Taking Risks

Written by Tammy Durden

Have you ever taken a RISK?  I mean a really Big Risk?  One that could ‘make or break you’?  I believe business owners are ‘risk takers’ simply by owning a business.  It took a lot to set up a business, market it, as well as, keep it open.  This is no small task and is very hard work.  Thus why, when I was given the opportunity to do a webinar for a SCORE Event, I said, ‘yes’.  Many may not think it is a risk at all, but would say it is a ‘no brainer’.  I would point out, however, that it is indeed a big risk for several reasons.

Led By Moses’ Example

This was a risk for many reasons.  One simple reason, if I may speak honestly, is that it is not one of my natural abilities.  I am sure you can relate to the fear of Public Speaking, but add in the fact that I am quite the introvert, truth be told.  Most people, meeting me today, cannot believe that I was ever shy.  Now I would appear very outgoing most of the time.  That is what happens when you marry, not knowing your spouse is hearing God call him into ministry – to be a Pastor no less (stop laughing now).  As a Pastor’s Wife (for over 20 years) I have been forced out of my shell, perhaps, ripped out is more like it.  For I have taught classes and even spoken in front of the congregation.  I have been given the opportunity to speak to Women’s Groups, Luncheons and even for Conferences as well.  And, although, I know God has called me also (yes, He finally broke through my introverted, hard heart) to ‘speak’,  it is still one of my top fears (public speaking).


I was that girl, (when God broke through to tell me I would be speaking with large groups), who said, ‘Not I, Lord, send my Sister…PLEASE?  Sound familiar?  Just as Moses plead with God to send someone else because he did not feel capable of speaking, I too wanted to send anyone other than myself.  I, like Moses, tried, but, however, my answer was very different than God’s answer to Moses.  God raised up Moses’ brother to do the speaking.  Yet, God has made it clear for me, that he will not allow a substitute for my voice – it is to be me!  YIKES!  So, if I am genuinely transparent, I can tell you that it actually terrifies me still, even after all of the times I have shared, taught and spoken, I am still that little girl inside screaming to the teacher, “I need to go to the Nurse, I feel sick!”.  OK – so now you know my little secret in how I often chose to spend my time rather than doing a speech.  Noe do you understand that doing any webinar, speaking with a group or other events that demand I be ‘present’ and ‘outgoing’ are a real stretch for me…even a risk.   When I was then asked to do a webinar that may be shown to over 1,200 people (2000 signed up actually -gulp-)…No, let me correct that, not people, but Professionals and Business Owners, no less.  Perhaps you understand why, in my eyes, this was a risk.  To say I might have been slightly intimidated, was probably a big understatement.

These are the reasons why I consider this opportunity a big risk.  Let me share a few more reasons that may hit closer to home.

Risky Business:

Reason Why Webinars May Be a Risk

  1. Preparation – This is key to a good webinar.  If I had not prepared well enough, imagine what could have happened.  In business we are always get interrupted.  It is a matter of setting priorities.  So this one is ‘checked off’ – Prep time – Done!  This would be at the top of the priority list.
  2. Slides – I had to prepare all of the slides, make the template in fact so that it contained my branding but did not ‘push’ my business. The appearance of the slides can be inviting or can push someone to tune out.   If this is not an ability in your wheelhouse, I would certainly recommend outsourcing.  It must looks professional and clean.
  3. Content – The content contained on the slides must be accurate, contain good information and provide value for all who will be watching.  Remember attendees are giving up their time to watch this in hope of receiving great content as a trade off.  I needed to be able to reach a wide audience so that many would be attracted to attend the webinar.  Not only does it have to appeal in appearance, but the content must also be concise.  This can take the form of lists, polls and, of course, research that is done ahead of time.
  4. Presentation – This is all on me here, as long as technology works well that is.  I have to present flawlessly or least genuinely. It cannot be a ‘canned’ presentation.  It is alright to make a mistake as long as you are genuine.  Consider also that the audience must feel and believe that genuineness and that I know what I am talking about. The tone of my voice and the speed of which I present should be even with inflection where needed. I also need to sound inviting, honest and genuinely helpful.  I want to give good information that will truly help other business owners, so it is important that all of that come across during the webinar.

These are just a few reasons why I considered this opportunity a big risk .   So you may wonder why I immediately agree to it when asked?  When faced with Risks, honestly, I often lean on the side of caution.  To make a good conscious decision, however, I really need to weigh the risks versus the gain.  Not only am I being called to do more speaking and that alone makes me drawn to do the SCORE Webinar, even as uncomfortable as I am, the gain could potentially be huge for our company.  It will not only help with brand awareness, it will also give opportunity for me to have a larger voice as a ‘micro-influencer’ outside of my own industry.  Ultimately, it presents the chance to genuinely influence and help other business owners, which I truly desire to do.   It also makes me and our company visible to a wide range of business owners and professionals.  Remember these opportunities also contribute to you and I being seen as an expert in our industries.

Therefore, when a risk comes, do not immediately dismiss it.  Take a second look and weigh the risk versus the gain. Even if you are not a risk taker by nature, you can learn to embrace these opportunities.  If it doesn’t go exactly as I planned and hoped,  it still will give me an amazing experience, as well as, the ability to learn from any mistakes.  The other item I gain is additional skills and allows me to meet wonderful people who I hope to continue to engage with in the future.  What Risks Have You Taken Recently?  Please share with us by commenting below.

Thanks, as always, for reading.  I cannot thank you enough, I truly appreciate it!  We really love comments, so please be sure to leave one for us.

To Your Continued Success!

with love from Tammy Durden of Fearless Business Boss

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