After the frantic excitement of Spring Racing fever and all the millions of dollars spent and won, I found my team willing to risk their hard earned cash by betting on the Melbourne Cup. There is energy on Melbourne Cup Day like no other day we celebrate in Australia when the nation really does stop still for a few minutes. I had the absolute privilege of being trackside as a guest last year.The Job Capital and Rare Birds team were also invited to a celebration with an industry body. What was incredible is that they were all willing to make a bet on the day.
Some have never even been to the race track, some don’t know how to even make a bet, and some are old hands. But one thing I thought about is why are they so willing to take a punt on something that they know considerably nothing about? So willing to take that risk and very sure about the level of risk they would individually take. The ROI and risk of losing factor.
I asked the team why they even had a bet and took a risk. The answers were interesting; “I looked at the Macquarie listing, it was correct the last two years”. “Seemed an exciting thing to do and an easy win as I had a tip”. “I wanted to win money”. “I was prepared to lose”. “I knew it would win, it was a sure thing”.
My next question was, “Well if it was a sure thing, why didn’t you put all of your money on it?” The response, “I wasn’t certain it would win”. So this gave me great insight into the risks people take in business as they do in their personal lives.
Taking risk seems to be a lot easier if the nation is taking the same risk at the same time. But what if it was any horse race, on any day, in any city? What if it was a business decision that required the person to make on their own, with no influence, no excitement, no knowledge and their money? Are they willing to take the same risk and lose (or win) as well?
Risk normally requires investigation, strategy, thought and collaboration in many cases. In the case of the Melbourne Cup, for my team, it was simply influence via critical mass, popular opinion and the creation of excitement around an event. We know some amazing businesses built on the very same concept.
Of course, it’s all fun, but so interesting that influence, excitement and with no knowledge people take risks. Great leaders know how to excite their teams, they know how to influence critical mass, they know how to get people to take risks and they know how to influence consumerism with these artful skills.
So for all the winners, congratulations and for all the “unlucky” ones, I’m betting it was worth the excitement and fun and you will continue to take risks! I think that bet is a sure thing?