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To Excel, You Need To Take Intelligent Risks – Sometimes BIG, FAT ONES too!

NB: This is the second of a ten part series (click here to read part 1) based on an e-book I wrote few years back. Subsequent parts are published at weekly intervals – in the “Entrepreneurship” and “Self-Development” categories.

************Upcoming DN Travel News update preview**********

Pix 1: A Handball Semi Final Match at Stade De L’Amitie, Cotonou, Benin Republic (taken on Saturday 6th April 2013 at 9.45 a.m)

This was one of the exciting matches I watched in a handball competition that ended over the last weekend – from Friday till Sunday evening. The organisation and quality of play was impressive.

I actually got a chance to play with one of the teams – but over 15 years without playing competitively is a long time. I was simply too match rusty and had to be taken off after costing the poor guys on my side two goals :-)

The competition was held in honour of a referee who passed on. More in the update I’ll be publishing.

Pix 1: A Handball Semi Final Match at Stade De L'Amitie, Cotonou, Benin Republic (taken on 6th April 2013 at 9.45 a.m)

*****The above was just a quick news flash/preview of what’s to come in my next DN Travel News update.****

Now, to the article proper.

Risk-Taking Is Inevitable

You cannot run away from risk in business or life in general, if you want to excel. And you can be sure you’ll fall flat on your face more times than you’ll enjoy looking cool, calm and collected while you work your way up to success.

That’s the truth. True champions usually have to get themselves dusty, muddy and dirty from fighting their way to the top, before they finally arrive.

If you don’t like the idea of looking (or being) vulnerable, or you detest the thought of looking bad from making mistakes/getting things wrong, you have a big problem on your hands.

One thing is certain: authentic success is likely to elude you.

I quit my high paying job in Guinness Nigeria (1 year after being promoted/sent to the UK), to start my business. Ten years on, I remain more fulfilled than I ever felt while working in my high paying job as a manager in a large corporate multinational!

Some people reportedly said I was mad then. I later learnt one of those who said so was made redundant a year after I left.

Now think about it: At least I was ready and I chose to leave by myself. In his case, he wasn’t and he never saw the sucker punch coming either. Double trouble I call that.

And it can happen to anyone. It could have happened to me too. You can insist on holding on to your comfortable job for as long as possible. But it’s not likely to be able to return the favour. You could of course try moonlighting – where you try you hands at a busienss idea on the side during your time away from work.

Example: It Makes No Sense To Expect A Loan Without Collateral

Many aspiring or practicing entrepreneurs usually want bank loans without collateral etc. But that does not make sense since banks need money from all of us, to loan out and make profit from interest they charge those who take such loans!

Prepare your mind to do what is at stake. Be OPEN to opportunities of support from others.

That’s what those who achieved authentic success did.

A well known entrepreneur explained that what helped him launch his sports magazine was that someone purchased an advert page in the first edition, which was used to produce the second edition.

But if he had not taken the risk of starting without knowing where money for the second edition would come from, he would never have been able to get that opportunity.

Later on, he found a mentor who backed him for 3 years in printing subsequent editions at night without asking payment!

Final Words: I Practise What I Preach

The moral of the above is that you must understand that to get what you want, you will not be the only one to make it happen.

And that’s why you must keep an open mind as you explore your options. Purge your mind of petty biases. Understand that anyone – no matter how small they appear to be – can become a source of unexpected blessings to you from your creator. So be prepared to take leaps of faith as the need becomes apparent.

Let me end by saying this: Just in case you’re wondering, I practise what I preach and I get great results from doing so, in terms of achieving my set goals.

For instance, I’m writing this from a bar in the Etoile Rouge area of Cotonou, Republic of Benin. Less than 2 weeks since I arrived here, I’ve made good friends in this country, by adopting the mindset described in this article. And that attitude has opened more doors of opportunities for me out here, than I would ever have had otherwise.

People I have never met in my entire life have gone out of their way so many times to help me achieve progress towards my goal. It’s been amazing. Just today, I met yet another person – barrister at law, and educational consultant who translates documents from French to English – among other things. We’re going to be working together to produce a complete French version of my 45 page management research paper which I delivered at the Centre for Management Development on formal invitation.

Details will be shared in my next update article to be published under the My DN Travels category on my blog this week. So stay tuned :-)

Pix 2: Nigerian International School, Cotonou, Benin Republic

I came across this school by accident. Never knew they had one here. Turns out it gets frequently mixed up with one (non-nigerian) school called “English International School” – which is in an entirely different location. If you ever have to visit one, make sure you don’t end up being taken to the other – by specifying whether or not it’s the Nigerian one :-)

Pix 2: Nigerian International School, Cotonou, Benin Republic

[IMPORTANT: This blog's contents are being updated following the transfer to www.tayosolagbade.com from my former domain - Spontaneousdevelopment.com. As a result, some parts of it may not work properly for now. Quick Tip: If a link contains "spontaneousdevelopment.com", simply change it to "tayosolagbade.com" - and it should work. This applies to article links as well as image links. Work continues to update the links(in over 500 articles). Tayo K. Solagbade.]

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Tayo K. Solagbade*
Performance Improvement Specialist & Multipreneur
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