Risk taker?

Sunday the 14th of October 2012 will be remembered as the day Felix Baumgartner better known as ‘Fearless Felix’ did the unthinkable. He completed the world’s first supersonic skydive, jumping thirty-nine kilometres from a capsule suspended in the earths stratosphere and also became the first human to break the sound barrier outside of a vehicle.

Fearless, daredevil, risk taker, bold, brave, courageous, adventurous are all ways of describing Felix Baumgartner, however over seven years preparation went in to completing the nine minute skydive. I recently wrote a blog post about the importance of implementing a plan, a plan for the project in hand and a plan for the future. Baumgartner along with his team set out a plan in order to reduce his risk which in turn enabled him to achieve his goal.

Many factors had to be taken into consideration in order for the jump to go ahead. Firstly extensive training and two test jumps were completed. Felix Baumgartner had to wear a pressurised suit. The weather conditions had to be perfect in order for the jump to go according to plan. The team behind the jump were critical to its success. They included Joe Kittinger, who first tried to break the sound barrier, scientists, sports psychologists, specialists, the command centre and family and friends who supported Felix throughout this adventure. Thirty cameras were also set up to record every moment of Felix’s jump. In order to reduce the risk of such a highly dramatic and dangerous feat critical thinking about the concept, the opportunity, the competitive landscape, the keys to success, and the people involved had to be undertaken.

For anyone setting out on a new adventure have you asked yourself are you psychologically predisposed to starting a business? What are your chances of success? Is there more to your proposal than a hope of gain? How much effort are you prepared to commit? What resources do you need? How speculative is the activity that you are proposing to undertake? There are absolutely no guarantees of success as no one has been able to predict the future.

Felix Baumgartner has proved that he was psychologically predisposed to take a chance in the hope of gain. He put in the effort and resources and as a result it payed off! He reduced his risk and succeeded. What are you doing to reduce your risk exposure and insuring that your business lasts longer than a nine minute skydive?

Ciara Fitzgerald – WMJ Kelleher & Asscoiates

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