Risk, Reward and Respect

I was asked an excellent question this week, while lecturing on communications at Cambridge Judge Business School -

Why do I teach business skills, when I could earn far more money just getting on with business?

It’s absolutely true.

I get paid well enough teaching, and there are many more benefits than just financial, but I could make far more money using my time working with businesses.

So, the reason I teach…

There’s the investment in the future thing, the warm and fuzzy feeling of giving something back to a world which has treated me well.

But it’s more than just that. Because much of it is down to admiration and respect. 

If someone is going to follow their dream, the least I can do is try my humble best to help them on their way.

Maybe it comes down to this question - 

What have research scientists, aspiring authors, and entrepreneurs got in common?

At first sight, you might think not a lot. But for me, it’s this…

They're all devoting their precious time to chase a dream, with no guarantee whatsoever of success.

The number of Cambridge scientists I’ve spoken to who have spent months, or sometimes years, on an experiment, only to find it never works.

Likewise with writers. They put so much effort, and heart, into a book with no guarantee it will ever get published.

And the same for entrepreneurs. All that time, work and money, when the odds of success are stacked against them.  

I teach all of them about how to make their writing and communications better. 

And yes, I find it fulfilling, and rewarding, but I also find it rather humbling to work with such people.

Blessed are the risktakers in life, for without them how do we innovate, advance, and inspire?