Thursday, April 26, 2007

Risk aversion

I'm just not cut out for taking risks. Well okay, I've hitchhiked around Africa on my own, eaten food from street stalls in India and been white-water rafting before I'd learned to swim. But those could probably be attributed to the foolishness of youth. These days, I find myself progressively less inclined to take a flying leap at any venture that doesn't carry at least some certainty of success.

Just a few minutes ago, I called up my fellow fundraising committee member to tell her I had cold feet about our proposed movie night. Not just cold feet, but frozen to Absolute Zero cold. There was a low-ish response rate to our initial call for feedback, and I suspected that the rest of 'em were too polite to just say "no". It was keeping me up at night with dreams about ill-fated raffles and garage sales, and giving me a tension headache that goes all the way down my neck, across my shoulders and down my spine. It doesn't help that there's an up-front booking fee which would be enough to replace my burnt-out computer very nicely. It also doesn't help that in a couple of weeks I might be the only active member of the committee. Extra work, I wasn't looking for.

I'd like to think I'm just being sensible in calling the whole thing off (or at least postponing it until we can get more people to show support). But there's a bug in my head that tells me this is just another example of how boringly risk-averse I've become as I've gotten older.

If I were the entrepeneurial type, the kind of person who founds The Body Shop or decides to film all three Lord of the Ring movies at the same time, would I have been so easily put off? Should I have decided to push on anyway, and let fear of failure be my prime motivator?

9 comments:

Laura said...

If it was a venture for your own profit, it would be ok to push on. But given that it wasn't, I think you were smart. It isn't your risk to take.

Angela said...

I think you made the right choice

Leo said...

I agree, right choice. It does become way more work than you anticipated. Perhaps a better option would be to try to secure some free movie tickets from the cinema and raffle those off instead - then people can choose their own flick.

Violet said...

laura and angela: thanks for your votes of confidence. I'm going to go have another go at it though, for a bit later on.

leo: film tickets to raffle? Sounds like a great idea!

glomgold said...

I tend to agree that you made the smarter choice in this instance though perhaps that is also a reflection of my aversion to risk? Laura's comment makes sense.

Kazzer said...

Hi Violet. I've had a long history of trying to get people involved in things. What you'll probably find is that people will go along with whatever you decide as long as they don't actually have to do anything themselves. People won't give feedback if there's a chance they might have to help. Go ahead with your plans - I'm sure they will work out.
Well done for doing something!

Violet said...

thanks! As you can tell, I'm pretty new at this sort of thing.

helen said...

well just to be devil's advocate, and having organised & participated in a few movie fundraisers myself, i can say when they work they are the "least-effort-involved-for-amount-raised" kind of fundraiser. the actual organisation involved is minimal (ring the cinema, choose the movie and the night, organise a system for ticket selling) and as long as everyone involved manages to sell 10 tickets, you should be fine. if you want to take it a bit further you can organise drinks before or after & make it social as well ... (sometimes people will buy the tickets as a donation to your organisation & not even bother to come to the movie!).
helen : )

Violet said...

helen: oh, I totally believe you - the sticking point is whether everyone is willing to try selling the tickets!