written by
Skip Cohen

Skip Cohen is an industry executive recognized for his diversity. He has served as past president of Hasselblad USA, Rangefinder/WPPI and in 2009 founded his own educational consulting company. In 2013 he launched Skip Cohen University dedicated to helping artists build a stronger business. He's a regular speaker at a variety of conventions and writes for several different magazines, as well as having two business classes at Click above to visit the SCU blog.

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