Risky Business.

Risky Business. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Happy Black Friday!  Instead of shopping today, I took care of some business and then hit the park with the kids and my husband, hoping that running around in the cold air would coax everyone into napping so that I could have some quiet work time in the afternoon.

A lot of people actually work on the day after Thanksgiving, and not just in retail or food service.  I was in Hartford this morning, and although the state courts were closed and the traffic was barely existent, you could tell people were working, trying to take advantage of the relative quiet, like I was planning to do.

As I sat in the park watching the kids play with their dad on the, uh, whatever you call it—playscape? (I’m not really a regular at the park)—I thought about how my business and career are going, and considered taking certain risks that could increase my profitability and standing in the community, but might drain me financially, physically and emotionally.  I wish I could say that I am in the habit of taking small, reasonably calculated risks.  Honestly, I move between two pole positions:  the fearful, take no chances, cling to the status quo position, and the head-first tumble into the unknown that is a little scary but somehow just feels right, for reasons I can’t quite qualify.

It also made me think about my law practice in general.  There is a lot of strategy involved in the cases I handle.  Over time, some of it has become second nature, by sheer virtue of experience and the ability to make reasonable judgment calls based on encountering similar scenarios over and over again.  However, each case presents with its own unique risks, and it seems that the bigger the risk, the greater the potential for reward—or devastating failure.

Geez.  No wonder I’m so stressed out all the time!  But just admitting this feels good.  I would rather roll the dice, and have my chance at amazing success, than put the dice away for good and guarantee that my chance at said success is zero.

Just at that moment, I looked up to see my 18-month-old taking a nosedive at the top of the slide.  She barreled down headfirst and landed right on her face, scratching her little nose up on that rubbery stuff they pave the playground with.  Ouch.

She’s ok now, and hopefully she knows to be more careful next time.  Also, she got right back up after that, and with a little cuddling, was raring to go play again.

So yeah, that’s the big metaphor for my life right now:  don’t be afraid to tumble forward at the top of the fun-looking slide, because the worst you’ll end up with is a scratched-up nose.  Wait.  That’s not really it.  I don’t know.  I’m really tired right now, but I think you know what I mean.

I am going to take the risks I need to take in order to accomplish the goals I set for myself.  My goals are pretty lofty, so those risks are going to get bigger and bigger as time goes on.  But my hope is that, as I grow my business, my ability to deal with the possible negative outcomes of those risks will also grow in kind.  Just as my toddler will grow bigger and bigger, so that taking a nosedive off the big kid slide won’t be as daunting if she endures another faceplant, I believe I can rise to the ever-increasing challenges—and that it will be a worthwhile experience.

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