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Attraction or distraction and risk-taking by Jo Haigh (Finance Expert)


What sort of risk-taker are you in business, and is now the right time to investigate? Business and finance expert Jo Haigh investigates.


When business is tough, as it is now for most people, the sound business advice is to go back to basics and keep your core business intact.

Sage advice indeed but what do you do if your core business is in fact beyond recovery or you are no longer inspired to ensure it does recover? Should you allow yourself the ultimate business indulgence of going off piste for a while?  To take that risk you have dreamed of but just never dared explore? Go down the black run if you like, when you were on the nursery slopes less than a month ago!

Ummm potentially a make or break move for you and your business. Much of this I believe depends on a number of factors;

1) what are you gambling with in terms of your and your family’s assets?

2) are you one of those  “let’s put it all on red” people?

3) have you in fact tried this manoeuvre before and had a modicum of success?

4) do you believe that actually failure isn’t an option?

This risk profiling may change, dependent on where you are personally.  Some people are just born risk takes others always a little more guarded and reserved.

I think I probably fit into the former category which is why 1% of any success I have had has been represented by 99% failures (even though I definitely never considered failure an option!)

Having said that I don’t think I have ever been so very reckless as to potentially loose it all, though have come close a few times!!

The mistakes (oh yes I have made more than a few!!) I recognise retrospectively, oh the joy of hindsight!


For example:

  • Not enough planning (though I do admire John Lennon’s philosophy that life is what happens when you are busy making plans), I know I have sometimes jumped into things far too quickly.
  • Not enough money (always!) or underestimating. I now always add 20% more costs to every project I embark on.
  • Not enough staff/ time (well of course I believe, not only am I invincible but also have 26 hours in every day, if only).
  • I don’t learn quickly enough, I am an eternal optimist, my glass is the overflowing when everyone else’s is empty, so I allow things to go on far longer than they need to in the vain hope all will come right because I believe it will!


I now have a board that take me on hand, and rightly so, if I go off down my own particular dream alley.  I don’t like to but it has saved me the odd £100k or so!!

I get bored very easily which, when going off piste, is never good having recognised I am no detail person. I ensure I am surrounded with those who thrive on the process and who are adept at sweeping up behind me.

So a few lessons learned but I still make mistakes.

You know what they say there are those who make things happen, those who watch what happens and those who say what happened!!


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      Jo Haigh is an expert on business and finance… check out her books here!




The Best You

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