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‘Risky Business’

  1. The Clifton Review  


The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires. We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings.

While the 2018 series salutes fashion mogul Peter Nygård’s Golden Jubilee detailing his rags to riches story, his incredible business success over these past fifty years and an inside look at how he did it, The Clifton Review will also continue to address current affairs as they relate to the good of The Bahamas.  



Risky Business’

By P.J. Malone 

Have you worried about showing up to your high school reunion and feeling like you haven’t lived up to your potential or achieved the things everyone thought you were going to achieve? Join the club.

I think only a small percentage of individuals will go to their high school reunion without ever having a thought of ‘what will they think of where I’ve ended up?’ But for the most part,individuals tend to feel like they didn’t live up to the potential others saw in them when they were younger.

One of the reasons this can happen, according to Carol Dweck, author of The New Psychology of Success, is that we may be afraid of venturing out of our comfort zones and we don’t take the risks or develop the abilities we are capable of.

We don’t take the risks because we are afraid of making mistakes and we have an image to uphold. People like fashion mogul Peter Nygard, whose middle name is ‘I did it my way’, don’t care what others think of him so he takes risks whenever he thinks it’s best to do so and it has paid off handsomely for him, to say the least.

Now no one is suggesting that you take risks or live your life differently just so your high school classmates can think differently about you at your high school reunion. On the contrary. It’s about living your life to your fullest potential.

Someone once said, ‘life is about living’. So the suggestion is to avoid living your life sitting back and refusing to put yourself out there to see exactly what you can accomplish. A verse of a song by Lee Ann Womack explains it well:

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance

Never settle for the path of least resistance

Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’

Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’

Don’t let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter

When you come close to sellin’ out, reconsider

Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance. (I Hope You Dance By Lee Ann Womack)

‘I hope you dance’: in other words, she hopes you take some risks in life.

Since taking risks is the order of the day, let’s take a closer look at that for business interests. Entrepreneur magazine contributorLarry Alton writes the following about risk taking:

Taking risks is scary, whether you’re going all-in during a friendly game of poker or quitting your long-time career to pursue one of your promising business ideas. Most people tend to avoid risks when possible, because inaction is often safer than action, but most successful people will tell you they got to where they are because they were willing to take risks no one else was—whether that was developing a product nobody else thought would work or investing a sum of money everyone else thought was crazy.

Still, taking risks is intimidating, especially for new entrepreneurs. But it’s more complicated than just “doing something that might turn out bad.” (“5 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Risk-Taking”:

Yes, risks are scary but one can never know how they’ll pay off without trying them on for size.

Remember the risk Peter Nygard took? He left a great management job at the age of 26 for less money but for the opportunity at ownership and that paid off in an 800-million-dollar dividend.

For individuals interested in becoming entrepreneurs, Alton suggests that risk-taking is inherent in entrepreneurship:

If you aren’t prepared to take risks, you have no business being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is fundamentally linked to risk-taking. You’ll need to invest some of your personal capital into a growing business—in most cases. You’ll stake your reputation on an unproven idea. You’ll sacrifice a steady paycheck for the first several months to a year—again, in most cases.

And from there, every decision you make carries some small risk Accepting risk as a part of the deal, and you need to be ready for that as you enter the entrepreneurial world.

Nevertheless, it’s important to consider how to take risks, which we will explore further.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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