Monday, November 12, 2012

Choosing A Business With An Upside

Recently, I held my 5th Annual Career Planning Day event at San Francisco State University. It's a symposium style discussion that allows established professionals to share their insights and stories of success with my students, both past and present, who are at various stages of their career journeys.

Every year my panel (which consists largely of colleagues, associates, and friends) drops knowledge like bombs from an F-1 bomber in the Vietnam war, and there is always one panelist who leaves me with a quote that beckons greater analysis. This year that quote came from Brian Zisk, founder of the bubbling SF MusicTech Summit in San Francisco, who has actively and visibly occupied a place at the intersection of music, technology, and commerce for years; hence his self-reference as a parallel entrepreneur.

Brian's statement, made in the context of discussing the importance of passion, was this:

"Choose a business where the upside is that there is no downside..."

Ponder that. Now ponder it again. As Career Specialist and recognized Growth Expert, what I do, all day long, is help people remove barriers to growth so that they can achieve career and life success. Passion, which is overtalked and underanalyzed, can be harvested in a meaningful, constructive, and productive way with the wisdom that Brian shared.

Of course, the dilemma that most people have is what business to choose. And by business, we mean any business undertaking (entprepreneurship) or career choice. Either way, people fret over making the wrong decision. Brian's philosophy helps you reduce the risk factor by eliminating it completely. If there is no downside, there is no risk.

Even if you fail in your chosen endeavor, your passion (which will be both tested and confirmed) was catered to. That's the upside. Your dedication, hard work, and ability to financially leverage your passion, just creates more upside. This concept worked for Brian, and it can work for you.

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