Willingness to risk an admirable trait

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The entrepreneurial spirit.

It is what has historically driven much of the American economy.

But what all does it entail?

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It is hard to say actually but here are a few of the things that I think most people would say should be on the list.

Grit and determination.


The welcoming of challenges.

The willingness to risk.

We can romanticize these things, but in reality most of us would rather sit on the couch and watch “The History Channel” about people that have these traits than to get off of the couch ourselves and do the stuff that these things reference.

Christopher Columbus was not the first person to hold that the world was not flat.

He was, however, one of the first to get off of the couches of his day and set sail to verify his belief.

Thomas Edison is known as perhaps the greatest inventor in U.S. history.

The fact that most of his experiments were miserable failures do little to dampen our reverence for his brilliance.

His “grit and determination” matched his brains.

Without that trait of his we probably would never have known of his brilliance.

When asked about his many experimental failures, he retorted that “They were not failures….rather, I have been successful in proving ten thousand things that will not work”.

That, my friends, is a true entrepreneurial spirit.

I think it is a good thing to admire people with such traits.

I remind you of a portion of one of

President Theodore Roosevelt’s most memorable quotes “It is not the critic that counts….the credit goes to the one who is in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood….because there is no effort without failure….”

With ease we can review our history and find names of people who have gone into the arena and have competed, some successfully, some not.

But they have competed!

They have shown “their willingness to risk.”

Of all of those that have done so, I guess the person that I have admired the most as having the ultimate “willingness to risk” is actually a person that I think that history failed to record

his name.

A while back I read an article in a nature magazine that was telling about an African frog that would give a hallucinogenic type buzz if licked.

Well, readers, I was immediately impressed that at some point in time a couple of men were sitting around when one of them said to the other “I think I am going to go over there and catch that frog and lick it and see what happens.”

Want an example of a “willingness to risk”?

Well, there it is.

I have heard that the most famous last words of most redneck men is “Hey Bubba, watch me do this.”

Now readers, I am not advocating wacko risky behavior.

I am simply reminding you that the “willingness to risk” is just one of several traits that is admirable in one that has an entrepreneurial spirit and it is found among many of our business men and women who are part of the Chamber’s membership.

There is currently a twelve week, one night a week, entrepreneurial workshop being offered on the campus of the Demopolis Higher Education Center.

It is teaching the basics of going into a small business.

(Frog-licking is not mandatory.)

I wish the class participants the best.