JIM’S JOTTINGS: On Questions, Risks & Rewards

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Questions often invite revelations.

Very often, the only difference between a person succeeding in any field of endeavor and flunking it is the type of questions they ask and the answers sought.

When the right questions are asked before carrying out an adventure, the layers of any mystery that cover it are peeled off and all the cold facts laid bare. Only then can the decision to take the plunge — or not — be made from an informed position.

These were the thoughts that run through my mind when I chanced on a discussion a few days ago on my Twitter feed about how entrepreneurship measured up against well-paying, regular 9-to-5 jobs — and about how the former is more glamorized than is often admitted. This conversation is not new, with same old arguments recycled and microwaved by both sides anytime it crops up.

My take?

Well, those that dare to build businesses from scratch — braving heart-stopping failure, disappointment and discouragement — are most likely driven by demons (the good kind, needless to say) that they cannot exorcise. These do not merely desire success; they are compelled to attain it. When you really think about it, you’d realize it takes a certain degree of masochism to actively seek out a lifestyle which offers few guarantees — if any — and to which there are many downsides, also a certain threshold of pain – a high one, I guess – to pit one’s self against the odds when less risky options are within reach.

Such risk-takers belong to either one of two sets — those utterly compelled and those with a paucity of alternatives — and both admittedly succeed or fail to varying degrees.

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Look at it this way, though: if life were relatively comfortable when one chooses the path of studying hard, picking the right careers and climbing the corporate ladder, why would anyone entertain thoughts of using the other route that has the potential of ruining them?

The answer?

Humans love risks. We have built civilizations and scaled unimaginable heights simply because of our appetite for attempting the hitherto improbable; it is, perhaps, the one trait which makes us the superior species we are. That desire to take risks spurs people on into the unknown, but, in this case, such desire gives way to compulsion. When the journey gets rough and tough, as it inevitably will, he/she who was compelled into entrepreneurship will only soldier on because they simply cannot quit.

Ultimately, what most people truly want hardly goes beyond a sense of security and a reasonable level of comfort, both of which one could possibly attain without necessarily being rich. Hence, for anyone to dedicate themselves to an objective – the pursuit of which drives them to the edge of insanity – that requires risking the prospect of colossal failure and embarrassment rather than take the easy way out, charley, they deserve one big gboza. 👊

Jimmy Aidoo – Daily Mail GH

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