Musings from Bahraini entrepreneur, design agency creative director and magazine editor, Wafa Alobaidat
There are two types of businessmen and women that I've been exposed to recently; the conservative businessman, and the risky businessman.
You can spot the first type of businessman through the lifestyle they lead. The conservative businessman does not take risks in his or her daily life, choosing routine and familiarity in food, company and travel. The conservative businessman talks slower and doesn't dabble in activities that can cause himself or those around him any harm or discomfort.
The risky businessman lives life on the edge. He laughs way too loud, and is usually too brash and honest for most people’s tastes. He does what he pleases when he pleases, and doesn’t give a second thought as to whether he is loved or hated.
There is however the rare exception of the risky businessman that chooses to live a conservative lifestyle, usually in order to balance his or her radical choices during his working hours, thus opting for familiarity and order to stay grounded.
It's no secret that the more risks you take in life, the more vulnerable you are and the more likely you are to fail or, even worse, get hurt. For the soldiers who choose to venture into a lifestyle of risk in business, they must be prepared for the following: Leaving oneself exposed to pain, hurt, loss of one or more of things they value or care about; the possibility of financial loss along with the loss of relationships with peers, colleagues, and the trust of those you instilled it in.
When it comes to taking risks, the high is high and the low is low.
The positive aspect of choosing a life of risk is that you will be able to deal with a range of emotions – both negative and positive – that make you smarter, quicker, and your instincts sharper, and allows you a larger tolerance of pain. You become a stronger version of yourself and yes you do come out of every situation feet on the ground, kicking and screaming.
For those who don’t venture into the path of the unknown, I guarantee them the following: there will be no sudden changes in their life; they will get used to the same pace they've set for themselves; and they will make calculated decisions that will get exhausting and soon enough boring.
The average individual, on the rare occasion that they take a step outside their perfectly curated world, will surely feel unsettled, but definitely more alive than they have been in a while. It is without a doubt that they will get scared; scared of change, scared of loss, scared of failure, and scared of letting anyone in. Their temper will also become shorter than a fuse – especially when things don’t go their way.
Like everyone else, I'm scared of getting hurt in business. But I made the decision early on to always jump, leap, and if need be, cut and bleed my way forward.
Too many of us play it safe, drawing up rules and creating clear boundaries of what we can and cannot do, and that to me limits the experience of living life.
There are more lows and blows in the way that I chose to lead my life, but when it gets to a high, it is always worth the ride before the plummet. In business and in life and love, the only way up is to jump, fall, break, and start all over again.
Wafa Alobaidat writes a bi-monthly column for Khaleejesque and muses on fashion, art, culture and culture shock in the Middle East. Wafa is also the editor of Sketchbook magazine and runs design and PR agency Obai and Hill.