Calculated risks / Riesgos calculados

“Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first” ~Frederick B. Wilcox



At a beach resort, Ocho Ríos, Jamaica (2007).  Picture by an unknown photographer.

(Versión en castellano, abajo). The notion of a calculated risk implies that potential loses are manageable and/or acceptable while the rewards -if they materialize- are very desirable. Obviously, jeopardizing our own physical integrity or that of others is not truly a calculated risk:  personal safety should  never be a gamble. So, what qualifies as a calculated risk?  The best examples I can think of are those of my own grandparents, oncles, my own dad… true entrepreneurs that started businesses which grew and prospered in time. The retail business is always a risky proposition, one with uncertain results but also one that can bring rewards. Entrepreneurs -no matter where they live- are the calculated risk takers ‘par excellence’. In calculated risk, a fine balance between our hopes and our raw reality exists. A balance of forces is always to be admired. There is beauty and vibrancy in risk, and, especially, in calculated risk. In actuality, it is hard to imagine a meaningful life without risk. After all, as Kierkegaard said : “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself” *


El concepto de riesgo calculado implica que las pérdidas potenciales son manejables y aceptables mientras que las recompensas (y ójala se materialicen) son altamente deseadas. Obviamente, poner en peligro la integridad física de otros o uno mismo no es verdaderamente un riesgo calculado: a lo sumo, es un juego estúpido. Qué califica, entonces. como un riesgo calculado? Los mejores ejemplos me vienen de mis propios abuelos, tíos, mi propio papá…. verdaderos empresarios que comenzaron negocios desde la nada, negocios que crecieron y prosperaron en el tiempo a punta de esfuerzo diario e inventiva. Y es que los negocios al detal son una proposición arriesgada con recompensas inciertas. Los empresarios del mundo -no importa el país de origen- constituyen la esencia, por excelencia, del riesgo calculado. En el riesgo calculado existe un balance muy delicado entre nuestras esperanzas y nuestra realidad acuciante, y ese balance es digno de admiración. Hay belleza y pasión en el riesgo, especialmente en el riesgo calculado. De hecho, es difícil imaginarse una vida plena de significado si ésta no estuviera impregnada de riesgo. Como dice Kierkegaard “atreverse es perder la estabilidad, momentaneamente. No atreverse, sin embargo, es perderse uno mismo completamente” *

Author: Constantino

A Chemical Engineer born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. He has worked for the oil refining industry in threes countries under different capacities. With photography and writing as hobbies, he has traveled the world (and has still to settle somewhere). Loves movies, Latin Jazz, black coffee and red wine... Kampai!

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