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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Risk is good. Stability is ... meh

As much as I have been influenced by my parents over the years (duh), there is one major difference in our approach to careers.  I love risk, my parents love stability.  Now, these past months of economic struggle have certainly made me appreciate more the benefits of stability, but even still, I wouldn't trade my type of career freedom for a "normal" job.

Running a martial arts academy challenges every skill set I have, and has caused me to grow some new ones.  That alone makes my day interesting.  But when I look at the financial side, I am addicted to
the effort-reward cycle.  Every job rewards effort in some way, either with promotions, bonuses, recognition, and such.  When you run your own business, you get to have those results almost immediately.  How cool is that?

Running an academy is sort of like gardening and hunting, to me.  Some aspects of our business take time to grow, but many elements of income can be improved today, with simple focus and effort.  I love the mixture of long-term and immediate results.  Based on our needs at the time, or our mood for the day, we get to choose our tasks.  And based on that, we get to choose our paycheck.

Results come from action.  I give massive credit to my business mentor, Mr. Fred Mertens for teaching me that I don't need more time, just more intensity.  We have to apply that intensity correctly and have the discipline to make sure no areas of business are neglected.  In my opinion, that's where the risk comes in.  Will you actually do what it takes to make your academy grow?  And do you know where to find guidance if you are ever at a loss for solutions?

In the past year or so, I watched many families in my academy become fearful and hesitant about the future.  Some months I was pretty worried myself.  But the difference for us risk takers, is that we can do something about it right now, today, as soon as we get to work.  That feeling of knowing that I can impact my own financial standing on a daily basis actually gives me a huge sense of stability.  I will always be able to create results in my business.  And you know, even if things do get bad, I really don't think I'm ever going to fire myself.

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