Taking Risks

“Risk Appetite” was a term that was used over and over again during my investing and management classes in college.  Generally, it refers to an organization or person’s view of the acceptable level of risk.  I often found myself day dreaming during class.  While I was very interested in learning about business, I felt that sometimes the classroom wasn’t the best place to learn.  My mind would wander off into tangents about my future, and what I wanted to do after college.  

As I mentioned in a previous post, initially I was a Finance major in college, but I knew I wanted something different.  I decided to switch my major to Entrepreneurship.  There was a lot of risk involved in switching my career path.  Finance was a safe option.  I knew I would be able to get a 9-5 job for some company and over 20-30 years move up the corporate ladder.  However, the appeal of starting my own business and being able to create unlimited opportunities for myself was something I wanted more.  So during my sophomore year in college, I switched majors to Entrepreneurship and started a quest to learn as much as I could about starting and running a successful business. 

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. – Jim Rohn

Why its important to take risks

Taking risks can dramatically improve a boring life.  Playing it safe will only take you so far in life.  Stepping outside of your bubble and taking risks can give you adrenaline rushes that allow you to see a whole new side of life.  I’d heard about obstacle course races for a couple of years before I finally took a risk and tried one out.  I took a risk, participated in an OCR, and now found a new passion. Looking back on it, I can’t imagine why I didn’t participate sooner.  Taking risks also can boost your confidence, even if they risk doesn’t pay off.  Just by taking the risks, you become more confident and gain experience that you never would have had, if you hadn’t taken a chance.  

One of the most important reasons to take risks is so that you don’t have any regrets.  After my freshman year of college, I was planning on taking a summer internship with a life insurance company.  I had already made it through 2 rounds of interviews and was offered the internship.  The company told me to let them know within a week or so if I wanted to move forward with them.

Then one day while I was walking through the student union on campus there was a career fair taking place.  Since I already had a internship lined up I decided to skip the career fair, and go get lunch in the other part of the student union.  On my way to get food I saw one employer’s booth off to the side that was very different.  It was for an outdoor adventure summer camp in Texas.  They were recruiting camp counselors for the upcoming summer. I watched a promo video they had at the booth and thought it looked like a lot of fun, and a great place to spend the summer.  But, in the back of my head, I knew I had the life insurance internship already planned and that would definitely look better on my resume in the future.  So I just kept walking, and went about my day, trying to forget about the camp job.  Then later that night, I saw the people from the camp again and they told me I was the only person that came to their booth earlier that day, and they wanted to hear what I thought about the summer camp and if I wanted to work there.  I explained the situation and told them I already had another job lined up for the summer.  

A few days went by and I couldn’t stop thinking about this summer camp job and how much better I thought it would be than working for the life insurance company.  But, if I told the life insurance company I was backing out, they might never give me the opportunity again.  This was a huge decision, and one that altered my life completely.  I ended up taking the risk and I spend my entire summer at a camp in Texas.  It was a blast, and the best summer of my life.  Not only did I have a great life experience, I also met my future wife that summer.  I look back on it now and realize how different things could have been if I hadn’t been willing to take a risk and do something that was counterintuitive for what I thought was my career path.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I… I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost

How to process risks

Whenever I’m faced with taking a risk, I go through a process to analyze the possible outcomes.  First I try and list the worst possible outcomes that could come as a result of taking the risk.  Then, I think about what can I do to minimize those outcomes from happening.  On the flip side I list the best possible outcomes that could happen by taking the risk.  Then, I think about the actions I can take to maximize the chance of those positive outcomes.  I compare the possible negative and positive outcomes, and evaluate how they would impact my life.  

Finally, I evaluate the opportunity costs of not taking the risks.  More often than not, I come to the conclusion that taking the risks will produce a greater outcome than the opportunity costs of not taking the risks.  When we were in Hawaii I really wanted to swim with the sharks.  I came to the conclusion that its pretty unlikely that I will get eaten by a shark, and the experience of swimming with them would be incredible. The whole boat ride out into the open ocean I was kinda jittery, but really excited.  But once we got in the water, adrenaline was flowing all through my brain like never before.  Around 10, 6-12 ft sharks were swimming literally inches away from us.  This was one of my favorite memories from our trip, and one that I will never forget.  

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T. S. Eliot

 

SHARKS!!!! w/ @apojezny #Hawaii #sharkcagediving #bucketlistadventures #adventureculture

A post shared by Kevin Pojezny (@kevinpojezny) on

2016 Recap – In Pictures

2016 was a busy year for us.  Obstacle Course Races, Finishing Residency, 5 year Anniversary, Hawaii, Football, and more. Here are photos from some of the highlights.

 

We Survived the #warriordash #rockinwarrior

A post shared by Kevin Pojezny (@kevinpojezny) on

 

 

Perfect night for a backyard cookout! #fire

A post shared by Kevin Pojezny (@kevinpojezny) on

 

 

Yes please!!! #funnelcake #carnival w/ @apojezny

A post shared by Kevin Pojezny (@kevinpojezny) on

 

 

 

Living it up in Hawaii with @apojezny #beachlife #lanikaibeach #neverwanttoleave #hawaii

A post shared by Kevin Pojezny (@kevinpojezny) on

 

 

SHARKS!!!! w/ @apojezny #Hawaii #sharkcagediving #bucketlistadventures #adventureculture

A post shared by Kevin Pojezny (@kevinpojezny) on

 

 

 

Range Day with the men! #molonlabe #gunchannels #gunsdaily #guns #eotech #gunsofinstagram

A post shared by Kevin Pojezny (@kevinpojezny) on

 

 

Homecoming 2016 w/ @apojezny #GoPokes #okstatehc

A post shared by Kevin Pojezny (@kevinpojezny) on

 

 

The Blockchain Revolution

What is the Blockchain? Why does it matter? This is hard to explain, as is any new technology that is different than anything else ever before it.  It took me several articles and YouTube videos to finally grasp it.  Rather than repeating those articles in a less eloquent style, I’ll use an example to explain it.

My friends and I often played volleyball throughout high school and college.  And of course we were all pretty competitive, so we’d keep score.  After running around and getting sweaty while diving all over the place, it was easy to forget the score. But there was always one guy who would keep the score in his head.  We would just trust that he was accurate.   We quickly found out that if we just left the scorekeeping to 1 person, they were more likely to make an error, or just straight up lie.  So, our solution was this: we had multiple people keeping track of the score, and then before each serve we would announce the score to make sure we were all on the same track.  This would allow everyone to mentally update the score in their heads, and to prevent 1 person from cheating, or making an honest mistake.  Simple, right? Blockchain technology works the same way.  This system of multiple people keeping track of the information is referred to as a distributed ledger.  It is decentralized, so that there is no single point of vulnerability.  The whole network is “keeping score” so that their aren’t any mistakes.

Think of it like a Google Doc.  Multiple people can access the same Google Doc, at the same time, from different locations.  Taking it a step further.  Say the Google Doc was set so that anyone can add to the doc, but not remove anything else that others added. This is how the blockchain operates to prevent other from deleting transactions on the ledger.  Every transaction has a timestamp and is recorded with information that cannot be deleted our altered in any way.

Here is a video that does a great job explaining the blockchain:

And another great presentation on Bitcoin:

There are many blockchains that have been developed, with Bitcoin being the first, and most well known. However, Ethereum is another blockchain that I believe has even more potential than Bitcoin.  The technology and development team behind this company is outstanding. Ethereum is leveraging the power of “Smart Contracts” in its development. We will no longer need centralized 3rd party intermediaries to handle transactions.  “Smart Contracts” will execute themselves and people with be able to transact person to person.  Brokers, as they are known today, will be unemployed.

This is an overly simple explanation of the blockchain.  But the power of this technology will revolutionize multiple industries. Disruptive innovations only come along every so often.  Think about how the Wright brothers and Henry Ford transformed the transportation industries.  Or how the personal computer and Internet changed the way nearly everything operates in today’s world.  Well, Blockchain technology will do the same for multiple industries.  This blog is mainly for me to document my thoughts and ideas, but if anyone is reading this — Get involved now, thank me later.

 

Homecoming 2016

Stillwater, OK will always be a special place to me.  As a lifelong OSU fan, I always dreamed of going to college at OSU.   When I finally arrived on campus I immediately felt at home.  I spent 4 years in Stillwater.  I lived with my best friends that I have known since I was 6 years old.  We made a lot of great memories during our time there together.  So any time I go back, I instantly re-live those moments.

This year Ashley and I went to homecoming and had a great time.  It was an afternoon game, so we got up early and made the drive. Here are some pics from the day:

At the game. We won.

View from our seats.

The orange fountain

The OSU Hedges

One of our favorite places to eat.

My 5 Favorite Podcasts

I remember when I first discovered podcasts.  It was before Ashley and I were married and we lived 6 hours apart.  This meant long road trips every few weeks.  Sure, road trips can be fun sometimes…but not when you are driving through West Texas, Oklahoma, or Kansas for the 100th time.  At first I would listen to audiobooks, and I really enjoyed them.  The only problem was trying to time the books so that the whole book would fit into one trip.  This is when I discovered podcasts.  

Over the last several years, I have listened to to thousands of episodes from probably around 30 different podcasts.  Some podcasts I will only listen to for a few episodes, while others I won’t miss a single episode.  The ones listed below are the podcasts I most frequently listen to.  

 

The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss Show PodcastIf it is not already obvious from other posts in my blog, I’m a big fan of Tim Ferriss.  From his books to his TV show and of course his podcast, I always learn so much and thoroughly enjoy listening to Tim interview and drop knowledge bombs everywhere.  His podcast description in his words:

“In this show, he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use.”

Unlike other interviews, Tim spends anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours with each guest and its captivating the whole way through. I regularly find myself listening to Tim interview guests that I wouldn’t normally find interesting, because I know he will find ways to entertain the audience through his thought provoking questions.

 

The Jason Stapleton Program

Jason Stapleton Program - PodcastThis podcast is one of my favorite sources for getting the news without the conventional media bias we see everywhere.  Each day, Jason dives into relevant topics and current events that are happening the in world. He then simplifies them and offers his take on the issue.  He views the world through the lens of 5 core principles: Individualism, Peace, Free Markets, Limited Government, and Tolerance with the overall focus on liberty and freedom.

 

Order of Man

The title drops a pretty big hint for who the target audience is for this podcast: Men. Podcast_Cover_Third_Edition_Large

“Order of Man is for motivated and ambitious men who want to become better in every area of their lives from defining their purpose, obtaining self-mastery, building relationships, growing as a leader, and mastering business and finances.”

Every week there are interviews with some of the world’s most successful men in all areas of life.  I’ve learned a lot from the podcast and believe I’ve become a better man as a result of what I’ve learned and applied in my life from listening to the show.

 

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

DC_HH_iTunesHardcore History is not your typical podcast. Dan spends lots of time researching and compiling information for each 3-4 hour episode, which are sometimes several months apart.  When I first thought about listenting to this podcast and I realized it had long episodes about history, I almost wrote it off immediately. But, Dan does such a great job taking the listener back in time and explaining things through a modern perspective.  His voice commands your attention and its hard to stop listening once you’ve started.  Dan is probably one of the best storytellers I’ve ever heard and connects the past & present in completely new ways.  

 

Ben Greenfield Fitness

download-1Ben’s podcast is one that I’ve only listened to for the last year or so, but I’ve grown to really enjoy it.  Ben was voted as America’s top personal trainer, and is an expert in nutrition and fitness.  He is a obstacle course racer and ironman athlete. On the podcast he shares his in depth knowledge on various topics relating to health and fitness.  My favorite aspect of the podcast is the detailed research and testing that Ben conducts in order to bring the truth.  He also includes links and resources in his show notes page that listeners can use to learn more info on the topics mentioned in the show.  There are a lot of fitness and health related podcasts out there, but this is the one that I trust the most.

 

Honorable Mention:

Extra Pack of Peanuts Travel Podcast

The Tom Woods Show

The Art of Manliness Podcast

Fantasy Focus Football