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What Sandberg and Aristotle Can Teach Us About Business Risk


What Sandberg and Aristotle Can Teach Us About Business Risk

What? ….What a combination of concepts there — ancient Greek philosophy and light saber cats. And that has what to do with business risk? A lot, actually — so says one COO of Facebook by the name of Sheryl Sandberg. Here’s what she said, which to this day is an iconic question:

“What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?” — Sheryl Sandberg

A truly enigmatic question for the ages, from a woman worth $1.6B — which says quite a bit about how women should view business risk, the stigma behind a female taking chances in the corporate stratosphere and coming out on top.

So what does it mean to look at fear like this? — Well, ask yourself the question…. What would YOU do if you weren’t afraid? 

Honestly: probably a lot. And that’s part of the problem. This is where Aristotle comes in, as the philosopher saw fear not as a hindrance, but a strength, and for good reason.

The same goes for business risk. We often see it as a negative, but there’s plenty of market research to say otherwise. Look at the advent of technology, for instance — the drastic shift has been more than enough to generate the fears of something ‘new’ and ‘different’, and yet there are loads of research and proof that the implementations do nothing but advance growth, revenue and profit by the thousands.

Just make sure, however, that you’re not putting passion, grit and innovation last in favor of analyzing everything first. Don’t waste time. Fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing — just a motivational monster to keep pushing you forward. You actually need it! Too much of it, though, and it might be your downfall.

Related: How to Focus on What’s Working and Drop What’s Not

So imagine how easy it would be to be courageous without fear? That, my friends — is what being foolhardy is all about. You’ll take too many chances, you’ll face way too many risks. It’s no longer about being brave and steadfast, but just plain reckless. And in business, that’s what you want to avoid.

But, Seriously…Don’t Be Afraid of Fear (That’s Actually the ONE Thing You SHOULD Be Afraid of). Business Risk Is GOOD.

Women face the worst in business. It’s easy being afraid. But it’s also okay. Rise up against all of it, be strategic, look at business risk as an opportunity to test, experiment, discover, expand. It’ll be then clear that the fear is probably a lot worse than what you’re supposedly afraid of.

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