The Biggest Risk Is No Risk At All

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

“Well, what’s the risk factor on this?”

Ever had one of those moments when you said to yourself, “I wish I would’ve thought to say that.” You thought of the perfect reply about 30 minutes later.  That’s where I was when an IT person asked me about the risk involved in a project. I wasn’t ready to answer, and “bite me” seemed inappropriate, so I was silent.

It was about 30 minutes later that I realized the biggest risk was to do nothing at all.  It’s the risk-avoidance tendency we radio people seem to have adopted that hurts us, not that we’re taking too many risks.  If we do nothing adventurous, which is that the guy was suggesting, we’ll continue to decline as an industry.

Having true talent is a risk – someone might want more music.  Exploring social media as another relationship building tool is a risk, not everyone is on Facebook you know.  Creating selectable streams on the Internet is a risk – we’d have to give up control.  It’s a risk writing a blog like this – someone may disagree or think I’m stupid.

The IT guy was dead wrong.  It’s time for radio to take some risks.  It may be the only thing that keeps us viable in a fast changing world.  That doesn’t mean doing stupid things, you still have to consider the downside, but you can’t let the downside rule your decisions.