Mark Blasini


Eliminate risk, don't embrace it


Therefore, the skilled warrior first seeks to obtain the conditions for victory, then does battle, where the unskilled warrior first seeks to do battle, and then obtain the conditions for victory.

- Sun Tzu

In any venture you take on, failure is always a possibility. It is an inescapable fact. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try your best to prevent it.

If you want to achieve something long-lasting - an executive position in a company, a profitable business, a loving relationship - then don't simply embrace the fact that it might not work out. Don't accept "trying" as a valid excuse for taking a shot at something.

If it means something to you, if something is at stake, thendo your due diligence. Analyze and eliminate the risks, as much as possible. Don't leave anything to chance. The more you pay attention to and actively reduce the possibility of failure, the greater your chances of success.

There are two steps to doing this:

  1. Examine all the risk factors. Take a realistic look at all the risk factors you face in what you're trying to do - all the things that can go wrong. For example, ifyou're trying to win that promotion at work, create a list of all the factors that couldstop you: competitive or enviousco-workers, you aren't close with your boss, you are too good at your job for your company to promote you, etc. Knowing all these factors, youhave amuch clearer picture ofthe risks you face in your endeavor.
  2. Work on eliminating each factor, one by one. After you've made your list, plot out ways to you can eliminate or reduce the risk of each factor getting in your way. For example, with the promotion example,some solutions might be: make friends with your co-workers,include your bossmore in the work you do, etc. With each risk factor you deal with, your chances of success go up and your power grows stronger.

Doing this consistently will set you up for success - and not simply embracing the possibility of failure.