I’ve spent the last couple weeks arguing with lawyers. They represent my corporate consulting clients and review stuff like the video scripts and website copy I write for them. At the end of the day, the argument always comes down to determining a level of risk.
The lawyers believe they’re operating in the best interest of their clients by vetoing any statement that could ever create a legal or regulatory issue in any circumstance. But of course, that’s a terrible practice to follow. Because the only way to eliminate risk completely is to never promise a benefit, suggest a claim, or make a bold statement. If you create copy about your product or service that is bland, innocuous and inoffensive, you’ll never sell any. Of course, you shouldn’t overhype, overpromise, or deceive. But you have to believe in what you’re offering enough to make a case for it.
This dynamic gets even more fascinating when you take it out of the business realm, and apply it in your personal life…
If you never start a conversation with someone you’re attracted to, you have zero risk of getting snubbed. If you don’t submit your resume for that primo job opening, you’ll never have to experience the sting of getting passed over. If you never post a profile on a dating site, no one can reject you. If you never attempt bold, daring, and adventurous things, no one can call you a loser.
We avoid taking risks because we think we want certainty. But certainty is an illusion. The biggest risk will always be not taking any.
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