Flinching

The main risk of specializing is “self-harm”.

You’ll remember that risk is the product of uncertainty and the potential for harm.

The biggest potential for harm when specializing is choosing a way to specialize that seems so risky to you that you flinch during the implementation of your decision.

Flinching is pulling back suddenly because the feeling of discomfort or fear has become unbearable.

If you flinch while implementing your specialization decision, you cause a sort of “self-harm”:

  • Your confidence suffers, which has negative follow-on effects
  • You suffer opportunity loss
  • You start to doubt your decision-making competence

Because specialization is novel to us the first time we do it, we overestimate the potential for harm.

If we specialize in a way that we feel is too risky and then flinch during the implementation, we are the source of the resulting harm.

This is ironic and avoidable. Know thyself, including thy risk tolerance.

http://thepositioningmanual.com is designed to help you choose an appropriately-risky specialization decision. When talking about risk, I focus on the potential for harm. But there is almost always a potential for gain as well! That’s why we take risks in the first place.

The risk sweet spot is the most risk you can take without flinching. This balances the potential for gain against the real source of potential harm.

If you already have read enough of the book to have an opinion of it, I’d very much appreciate you leaving an honest Amazon rating and/or review.

-P

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