Think Of That: February 2013

Think Of That

Some things to think about

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Location: Lebanon

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

On Taking Risks

I had a discussion tonight with a friend about taking the risk of living in an unstable country such as Lebanon versus having the option to immigrate to a safer country and starting a new life there.

Having recently quit a lucrative job to start a company and pursue a life dream in Lebanon (and shortly before that, discarding an immigration process I had initiated), this subject is quite dear to my heart. I had clearly opted for the first option which involves assuming a considerable amount of risk trying to achieve a dream with the hope of living a fulfilling life. But is it the right choice? Does it justify the risks involved (and they are so many in an insecure country such as Lebanon)? Moreover, will this option still be justifiable in the case of a family man (as opposed to a bachelor like me)?

One can suggest immigrating AND starting my business abroad but I've discarded that option because 1) It would take twice the energy, know-how  PR, capital…etc to do it and 2) and most importantly, because I do enjoy living in Lebanon (for all the reasons one can think of).

I have often admired and read about successful entrepreneurs who were able to achieve their dreams and none was able to do it without taking great risks. Steve Jobs dropped out of college. Years later, after he was fired from Apple, he nearly spent all of his fortune on Pixar and NeXT when no one else saw any interest in them.  Richard Branson is famous for taking risks. He was thrown in prison for dealing with counterfeit records early in his life. Later on, he assumed great risks starting a low-cost airline business when no one dreamed of such a thing. In his book “Screw it, Let’s do it”, he wrote “Many people have more modest goals. But whatever your dream is, go for it. Always beware if the risks are too random or too hard to predict, but remember, if you opt for a safe life, you will never know what it’s like to win”.  But what inspire me most are quotes from the Bible, always motivating and full of hope, such as this one from Romans 8: 24-25 “For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”

As a bachelor with no dependants to worry about, my point of view on this matter seems clear enough, but what if the situation was different and I had children to provide for? Would I still act in the same way? I’m not really sure… But what I would surely like to be in this case is a role model. Someone who would motivate and infuse passion into his children to follow their hearts and pursue their dreams no matter the risks involved… (After a proper education of course J).