“This is really dangerous” I told Andrew, before he jumped off the roof.

A lesson in taking business risks, learned the painful way at age 13.

Before he jumped looked at me. Didn’t say anything – but I could see he was afraid.

Then he turned, jumped, and was gone.
I just stared as he plummeted towards the ground.

Fortunately, the glider we had fashioned only partially collapsed in flight.

13 year olds aren’t always the best at engineering.

It’s hard to tell if it actually slowed his descent, but two things were for sure:

  1. He did not travel far
  2. I should NOT tell mom about this.

It wasn’t the first stupid thing we did that summer, nor would it be the last (until The Bloody Snow Incident, at least).

A lot of planning, design and construction gave us confidence to jump off the roof.

A flip of a coin said Andrew jumped first, not me.
A whole lot of planning, a best guess, and a flip of a coin.

Every time you start a major business initiative it feels like the same thing.

A whole lot of planning, a best guess, and a flip of a coin.

But here’s the thing –
You don’t have to jump first.

We did because we were 13 and knew full well that the first one to jump would probably end up hurt.

But in business, you don’t have to jump blindly or trust luck.
There’s someone other than you who’s made the jump before.

So if you’re making a business leap without talking to someone who has done it before, you’re just asking for a crash landing.

I never did get to jump off a roof lashed to that structurally unsound glider. It was destroyed on impact.

Don’t destroy your business on impact. Don’t flip coins. Find someone who’s done it before and lived to tell the tale.