Thursday, 11 February 2010

Success Strategies: Empowerment through Risk-Taking

When you love someone you don't want harm to befall them. But sometimes people can be over-protective of those they care about and this, sadly, can end up causing more harm than good. Sometimes a person can be so sheltered that they become overly averse to risk-taking and this can dramatically limit what they achieve in life.

And I frequently see examples of this but rather than share an example of what could be described as over-protectiveness let me share a story with you of just the opposite.

One cold, dark January morning a little boy, he was just 11 at the time, was awakened by his mother who had decided that he should cycle to Bournemouth - a 50 mile trip. He was used to being set challenges by his parents and this latest challenge was to help teach him about the "importance of stamina and a sense of direction".

His mother sent him off with just some sandwiches and an apple, leaving him to find water on his journey. It was an overnight trip and the young boy spent the night with a relative. When he returned home the next day his mother greeted him as if he'd just returned from playing down the bottom of the garden.

"Well done, Ricky. Was that fun? Now, could you run along to the vicar's? He's got some logs he wants chopping and I told him that you'd be back any minute."

You may already know this story and so know that the little boy was none other than Sir Richard Branson. You may even be appalled that his mother could send such a young boy off on such a journey. Richard Branson's parents certainly couldn't be accused of being over-protective. Yet, it is challenges such as the one described here that I believe helped to shape him into the entrepreneur and adventurer that he has become.

The accomplishments of the billionaire Richard Branson's within the realm of business are so numerous that it's easy to forget about his hot air balloon and sailing exploits - his record attempts and the records he's broken.

Certainly, there were risks engrained in the challenges that Richard Branson's parents and others set him as a child but these challenges helped to mould him into a person who certainly is not afraid to take calculated risks. I sure that one of their aims was to help grow into an individual who would have the courage to face any challenge in life.

And courage is what we need more so than know-how as having all the expertise in the world to do something is of no use if you don't have the courage to put your expertise into action. When Richard Branson was sent off on that bike ride he didn't know how to reach his destination. He didn't know where he would get water. He had to figure out these things out along the way.

In your life-time many opportunities will come your way. However, initially you may not know how to achieve success with this particular opportunity. This shouldn't be a reason to abandon the opportunity before you even reach the first hurdle. To achieve great success in life you have to be prepared to take risks and risk failing because risk-taking is a natural part of life.

When the young Richard Branson returned home from his cycling adventure he was bursting with pride over his achievement and his mother was probably also very proud of her young son. However, she was careful not to get too emotional and go over the top about what he had achieved as some parents are apt to do. Her remarks demonstrated that she fully expected him to be able to safely navigate the journey.

Now this tactic may not work with all children. Some need more reassuring and encouragement than others but in Richard Branson's case it likely further built his self-confidence and helped to build the foundation from which he would later attempt and sometimes achieve even more daring feats.

Similarly, you can also use this success strategy of risk-taking to empower you and those you care about to become more adventurous and less risk-adverse. And, by being prepared to take more calculated risks, improve your chances to WIN BIG in life.


Engage Today 2009 was an extraordinary event featuring over 20 of the world's renowned entrepreneurs, luminaries and thought leaders including President F.W. DeKlerk, The Dalai Lama, Dr Stephen Covey, Les Brown, Barbara De Angelis and of course Sir Richard Branson. As is common with all highly successful people they have all, at one stage or another, taken big risks to achieve success. The presentations given by tese individuals at the event were inspirational.

And now, you can now gain access to all of the presentations in a beautifully compiled homestudy program with high quality DVDs, CDs, MP3s, an interactive workbook and transcripts so no matter your learning modality you can both learn from and enjoy this material. For full details simply click the link below which will re-direct you to a website which contains a video that will given you a taster of what's instore for you...