Not a phrase I've ever heard from my wife...not likely that I have will. The concept however, I hear all the time.
In my professional life, it's what I do. Internally with our team, externally with clients as they grow their business, asking the question: If you do this, what's the worst thing that could happen? Or better yet: If you do NOTHING, what's the worst thing that could happen? At the core of Risk Mitigation is the promotion of strong decision-making.
Risk Mitigation is boring. Most people never think about it, because it's much more glamorous to run hard and chase dreams than lean on the emergency brake.
Sometimes it's the language that you use that is important; "We're doomed if we do this!" Are you doomed...or are you just afraid? Other times it's just the demographic you are in. Entrepreneurs are known for being profoundly unbalanced in their both high-tolerance for risk, and intolerant for those that refuse to risk anything.
There is however a healthy balance in the world of risk mitigation that can be summed up in a simple statement: Know the risks.
The risk adverse person hates risky situations and/or environments that they steer clear of them altogether...often then by default steering clear of opportunity.
The overtly risky person runs to risk...because where there is risk, there is opportunity!
The balance is in the middle. Define the risk, make a judgement call on the risk vs reward and move ahead.
Sounds simple doesn't it!
Unfortunately, when you're "gut" says jump, but all logic and those on your team say "don't"...what then?
There are many stories of individuals that beat the odds, and jumped when everyone was staying put...and became a huge success. Unfortunately, for every 1 of those stories, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of stories where the individual or company "jumped" and landed in bankruptcy or financial hardship.
Making good decisions starts with surrounding yourself with great people, but the battle is often won or lost on the scale of knowing the risks!