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Process and Risk

May 25, 2013

My nephew Caleb has developed a good habit of posting his opinions on his Facebook page.  Some of what he posts (regarding his political ideologies) his friends and family disagree with.  But that’s ok.

Caleb is only a 20 year old college student.  He’s not yet supposed to be absolutely clear on every issue facing mankind.  What is important though and worth commending is his committment to the process of sharing his opinions and thoughts in a public place, and the risk he takes exposing himself.  Just a little on process and risk.


I think it’s more important than planning.  We business types talk a lot about planning, you know …. “have a plan, work your plan” type talk, while we overlook commitment to process.

Because Caleb has committed to a process of writing, and sharing he’s far more likely to eventually write and share something absolutely brilliant than someone who’s just planning to write and share.

Paul Orfalea founder of Kinkos on Process

When Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinkos, was asked how he grew the business so rapidly in the early days he talked about his committment to a process of sharing information.  He said back then he would go to one store find out what was working really well…or not, then as fast as he could he would share that information with all the other stores (there was no widespread use of the internet or networks in those days so he literally went store to store).  But it was the process or sharing which enabled rapid growth, not the business plan itself.


I hate to be the bearer of bad news but here it is.  If you’re trying to avoid risk by finding something to share that will appeal to everyone you’re going to fail BIG.  If you sit like a bump on a log in a meeting because you’re avoiding the risk of sounding foolish or offending the boss you’re missing your opportunity to really wow her.

When Caleb makes a Facebook post he’s taking the risk of exposing his thinking to public.  Here’s the risk…some people won’t agree with him, some will critique him, some will “unfriend him”.  Here’s the great thing about taking that risk, every post is an opportunity to really wow his friends and family, to really share something thought provoking,  to start a movement that matters.

Some advice

“This might not work” and “This might offend some people” are great starting points.


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